Buying and Selling Property in the Current Climate
Buying and selling property can be a bit like trying to navigate a minefield at the best of times. Add a global pandemic into the mix and it might seem even more complicated or impossible. You might find yourself questioning whether or not you should even be looking at selling your home or buying a new property and more importantly where to start if you decide to go ahead.
Over the next couple of paragraphs, we will give you some practical info on where the market stands in regards to mortgages and lending and the legal process that is required when buying and selling property for the current times.
How are Mortgage Lenders Impacting Buying and selling property?
Josh Lee from the UK Adviser Group (www.ukadviser.co.uk) had this to say with regards to mortgages etc
Where do lenders currently stand when it comes to buying and selling property? The majority of lenders have been changing the criteria required on a weekly basis. As it currently stands lenders are offering 85% of LTV products available on purchases, re-mortgages and buy-to-let properties.
It goes without saying that social distancing is having an impact on surveys, and physical valuations are not able to go ahead. However, lenders are using AVM (auto valuation model) and remote desktop valuations, allowing numerous people to continue buying and selling property.
With regards to new builds, newly converted properties and HMO’s, all applications have been put on hold until physical valuations can go ahead, as they are unable to do desktop valuations on these types of properties.
From a timescale point of view – where a valuation can go ahead, there is no delay and applications are running as normal, as most lenders are now working from home. Again, this will allow many people to continue buying and selling property.
Legal Point of View
Sam Gill at Glaisyers Solicitors ( https://www.glaisyers.com/ ) has given the following advice re the legal process.
When it comes to buying and selling property from a legal point of view, again there are plenty of points to take into consideration. Here are just a few of those:
Exchange and Completion
Currently everyone is being asked to have a simultaneous exchange and completion on the same day when buying and selling property. This means that you have security before exchange as the funds will already have to be in place before committing to the exchange. However, this may not always be practical, especially if there is a chain involved.
It goes without saying that providing ID is vitally important when buying and selling property. With regards to ID, proof of address etc, scanned certified ID is currently being accepted as long as it has been certified by the post office. For ID it has to be either an up-to-date passport or driving license. For proof of address we require a bank statement or utility bill within the last 3 months. We will accept completed initial client care documentation scanned in via e mail.
For signed documents such as: transfer deed, mortgage deed, contract – the advice is to send the original signed documents in the post and also send scanned copies in via email. Most solicitors are working on a rota basis in terms of actually going into the office to deal with relevant paperwork. Again all of this paperwork is necessary when buying and selling property.
To move a sale forward when buying and selling property there are lots of questions that must be asked. At the time of writing this all enquiries are being responded to as normally as possible, as the majority of this is done by phone and email anyway.
The goal of buying and selling property in most cases is to physically move. At the moment you need to be very careful when it comes to the actual move. The majority or removal firms are not currently working, and if they are, then it will not be at full capacity and all the obvious social distancing measures have to be in place.
Unfortunately, some sales are facing issues with mortgage lenders, buyers and sellers not wanting to commit and in some cases their solicitors not wanting to commit until restrictions have been lifted. This does not mean it has to completely go on hold, work can continue up-to-the point of exchange subject to the mortgage lender.
It goes without saying that once the restrictions have been lifted, we will be able to exchange and complete as normal. Just a word of caution both buyers and sellers can pull out at any time leading up to exchange.
Buying and Selling Property Going Forward
As restrictions are slowly eased and we start to come out of lockdown, the world will remain a different place to the one beforehand. Social distancing and a new normal will be around for a long time and like everything else, we will continue to adapt so everyone can continue buying and selling property as they always have.
Till next time
For more info why not take a look at some of our previous blogs. https://www.philipellisestateagents.co.uk/news/