On 23rd March 2020, the UK was placed in lockdown in an unprecedented effort to combat Covid-19.  As a result of this lockdown, the property market came to a virtual standstill with valuations and viewings unable to take place, and all non-essential moves banned.

From today, after 7 weeks of the country being in lock down, it has been announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick that conveyancers, estate agents and removal companies in England can restart work with immediate effect. 

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

“Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process from viewings to removals. Our step-by-step plan is based on the latest guidance to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved. This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so”.

What this means for you.

Firstly, the people that were mid-way through the conveyancing process and had to put their transaction on hold due to the restrictions can now look to moving forward to exchange and completing as soon as they wish.

For those who were wanting to sell, they can now allow agents access to their property to obtain valuations with a view to starting marketing.  Purchasers are now permitted to view properties and surveys and mortgage valuations can go ahead. 

It is of course essential that in doing so social distancing guidelines from Public Heath England are fully observed at all times.

How can Blaser Mills Law help?

It is often the case that sellers do not instruct a conveyancer until they have accepted an offer.  In this situation, choosing a conveyancer can sometimes be rushed in an attempt to get things moving quickly, which in itself is not ideal.  There are however many advantages to instructing Blaser Mills Law as soon as you start marketing (or even beforehand).  Issues that may arise during the transaction can be identified and addressed at this stage resulting in a speedier sale once you have your buyer.  It can also remove some of the stress involved in moving, giving yourself time to deal with things at an early stage.

There are various aspects that we can address for you before you have a buyer which include:

  • Verifying your identity –  This would need to be dealt with before contracts could be issued to your buyers conveyancer.  Dealing with it now means that contracts can be issued faster once you have a buyer. We deal with this remotely using cutting edge technology so this can be done from the safety of your home.
  • Obtaining the Title to the property – This will either be downloaded from the Land Registry or ordered from your lender.  Having them ready not only means that we are able to issue a contract pack to your buyers conveyancer more quickly once you have accepted an offer, but any potential issues or missing documents can be identified and addressed before it causes delays in the transaction.
  • Complete the Property Information form, Leasehold Information form (where the property is leasehold) and Fittings and Contents List – These forms are often rushed in an attempt to get them back to your conveyancer quickly.  Why not start completing them at the earliest possible opportunity to give yourself time to concentrate on these as much as possible and locate supporting documents such as planning consents, completion certificates and guarantees.  Providing comprehensive replies to these forms can avoid the need for additional enquiries being raised, thereby speeding up the overall transaction time.  Blaser Mills Law can also check these through and address any issues that could delay a transaction and resolve them swiftly.
  • Leasehold information pack – Where the property is leasehold this can be requested before you have accepted an offer.  It can often take several weeks to obtain a Leasehold Information Pack from a managing agent or freeholder.  Requesting it early will mean it can be provided to your buyers conveyancer much earlier in the transaction.

If you would like to discuss getting a head start on your sale, please contact Lisa Harris, Partner in the Residential Property team on 01494 478609  or email property@blasermills.co.uk.