Buying or selling your home during the Coronavirus Crisis

3 April 2020

Moving house has consistently appeared in the top three most stressful situations you can go through in life. Not selling it to you? How about this then: moving into your dream home, a house that finally fits your growing family, or having that beautiful garden to grow your very own vegetables in, can be one of the happiest moments of your life; any better?

The problem caused by the current coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented one; however, as seriously as we at Redkite, and everyone, should and is taking this threat to our health, this situation will eventually pass and, when it does, it will be more important than ever for you to have the home of your dreams.

If you had just found your idyllic property before the crisis hit, and you are now faced with the uncertainty and worry about what to do, let us help you. Our dedicated residential conveyancing team have all of the expertise needed to get you to your ultimate goal, just in a different time frame than we would have otherwise aimed for.

The moral of the story is: try not to worry. Don’t be tempted to immediately pull out because, honestly, those wonderful family homes with the perfect commute distance and gorgeous apple tree in the garden do not come along every day! Instead, let us help you to bide your time and come out of the other end of this crisis with your dream home still within reach.

Clearly we are not telling you to push forward no matter what. You need to think about your financial situation, your job security, your changing needs and, most importantly, your health and the health of the people around you.

To that end we would recommend the following:-

  • Do sit down with your partner / parents / children / cat, whoever you were buying or selling with, and consider the pros and cons of keeping your goal the same as when you first fell in love with the home you were so intent on buying;
  • Do bear in mind that this crisis will pass and you will still need to move if your current property was not big enough, not near enough to the right school, too far away from work, or the many other reasons why people buy and sell millions of homes every year across the UK;
  • Do speak to us to see what your options are. We are here to help you work with the sellers or buyers, banks and mortgage brokers to make the sale happen…eventually;
  • Do keep working with us to get to the point of exchange of contracts, remembering that to actually exchange would be to enter into a legally binding agreement that has no respect for a change in your personal circumstances, such as the loss of your income! Our recommendation would be to get to the point where, as soon as you have the green light of normality in the distance, you can give the ‘go go go’ signal to us to exchange and get the conveyance done and dusted as quickly as possible;
  • Don’t worry about having to delay. If you have lived without that guest bedroom up until now, you can live without it for another few months whilst we all ride out the UK wide lockdown to help us save lives;
  • Don’t panic and pull out. If the house you were going to buy is as wonderful as you think then someone else may step in to buy it and you will be back to square one in your house-hunt; not a great place to be;
  • Don’t insist on trying to actually move. The Government has put the Country into lockdown for a very good reason and we all need to respect their judgment. If you do try to physically move the likelihood is your chain will fail anyway because only house moves for unoccupied properties can happen at the moment and they account for a very small percentage of the overall market. If you are in a chain therefore the reality is you just won’t be able to move until the lockdown is lifted.

If you are one of the lucky few who are moving outside of a chain, without the need for a removal company, into an unoccupied property (doesn’t seem that likely does it) then you still need to adhere to the Government guidelines on social distancing and only travelling for essential purposes.

A final do (we know we have covered the do’s already but this is worth repeating): let us help you to still get that dream home. We can arrange for a deferral of the sale until the restrictions are lifted, we can agree with everyone in the chain to hold off until the lockdown is eased, we can liaise with various agencies etc to get you to the point of a smooth transaction, once the world is back on its right axis.

Redkite’s Residential Conveyancing team have been helping individuals and families to buy and sell their homes for over 100 years. Whilst we are working remotely we are absolutely still on hand to help you get to where you want to be (quite literally) once this crisis has past.

We are committed to working with you, safely and within the guidance laid down by the Government (which can be seen here) so call one of our team today to find out what we can do to keep you on the path to your dream home.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.