Home-movers advised to delay plans

Home-movers advised to delay plans
Home-movers are being advised by the Government to put their plans on hold wherever possible whilst measures are in place to fight coronavirus.

Mortgage lenders are working to find ways to extend mortgage offers for up to three months to help those who’ve already exchanged, so that buyers can delay completing on their property purchases. The Government said a legal process will be agreed with conveyancers so that completion dates can be moved whilst coronavirus stay-at-home measures apply.

For those concerned that their circumstances could change significantly during the three-month extension period, and that continuing with a mortgage could push them into financial difficulties, trade body UK Finance has confirmed that lenders will work with customers to help them manage their finances and find a suitable solution.

Where contracts have yet to be exchanged, the government recommends that buyers and sellers hold off doing this for the time being, unless contracts have “explicit terms to manage the timing risks” presented by the virus.

Only those who are purchasing a property which is unoccupied and where a move can go ahead safely should consider continuing with their transactions rather than putting them on hold.

If you were planning to put your property up for sale

Anyone hoping to sell their home over the next few months won’t be allowed to let people visit their property for viewings, under the government’s guidance.

If you’re already signed on with an estate agent, they may be able to conduct ‘virtual viewings’ which don’t require anyone coming to your property, and you can still accept an offer. However, the selling process is likely to take much longer, especially as lenders’ ability to offer mortgages has been severely restricted as they deal with thousands of requests for mortgage payment holidays and are unable to conduct valuations unless they are automated. Many lenders have temporarily capped the amount they will lend and now require buyers to put down at least a 40% deposit.

If you’ve yet to appoint an estate agent, bear in mind that they won’t currently be able to carry out a market appraisal of your property, nor take internal photographs. You also won’t be allowed to have an Energy Performance Certificate assessor attend your home whilst rules to stay away from others are in place.

The Government recommends that those hoping to sell once the current crisis is over, can use this time to get together all the information they might need to show to potential purchasers.

To read the Government guidance click here

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