Thousands of questions from home movers across the UK want to know how their plans will be affected by the current coronavirus situation.
We all know that moving home is challenging even in the best of times, so we wanted to share with you the Q&A’s from the live webinar that Rightmove recently hosted from those who are currently selling their home.
Should I take my house off the market? Is there even a market?
We’re in unchartered territory right now. But, and we can see this with the activity on Rightmove, some things in life remain constant. One of those is the need for a home and the need to find a home. Given everything, Rightmove are still seeing millions of searches and thousands of enquiries coming through, but quite rightly everyone is staying at home to keep people safe.
There are a lot of people with a huge interest in what is happening in the market right now. People are still doing their homework and contacting agents so that when this lockdown is lifted, they are ready to go. There is no need for you to come off the market right now, agents are being extremely proactive and creative.
Are agents still fighting to make things go through for people?
Agents are being creative; they live and work in your communities. They’re doing all they can to reassure the seller that when this appalling situation does ease, there will be a market there. Talk to an agent, they will know your property very well, they may have even sold it before. They may have ideas for things you can do to your property while you’re staying at home.
Should I put my home on the market?
I wouldn’t wait as long as you already had pictures taken and your property valued before the lockdown. Just be prepared to be more flexible. The main hurdle in coming to market now is that we can’t have anyone come to visit our homes.
Everything is done remotely now, and agents are very good at assisting with that. They will know your area and your property like the back of their hand, they have so much data available to them.
If you didn’t have an agent visit your home before the lockdown, we would suggest you hold fire until they can visit and get your house market ready in the meantime.
How are agents showing potential buyers around remotely?
Agents can now provide 360 tours, which you can download. Or they may stitch together all the internal images into a video. There is a lot of technology being employed to enable you to see everything about a property. There is a whole heap of information out there for buyers.
We are due to exchange in three weeks? What problems might we face?
Make sure you are talking to your lawyer and your agent on a very regular basis. Make sure all parties are communicating so you all understand the pressures and can continue the process, bearing in mind you should delay the exchange unless the property you are buying is unoccupied. Don’t panic, don’t withdraw, sales take a long time to go through in any event.
I am buying a new-build. What can I do?
If it’s an unoccupied property, you should be able to proceed as normal, so long as you are keeping to all the appropriate safety measures. You should also be able to sign documents remotely online, which means you don’t have to travel to the site.
But it’s important to follow the government guidelines. House builders will do everything to get you in, they will get you in in a safe and proper way if it’s possible to do so.
What defines a move as critical?
There will be reasons that for some people it is absolutely essential to move, it may be because of health or a job and you simply have no choice but to move. They’re not out there policing this but I think everyone needs to be sensible. These things can happen if it’s absolutely critical, but that is somewhat subjective.
You have to factor in the removal companies and so on, and for the removal company employees, they touch on average 700 items in a move, so they need to ensure that they are safe. Do your research and talk to your agent about what might be possible while sticking to government guidance.
Our lease is up soon, and our landlord wants us out, what’s your advice?
Don’t move, continue to pay your rent. No eviction can take place for three months but start talking to your landlord now. Communicate early, and be firm. If you’re not comfortable moving out, you can’t view another property to rent now anyway. You can’t move out at the moment because there is nowhere to go, and the government will be sympathetic.
How does the current situation affect my mortgage offer?
The government’s instruction to lenders is to be as flexible as possible with regard to mortgage offers. Their lifespan is usually three to six months. The lenders need to be as accommodating as possible.
How much of a delay will the lockdown have?
We don’t know at the moment. It all moves very quickly, but I don’t believe we’re here just for three weeks. The length of selling a house takes months not weeks anyway.
One of the best things you can do is make your local estate agent your best friend and find out what they are recommending to their clients because that’s probably the best advice you’ll get right now. If you are starting out on the journey, there is so much you can do from home to get your home market-ready and that can save weeks and weeks. Finding copies of the lease and all the documentation that you will get asked for down the line when the brakes are taken off.
Words from Rightmove – 2020
As an Estate Agent, we remain open for business and would love to assist you for all your property needs. We are currently working remotely, and will endeavour to answer your queries as efficiently as possible.
If you are looking to buy, sell, rent or let a property, our team is contactable by calling 01202 303066 or emailing us on [email protected]