Covid-19 and buying or selling residential property

    Covid-19 and buying or selling residential property

    Below is a list of frequently asked questions about buying or selling residential property during the Covid-19 outbreak.

    What can I do to be ready to market my property?

    One of the main things that can slow down a transaction is missing documents. We thoroughly recommend giving your house a ‘health check’. Consider the below:

    Make sure you have up-to-date service records available

    For example:

    • When was your boiler last checked?
    • Your chimney swept?
    • Electrics checked?
    • Septic tank emptied?
    • Oil delivered?

    Even if you can't book services now, you can enquire as to cost and whether the service provider has a waiting list for new customers.

    Sort through your paperwork

    Prepare a file of the above documents and any other documents you have in connection with the property. For example, any warranties or guarantees. These will be really useful for the buyers and will save you time when packing later.

    Don’t forget, they will be useless to you when you don’t own the property if they are in connection with items you are leaving behind.

    Tidy, organise and de-junk

    Not everyone can visualise as well as others. It’s a good idea to spend the extra time at home getting the house ready for viewings. 

    I'm selling my house: When should I instruct a solicitor?

    We find that the transactions where people have instructed us in the very early stages are the ones that run the smoothest. If you contact us as soon as a property is marketed (as opposed to when an offer has been accepted), we can take your instructions immediately.

    There is plenty our legal team can do in anticipation of a sale. For example:

    1. Review your deeds and check that all is in good order. This is in anticipation of any query your agents may have when preparing your sales particulars and, of course, your buyer when an offer is received.
    2. Carry out ID checks.
    3. Paperwork. It can be a time-consuming you want to get it right the first time. If the forms are sent out early then you will have plenty of time to review and complete them. We are always on hand to answer any questions that you may have.

    You cannot be too prepared. Preparing a ‘sellers pack’ like this can not only take weeks off normal transaction times, it also has the benefit of reducing the number of house purchases or sales that fall through.


    Will I have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax?

    The Chancellor announced on 8 July 2020 that homeowners in England won’t have to pay stamp duty on the first £500,000 of a property’s purchase price. This stamp duty holiday will be in place immediately until 31 March 2021.

    Please contact us for further information.

    How can we help?

    Our Residential Property Team is here for you. Contact us and we’ll make sure the right legal advisor gets back to you.

    Contact us today



    This information is given to the best of our knowledge and does not constitute individual legal advice upon which you can rely. The situation relating to Covid-19 is constantly evolving and may have changed since this document was produced. For up to date advice on your own situation, please contact us before taking any action.

    Last updated 8 July 2020

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