Moving Home? The ‘new normal’ on how the process works.
22nd July 2020 by John Munro
Although people wanting to sell and move home in the UK are now allowed to do so, it is not a return to normal. Social distancing measures and public health guidance have meant all parties needing to adapt and be flexible, altering their usual practices.
Laceys look at each step of the process and what key changes are now the ‘new normal’.
Before you market your property
You can shave weeks off the moving process, and head-off problems before they arise, if you instruct a conveyancing solicitor at the outset of the process to prepare the sales pack. They will deal with the various identity requirements, complete property information forms, and pull together all the information that is necessary for a sale to proceed.
Covid-19 guidance suggests where possible, conveyancers get all paperwork signed electronically, however where using an electronic signature is not possible, paperwork will be posted. If the legal document needs witnessing, the witness will need to be physically present but maintain social distancing and not share pens.
Listing your property
Since May, you have been able to put your home on the market and start to look for properties you would like to move to.
Contact your local estate agents to find out how they are working and follow the advice they put forward. Estate agents can visit your property to take photos and videos, however if anyone in your household is showing symptoms of Covid-19 or self-isolating they should not visit your property.
Viewing your property
No open house viewings should take place, and where possible, virtual viewings should replace physical viewings.
However, if you have someone who is keen to place an offer, it is likely they will want to see the property in person. In this case, guidance suggests only one professional and up to two other adults per viewing, and where viewers need to be accompanied by small children they should be kept from touching surfaces.
You should open all your internal doors and turn any lights on if needed prior to the viewing to avoid unnecessary handling of surfaces during the viewing. Also encourage people to wash their hands when they come into the house, either by providing hand sanitiser or allowing them to use the bathroom.
Ideally, you should vacate the property whilst the viewing takes place and once the viewing has finished, wipe down door handles/handrails/lift controls or other ‘touch points’, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
If you are viewing a property, consider going outside commutable hours and avoiding public transport, where possible. Wash your hand before entering the property, maintain social distancing of 2m and keep the visit as short as possible.
Making an offer
Offers can be made and accepted in the normal way, and buyers can also now arrange for a tradesperson to carry out inspections. This should be carried out by appointment and only one person at a time where possible.
Removal firms can operate but they must adhere to Government guidance which states how and when work can be carried out in people’s homes.
Our business has rapidly adapted to these unusual times. Our solicitors 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and he or a member of his team will be happy to help.