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What are the guidelines for moving home during coronavirus?

Houses with for sale signs

Buying and selling property can be stressful but will moving home during coronavirus bring added stress?  We take a look at what the current guidelines say and what you can do to make things a little easier!

A new three-tier “lockdown” system has been introduced in England this week, but whether or not you live in an area where the highest restrictions are in place or not, you can expect the following to apply if moving home during the pandemic. 

More is being done virtually

Searching for a home on the web has been a popular choice for homebuyers for years thanks to sites such as Rightmove and Prime Location however now more of the process is moving online, including virtual viewings.   Whilst virtual viewings can be a good initial indication of a property you would like to buy, you can still arrange to view in person, however this will be subject to some strict guidelines such as:

Viewings will be by appointment only – no open house viewings

No more than two households inside the property at any one time

Social distancing must be adhered too, keeping a 2m distance where possible and wearing a mask.

Avoid touching surfaces, although homeowners will be encouraged to clean surfaces and door handles between viewings.  

Expect delays

The buying and selling process isn’t always the quickest, but you should be prepared for additional delays if you are planning on moving home during coronavirus.

If someone in the chain has symptoms of Covid, they will have to self-isolate which could add delays to your home move.  If your estate agent/conveyancer falls in then this could mean delays with the paperwork.  

Speak to your conveyancer about what measures they have to ensure that all parties remain flexible.  Having a “covid clause” within the contracts will help to protect you against any sudden changes of circumstances that could impact your sale or purchase.  You don’t want to face any unnecessary costs through something that is beyond your control.

You can minimise delays by:

Instruct a conveyancer as soon as possible

Speak to them about the process and costs so you are clear what to expect from the start.

Get your paperwork in order

If you are selling your home, locate certificates, guarantees etc for any appliances/works that have been done.  As a buyer, ensure that all your ID documents are in order.

Secure your mortgage

Mortgages can take time, especially if you’re a first time buyer.  Get the ball rolling as soon as you start your home search by securing a mortgage in principle – this will save time later in the process. 

Packing Up

If you can you should  try to do as much of the packing yourself.  You may still use a removal firm but again, you will need to follow certain guidelines including:

Cleaning your belongings before being handled

Leaving doors open to minimise touching door handles

Do not offer refreshments

Regular handwashing

Those sellings homes are advised to provide a thorough clean of their home before leaving, however it may give you peace of mind to organise your own deep clean once the property has been vacated, either undertaking this yourself or using a cleaning firm.

To keep up-to-date with the current regulations in your local area, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

So Smart Money are mortgage experts – speak to an adviser today to see if you can find a great deal on your mortgage.  

The above post does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. The information within this article is the author’s own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of SO Media or So Smart Money.

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

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