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Moving Home? The ‘new normal’ on how the process works.

22nd July 2020 by John Munro

Categories: Covid-19
Tags: , , , , , ,

Although people wanting to sell and move home in the UK are now allowed to do so, it is not a return to normal. Social distancing measures and public health guidance have meant all parties needing to adapt and be flexible, altering their usual practices.

Laceys look at each step of the process and what key changes are now the ‘new normal’.

Before you market your property

You can shave weeks off the moving process, and head-off problems before they arise, if you instruct a conveyancing solicitor at the outset of the process to prepare the sales pack. They will deal with the various identity requirements, complete property information forms, and pull together all the information that is necessary for a sale to proceed.

Covid-19 guidance suggests where possible, conveyancers get all paperwork signed electronically, however where using an electronic signature is not possible, paperwork will be posted. If the legal document needs witnessing, the witness will need to be physically present but maintain social distancing and not share pens.

Listing your property

Since May, you have been able to put your home on the market and start to look for properties you would like to move to.

Contact your local estate agents to find out how they are working and follow the advice they put forward. Estate agents can visit your property to take photos and videos, however if anyone in your household is showing symptoms of Covid-19 or self-isolating they should not visit your property.

Viewing your property

No open house viewings should take place, and where possible, virtual viewings should replace physical viewings.

However, if you have someone who is keen to place an offer, it is likely they will want to see the property in person. In this case, guidance suggests only one professional and up to two other adults per viewing, and where viewers need to be accompanied by small children they should be kept from touching surfaces.

You should open all your internal doors and turn any lights on if needed prior to the viewing to avoid unnecessary handling of surfaces during the viewing. Also encourage people to wash their hands when they come into the house, either by providing hand sanitiser or allowing them to use the bathroom.

Ideally, you should vacate the property whilst the viewing takes place and once the viewing has finished, wipe down door handles/handrails/lift controls or other ‘touch points’,  especially in the kitchen and bathroom.

If you are viewing a property, consider going outside commutable hours and avoiding public transport, where possible. Wash your hand before entering the property, maintain social distancing of 2m and keep the visit as short as possible.

Making an offer

Offers can be made and accepted in the normal way, and buyers can also now arrange for a tradesperson to carry out inspections. This should be carried out by appointment and only one person at a time where possible.

Removals

Removal firms can operate but they must adhere to Government guidance which states how and when work can be carried out in people’s homes.

Further advice?

Our business has rapidly adapted to these unusual times. Our solicitors are remote working and we have procedures in place to take into account the many new aspects that Covid-19 has brought to the world in which we now operate.

We are fully open for business and would be very pleased to speak to you about how we can help you now and in the future.

For further information or a general chat please call John Munro on 01202 205031 or email John on j.munro@laceyssolicitors.co.uk and he or a member of his team will be happy to help.

John Munro

Partner — Commercial and Residential Property

Direct dial: 01202 205031

Email

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  • “Changing solicitors is not to be undertaken lightly. However really impressed with the way that John Munro and his associates have dealt with us over the last couple of years in a variety of complex property related transactions and on the commercial and personal front as well. We look forward to working with them going forward.”

    Malcolm Tice, Director - Tice & Son Ltd

  • “Having dealt with Laceys on many a sale and purchase I’ve always found them to be efficient, knowledgeable and attentive. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to family, friends and clients.”

    Stuart Cockram - Frost and Co

  • “We have always been very happy with the service provided by Laceys Solicitors, in both our business legal requirements and domestic property conveyancing.”

    Mark Edney

  • “You are our solicitor Superhero! Very grateful. ”

    Maria - Tom Frowde Architects

John joined Laceys in 2001 on a training contract, having completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Law in 2000, and qualified as a solicitor in 2003. He is now the Head of the Commercial and Residential Property Departments.

He is also the firm’s Senior Responsible Officer under the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) with overall responsibility for the management of the property team and their delivery of the excellent service that our clients have come to expect.

John acts in his own capacity for a number of commercial property owners, developers and investors, but also allocates time to ensure his team are up to speed with changing law and professional regulations and clients are provided with members of the team who possess the right skills to deal with their individual requirements, delivering projects in the most time and cost-efficient manner.

Outside of work John seems to spend a great deal of time ferrying his children around but occasionally gets to put his feet up and listen to his eclectic collection of vinyl. He is also not averse to a good cheeseboard and a glass of IPA.

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