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Covid-19: Buying and selling your home

It’s safe to say that our homes are sacred to us, and if buying and selling your house wasn’t difficult enough, as a nation we now face new challenges.

Over the last 15 years the housing market has had to deal with a great level of turmoil and uncertainty including a global recession, political turmoil, Brexit, and now we face the uncertainty brought by the Coronavirus (also known as Covid-19).

So, what does this new uncertainty mean for us? If you’re a seller, you may be worried about losing your buyer, contamination of your home by Covid-19 and consequential losses arising from a failed Conveyance.

Similarly, if you’re a buyer you may be worried about losing the sale, moving into a contaminated home and other losses which may arise.

So, what do you do about your sale and/or  purchase? What if your buyer is keen to exchange contracts and secure a completion date? What if you as a seller are unable to commit to a precise date because you are in isolation or you are infected by the virus?

Sellers

Whilst it isn’t mandatory to disclose your personal health to your buyer, it‘s important you have this conversation with us. As a nation we will only fight this virus if incidents of infection are isolated.

You can be assured that the team at Blacks Solicitors will guide you through every step of your sale, take action to reduce the associated risks, and reduce your losses, if any.

Presently there is no provision to include clauses in a Contract of Sale which will reduce the risk to you of your buyer withdrawing. However, our specialist teams will guide you through processes and procedures which will reduce the risk to you, whether you are solely selling your home or if you are in a chain and you are relying on the proceeds of your sale to purchase your new home.

We have already introduced measures to stem the risk of your buyer serving notice on you for failure to complete, should you be advised to isolate in your home. Ultimately, this will reduce the costs incurred by you should you be unable to move out of your home and move into your new home.

Buyers

In any uncertainty it is important to not only proceed with caution but also to maintain your resolve. Again, having open conversations with us and working together to ensure any risk of infection is isolated is important.

There are also practical steps you can take to ensure you stay safe, such as carrying out a deep clean in your new home as soon as you move in, including wiping down all surfaces. It may seem obvious but such trivial steps can make a big difference.

Again, the team at Blacks Solicitors will guide you through every step of buying your new home. We are working closely with all lenders to ensure you can complete and move into your new home with the least level of risk to you and with no, or little, unforeseen costs.

You should also consider having a discussion with your estate agent about the collection of keys and what procedures they have in place to avoid the spread of the virus when handing them to you..

Rest assured estate agents are making provisions for this. For example, one particular agent has restricted the storage and collection of keys to one sole individual who will disinfect the keys and will provide you with disinfectants to clean the keys again on collection.

Ultimately, in these uncertain times we must all come together and act in good faith and with trust to ensure we are not incurring unforeseen costs and so that we can continue to function and live safely and securely, in good health, in our homes.

At Blacks Solicitors we pride ourselves on providing you with the highest standard of client care and a seamless Conveyancing experience. So, if you are considering selling and/or buying a house do not let Covid-19 stop you. Focus on your health and wellbeing and let us deal with the rest.

If you require advice or have any questions in relation to any of the above, please do not hesitate to email our specialist Residential Conveyancing team.

 

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Amer Ali

Trainee Solicitor
AmerAli@LawBlacks.com
0113 207 1094
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Amer Ali