The Government has urged buyers and sellers to adapt and be flexible with their current house move.
They’ve said there’s no need to pull out of sales that have already been agreed but quite rightly they’ve asked that people follow their guidance to stay at home and keep people safe.
The Government’s new advice on house moves states: “Given the situation in the UK with regard to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we urge parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes.
“There is no need to pull out of transactions, but we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times, including the specific measures for those who are presenting symptoms, self-isolating or shielding. Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority.
“Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction although you should follow the guidance on home removals.
“Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.”
What does this mean for your move?
Home buyers and renters should, where possible, delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to fight coronavirus.
If you’ve already exchanged contracts and the property is currently occupied then all parties should work together to agree a delay or another way to resolve things. If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on staying away from others to minimise the spread of the virus.
Does this affect my mortgage agreement?
All mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who’ve exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months to enable them to move at a later date.
What about viewings?
There should not be any visitors into your home, and you should therefore not let people visit your property for viewings. Your agent may be able to conduct virtual viewings and you could speak to them about this possibility.
Should I accept an offer?
You’re free to continue to accept offers on your property, but you should factor in that the selling process may take longer.
Should I exchange contracts?
If the property you’re buying is unoccupied you can continue with the transaction.
But if the property you’re buying is currently occupied, all parties should work to either delay the exchange of contracts until after the period where stay-at-home measures to fight coronavirus are in place, or include explicit contractual provisions to take account of the risks presented by the virus.