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  • 6 Apr 2020

    Can I still move house during the coronavirus outbreak?

    Every year we help thousands of people move house and we know that this process can often be a stressful time for clients, however the current ‘stay-at-home’ and social distancing rules imposed at this time can make a house move even more complex than usual.
    We are here to support our clients during this time and are working hard to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible and that we give our clients as much help and advice as possible to enable them to continue with their transactions.The government has issued guidance for buying and selling homes during this ‘stay-at-home’ period and has urged parties involved in home moving to ‘adapt, be flexible and to alter their usual processes’.At the moment there is no need for parties involved in house moves to pull-out of a transaction, but more thought needs to be put into how the transaction can continue in a safe way for all concerned during this time.[button_shortcode button_url="/contact-us/#contact-page-form-start" button_text="Contact Us Today for Help or Advice About Moving House"]

    Vacant properties

    If the property you are planning on moving into is vacant, then you can continue with the transaction, however government guidance regarding home removals should be followed; maintain a 2-metre distance from others; wash hands with soap and water often (or use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available); no work should be carried out by a person who has coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, however mild.Please bear in mind that if you are relying on the sale of your current home to fund your purchase, while you may be moving into a vacant property, the rest of the chain will not.  A date for you to move therefore may not be able to be agreed at this time.

    Occupied properties

    If the property you are planning on moving into is currently occupied, all parties are encouraged to delay moving and amicably agree an alternative date to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.  It may be that no exchange takes place until a fixed date can be agreed, or if all parties agree a ‘long stop’ date may be agreed.  This is a future date that is the latest you will move.  Please be aware that it may not be possible for this to be agreed, but is one suggestion that can be discussed while trying to secure an exchange.

    What if an extension goes beyond the terms of a mortgage agreement?

    To support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion, all mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to 3 months to enable them to move at a later date.

    Can I still put my house on the market?

    Although the buying and selling process can continue during this period, homes won’t be able to be marketed in the usual way, as advice for people to stay at home and away from others means you should not invite unnecessary visitors into your home, including property agents or people viewing your house.If your house is not already on the market you will find it more challenging to market your house at this time, as estate agents will not be able to carry out house appraisals, and internal photography of your home will not be possible.Many people looking to move house in the near future are using this time to gather the information they will need to market their house and are speaking to local estate agents for advice on the local market and researching conveyancing costs and processes. Use our online quote calculator to find out how much your conveyancing will cost.

    Can I still accept an offer on my house?

    You can still accept offers on your house, however you will not be able to invite potential buyers to view your home and the selling process will take longer than usual during this time.

    This is undoubtably a difficult time for all parties concerned with house moves, however at Hegarty Solicitors our team are ready to help with any questions you might have about buying or selling a house at this time. Contact us today for a quote or to speak to one of our conveyancers.

    [button_shortcode button_url="/contact-us/#contact-page-form-start" button_text="Contact Us Today"] [button_shortcode button_url="/personal-advice/moving-house/online-quote/" button_text="Get an online quote"]

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