The COVID-19 pandemic has put daily operations and obligations to a screeching halt, but that is not the case for your house buying and selling transactions. You just need to be well-oriented on the so-called New Normal to ensure that you, your hired conveyancers, and other third-parties involved comply with the guidelines. And we are here to help you get oriented on everything you need to know.
This article will discuss the realities of conveyancing today and other essential details that you, as either the house buyer or seller, need to be aware of to ensure the success of your transaction. Take this as an opportunity to reap the rewards of your housing efforts, either as satisfying the need to live in a new home or to sell your property.
What’s the Latest on Housing Transactions?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement last October 31st, announcing that England would have to undergo another lockdown due to the increasing number of cases. This has forced many sectors to close their doors for two months minimum. However, there are some companies allowed to operate as long as COVID-19 guidelines are met.
Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, is now focused on keeping the housing market active. He is encouraging house buyers and sellers to continue their transactions, tweeting that renters and homeowners will still be able to move but must all follow COVID safety guidelines.
These government initiatives may also be poised to stimulate economic activity since there is currently a Stamp Duty Land Tax pause effective until March 2021. This is your chance to move forward with your exchange and completion to move forward with your housing transactions!
The House Transaction Process’s New Normal
Most novice house buyers and sellers believe that the exchange of contracts is the legally binding activity required to secure the conveyancing process and a successful housing transaction. However, that is not the case at all since every agreement to buy or sell stipulates that all financial obligations must be met and all legal requirements must also be satisfied. It ensures the seller and buyer cannot withdraw from the transaction and must uphold their end of the bargain.
As such, concern yourself with the following steps and take note of the COVID-19 changes to ensure that you and everyone involved complies with the safety guidelines:
You can have the property surveyed, but remember to compare conveyancing costs to ensure that you can get the best pricing for your transaction. You should also utilise online means, like instant online conveyancing quotes, to safeguard all parties involved. Unfortunately, you may have to wait longer due to local authority searches, as there is no adaptive approach implemented nationwide for this part of the transaction.
The national government recognises property valuations and all surveying activities as crucial economic activity, so these can continue as planned. However, you and your surveyor must comply with appointment bases and adhere to social distancing guidelines. According to the World Health Organization, you must avoid the three Cs: crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined spaces. If you are a vendor, you must ensure that the surveyor has unrestricted access for a seamless housing transaction to take place.
Presenting an Offer
Your housing transaction offer requires the presence of both the buyer and seller, but you may expect delays when either party is showing COVID-19 symptoms and must self-isolate. But don’t worry, your conveyancer or property solicitor can facilitate the exchange of contracts and accommodate delays. You may also be open to alternatives to keep to your house transaction’s deadline.
For instance, you can use video conferencing to survey the property once there’s been a verdict for the sale. You can also do in-person property viewing if both parties show no signs of COVID-19 as long as you limit social contact, practise social distancing, and observe good hand hygiene.
See to it that no one enters the property if anyone involved in the transaction has been exposed to the virus, especially the hired tradespeople who are vulnerable to spreading the virus due to the nature of their work.
Exchange of Contracts
The exchange of contracts is the pivotal point of your house transaction because it’s essentially the legal turnover of all assets to complete the process, and there are ramifications to these terms if not met. However, you have to take note of these uncertain times, meaning you can expect some delays.
For example, you already have conveyancers and property solicitors in place since the real estate market reopened in May 2020. However, it has also become the cause of COVID-19’s resurgence across the nation, and your attending conveyancers may have caught the virus.
As such, be more lenient with all parties involved at every point of the transaction, especially during the exchange of contracts. Set a completion date or moving day that both parties can agree on. Doing so provides you enough time to settle all your obligations to avoid any inconveniences and legal violations.
You can also suggest alternative ways to meet to exchange contracts with your conveyancers and property solicitors. For instance, they can use either video conferencing or telephone calls to facilitate the deal. You can assert legal action when there is abuse on either side of the housing transaction process.
You did it! You now either have a new house, or you sold your property. However, you may have other obligations in order, like say your house furnishings, moving-in or moving-out costs, and new housing arrangements. You also need to be aware of any current events that may affect your completion date obligations.
For example, let’s say you are the house buyer, and you want the purchased home renovated. However, your chosen home renovation company might be self-isolating due to a COVID-19 outbreak on their premises. These situations and others like it can affect your timeline and your relationship with the seller.
As such, keep your lines of communication open with your buyer or seller, and don’t forget to contact either the conveyancer or property solicitor if you have any significant concerns. Keep a comprehensive timeline of your transition into your new home, and don’t forget to maintain all your financial assets to ensure that you can meet all your dues and adjust easily to your new lifestyle.
You can still accomplish your housing plans. You just need to ensure that you can find trustworthy, driven individuals who can partner with you and stay determined to your timeline. Take note of all the previously mentioned information and start your housing transaction today!
Are you looking for convenient, best-value conveyancing services? We at the Conveyancing Calculator can provide you with that. We can offer you instant online conveyancing quotes and access to SRA property solicitors or CLC-licensed conveyancers for your house buying and selling convenience. Visit our website today to ensure that you get the utmost professional services you need to push forward with your housing plans despite the pandemic.