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Young couple new homeowners with keys

Moving Home? Make sure you are ready once lockdown is lifted.

12th May 2020 by John Munro

Categories: Covid-19, Property News
Tags: , , ,

The residential property market was showing very positive signs of growth in early 2020, however Covid-19 has pressed the pause button on any further rise since the end of March.

Despite this, Laceys have been able to adapt our ways of working and help clients move home within the current restraints. Following is one client’s appreciation who has relocated from London to Poole;

Jane Cole of Laceys Conveyancing team is superb. Big praise, and for good reason. Jane handled our house sale and purchase during the COVID pandemic and did not miss a beat. Sharp legal insight, but most of all I and my family felt Jane had our back. For context, we moved from London to Poole on Friday March 27th, the last day before movement became further restricted. The week leading up to the move was filled with stress – this was a high risk transaction with limited contractual protection. Our removal Co could have withdrawn, the government could have locked down, the lenders could have failed to provide funds, or our bank failed to receive them, and we have two kids under 3, moving 100 miles away. Jane responded by keeping close to every step of the transaction with an air of calm and control that we needed. Even a call on the morning of the move to say our buyers were without funds due to the Indian lockdown didn’t raise alarm. Laceys were no more expensive than their competitors and the service far exceeded the cost. First class.

In the short term, it is inevitable some transactions will go on hold; buyers and sellers are deferring completion; physical viewings are being replaced by virtual viewings; surveyors have been unable to inspect properties and mortgage arrangements have been delayed.

However, as lock-down restrictions are relaxed it is hoped that those on-hold transactions will start moving again and new sales will be agreed.

Looking forward, there are very healthy levels of buyers and sellers registering with local Estate Agents and the government have offered guidance for the residential property market within which we can operate with further guidance to follow on 15 May.

In the meantime, if you are considering buying or selling a house or flat then there are certainly things which can be done now which will save a great deal of time, and potentially money, later on. For example:

If you are considering selling a property we would recommend:

  • Taking advice from your estate agent as soon as possible
  • Instructing a conveyancing solicitor to explain the process to you and prepare the sales pack. At the outset of a new sale, there is inevitably some time taken up with instructing a solicitor, dealing with the various identity requirements, filling in property information forms, and pulling together all the information that is necessary for a sale to proceed. Your solicitor can consider your legal pack from the perspective of a buyer and deal with any potential issues at an early stage. If this process can be carried out before you go to market you could shave weeks off the moving process and head-off problems before they arise.

If you are considering buying a property we would recommend:

  • Instructing a conveyancing solicitor who can explain the process to you and deal with some of the initial time-consuming aspects in advance such as obtaining your identity documents and carrying out the obligatory anti-money laundering checks at an early stage.
  • Finding a surveyor to carry out the survey once lock-down is relaxed.
  • Investigating the mortgage market and perhaps obtaining an offer in principle from your chosen lender and getting a valuation booked-in

Our business has rapidly adapted to these unusual times. Our lawyers are remote working and we have procedures in place to take into account the many new aspects that Covid-19 has brought to the world in which we now operate.

We are fully open for business and would be very pleased to speak to you about how we can help you now and in the future.

For further information or a general chat please call John Munro on 01202 205031 or email John on and he or a member of his team will be happy to help.

John Munro

Partner — Commercial and Residential Property

Direct dial: 01202 377839


John Munro, head of Property, Laceys Solicitors
  • “John Munro was friendly and very approachable, advising me with a clear depth of knowledge and experience. I have since recommended him and will do so if asked in the future.”

    N. Pitts-Crick

  • “Having dealt with Laceys on many a sale and purchase I’ve always found them to be efficient, knowledgeable and attentive. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to family, friends and clients.”

    Stuart Cockram - Frost and Co

  • “We have always been very happy with the service provided by Laceys Solicitors, in both our business legal requirements and domestic property conveyancing.”

    Mark Edney

  • “You are our solicitor Superhero! Very grateful. ”

    Maria - Tom Frowde Architects

  • “Changing solicitors is not to be undertaken lightly. However really impressed with the way that John Munro and his associates have dealt with us over the last couple of years in a variety of complex property related transactions and on the commercial and personal front as well. We look forward to working with them going forward.”

    Malcolm Tice, Director - Tice & Son Ltd

John joined Laceys in 2001 on a training contract, having completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Law in 2000, and qualified as a solicitor in 2003. He is now the Head of the Commercial and Residential Property Departments.

He is also the firm’s Senior Responsible Officer under the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) with overall responsibility for the management of the property team and their delivery of the excellent service that our clients have come to expect.

John acts in his own capacity for a number of commercial property owners, developers and investors, but also allocates time to ensure his team are up to speed with changing law and professional regulations and clients are provided with members of the team who possess the right skills to deal with their individual requirements, delivering projects in the most time and cost-efficient manner.

Outside of work John seems to spend a great deal of time ferrying his children around but occasionally gets to put his feet up and listen to his eclectic collection of vinyl. He is also not averse to a good cheeseboard and a glass of IPA.

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