Can I still buy or sell my home? What does the latest guidance mean for me?

31st March 2020

Further guidance has been issued by the government regarding the home buying process. The government has said that, whilst there is no need for parties to withdraw from their transactions, it is asking for people to be flexible and adaptable during these unprecedented times.

What if my property is already being marketed for sale?

You can continue to advertise your property but you should not allow any viewings to take place unless these are ‘virtual viewings’.

If I receive an offer on my property can I accept it?

Yes, and the conveyancing can proceed in the orthodox way, but the process might take slightly longer than normal.

Can I exchange contracts?

This very much depends on your position. If the property you are buying is vacant, then you can continue with the transaction, although you must adhere to the guidance on social distancing. If you are moving to an occupied property, then all parties are encouraged to delay exchange and completion until the stay at home restrictions have been lifted.

What happens if I have already exchanged contracts?

Once you have exchanged contracts, you have entered into a legal agreement to buy/sell that property and the mechanism for reaching the completion date has been fixed. If you fail to complete on the agreed completion date, you will default under the contract. Parties who have already exchanged contracts are advised to work together to mutually agree a delay to the completion date.

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