In lockdown, our homes have become more important than ever, often feeling like our whole world. But what happens when your home isn’t up to scratch? If you’ve been dreaming of moving to pastures new, you might be worried all these plans are in danger.
However, though the UK might currently be facing a lot of restrictions, the housing market is still in business. Here’s what’s still possible with your home...
Selling or buying a property in lockdown
Estate agents, solicitors, and mortgage brokers are all still working during the lockdown. Therefore, finding your dream home is still possible during this time - albeit the process will be a little different.
In order to put your own home on the market, you’ll likely need to book an appointment with an estate agent before turning up. Some are still operating in person, but others have moved the process entirely online. They’re also still allowed to visit your home to take photos/videos, as long as safety precautions are taken.
When it comes to seeing what’s on offer, there are rules you’ll need to follow during your viewings. If you’re not using an online service, here are the guidelines you and others need to bear in mind…
Guidelines for house viewings
Only two households are allowed in a property at any one time, this includes your estate agent but does not include a household which is part of your support bubble.
All viewings must be booked in advance.
You should maintain a two-metre distance from everyone outside of your household and avoid touching any surfaces.
Windows and doors should be kept open, where possible, to provide better ventilation.
Face masks should be worn at all times unless you have an exemption.
Contracts and mortgages
The biggest thing to bear in mind during the buying/selling process is time.
Many brokers and lenders are experiencing delays related to COVID, while the mortgage deals on offer have also significantly reduced - first-time buyers being the most affected.
Therefore, one of the best things you can do during this time is to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. If you’re not sure which finance route is right for you, talk to an expert.
At Resi Finance, our team of brokers are always on hand to help you navigate the market during this time. As partners to the Mortgage Advice Bureau, we work with over 90 lenders and have access to exclusive deals and rates. Our architectural knowledge can also be used to help you explore the development potential of your selected property.
Alongside mortgaging delays, there is the potential risk of other setbacks during the process. Should you, the other party, or your specialists be affected by COVID, your purchase could hit a wall.
To avoid the negative effects of any postponements, make sure your paperwork has the proper flexibility in place to accommodate these new risks.
Remember: you’ll be at particular risk during the sale/purchase of a property, as sudden changes in circumstance could incur extra costs. It is now possible to add a ‘COVID Clause’ when you exchange contracts. This should ensure you are not at fault or in breach of contract should you be unable to complete due to complications arising from the pandemic.