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Diary of a Conveyancer (in these challenging times…) Part Six

Posted on 1 May 2020 by Laura Godfrey

Diary of a Conveyancer (in these challenging times…) Part Six

And just like that, it is May!

In recent weeks, despite the current situation, we have still been dealing with completions of:

  • Land sales and purchases,
  • Sales and purchases of new build properties,
  • Sales and purchases of empty or tenanted properties,
  • Right to buy,
  • Remortgages and redemptions,
  • Property transfers,
  • Lease extensions and,
  • Voluntary first registrations.

The main area that we have experienced delays has been transactions in chains. A chain starts with someone who is just a buyer and finishes with someone who is just a seller. Everybody in between is both buying and selling a property so all the transactions are dependent on each other.

At the best of times, it can be difficult managing a chain (particularly when they are large) since all the parties involved must be willing and able to complete on one day. 

Buying and/or selling in a chain can be very stressful as it can take longer for all the transactions to be coordinated plus those parties in the chain also have the worry of someone pulling out and the chain collapsing. Even in a normal market, chains break down – people change their minds, someone may not be able to get a mortgage or could find they are unemployed, surveys could reveal structural issues…etc. 

The Government has advised people not to pull out of transactions due to COVID-19 but to wait and be patient for lockdown measures to be eased/lifted before exchanging contracts.

The current Government guidance is that if you are buying or selling an empty property you can continue as normal. Those who are buying can either wait to move into the property once lockdown measures have been eased/lifted or they can go into the property and deep clean before moving in.

However, this may not be possible in a chain of transactions, as by their very nature, chains tend to involve people who are living in a property which they intend to sell before moving to another property (which may also be occupied). The current Government guidance in this situation is to delay exchanging contracts and completing whilst lockdown measures are in place.

For those client I have who find themselves in chains, my aim at this time is to get their matters into a position, as much as possible, where they would be ready to exchange contracts and complete once lockdown measures have been eased/lifted.

At Pardoes we understand that even at the best of times moving house can be a very stressful time. Buying and/or selling a house is probably one of the most important financial decisions someone will ever make, which is why as a team we do our utmost to ensure that the whole process goes as swiftly and smoothly as possible.

Posted in: Buying & Selling Your Home