Will Coronavirus Affect Your House Purchase or Sale?

Maisie Bonfield

As news of the coronavirus continues to dominate the media Samuels Solicitors LLP has put contingency plans in place, to ensure we continue to provide the high level of service expected by our clients.

Our conveyancing team are working hard to ensure that your property matters are as unaffected as possible.

We have put together answers to the most common questions we are being asked to try to alleviate some of the stress that we realise you are under:

How will coronavirus affect the property market?

The short answer to this is that we do not know.  Just as Brexit resulted in highs and lows in property prices, the stock markets and interest rates, likewise COVID-19 will have an impact on these areas. 

If you have already found a house to buy and know that this is the property you want, then currently there is a good argument for continuing with your transaction. 

There are websites that help you to make the decision of whether to buy/sell/re-mortgage now or to wait, including this very helpful page from moneysaving expert.  

Will coronavirus prevent me from exchanging contracts?

At present we are continuing on the basis that exchange of contracts can still go ahead on your transaction; however, as the logistics of home working and school closures are worked out, we do anticipate that some transactions may be delayed. 

We would ask for your patience during this time and please be assured that where a deadline has already been set for exchange, we will try to meet it as far as possible. If we cannot, we will work hard to negotiate with everyone involved to set more realistic deadlines.

What happens if I have exchanged contracts, but I am unable to complete?

This could be for many reasons, such as office closures, issues with original documents, inability to instruct removals companies, or because you (or someone in the chain) are self isolating. 

Current Law Society guidelines recognise that we all need to work together to complete transactions on the dates agreed.  Parties will need to be understanding and we will need to deal with these types of situations on as case by case basis. 

If you know that you might need to self-isolate because you or someone you live with is in a higher risk group please let us know at an early stage. 

If you have any concerns at all about how coronoavirus might affect your property transaction, contact us today for a discussion.