[UPDATED 13/05] FAQs: What impact does the Coronavirus have on home buyers?

UPDATE 13/05/20:

Thank you all – our doors are open again!

Through the efforts of you – our courageous keyworkers and community – we can safely welcome you back!

The government has announced today (Wednesday 13th May) that Estate Agents can open; viewings are permitted; show homes can open; removal companies and the other essential parts of the sales and letting process are re-started with immediate effect.

Full details can be found here.
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Our plan is to enable people to move home safely, in line with the social distancing advice – health and safety is paramount!

Following government guidelines, we are once again able to organise expert valuations and personal viewings, as well as offering these services virtually.

If you wish to discuss any property questions with us or find out more about moving safely, please call us.


 

We understand these are exceptional times and circumstances, so we want to provide you with reassurance and guidance on how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting our Residential Sales service for those wanting to, or in the middle of buying a home.

This handy guide has been put together by our Sales team and is based on the most popular questions we are currently asked.

Q. Are viewings still going ahead?

A. Viewings in person can now be organised where safety can be guaranteed in accordance with social distancing guidance. We are still offering virtual viewings and appraisals via WhatsApp, Facebook, and Skype, so please contact us to discuss your options.

We are encouraging people to view our properties online or to contact us and request further details. Our team are working at a limited, safe capacity in our offices, and remotely, so are still available to answer any questions and offer advice. We are constantly monitoring Government guidelines and will update you accordingly.

Q. Can I still move home during the Coronavirus pandemic?

A. Following updated Government guidelines, homebuyers can now continue with their home move. As of 13th May 2020, viewings are now permitted; show homes can open; removal companies and the other essential parts of the sales and letting process have re-started with immediate effect.

Health and safety is paramount, so our plan is to enable people to move home safely, in line with social distancing advice.

Following government guidelines, we are once again able to organise expert valuations and personal viewings, as well as offering these services virtually.

Q. What if an extension goes beyond the terms of a mortgage agreement?

A. As the information currently stands, UK Finance has confirmed that to support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion, all mortgage lenders will be working on ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to 3 months, which should enable them to move at a later date.

If a customer’s circumstances change during this 3 month period or the terms of the house purchase change significantly and continuing with the mortgage would cause house buyers to face financial hardship, lenders will work with customers to help them manage their finances as a matter of urgency.

Q. I am in a chain – what will happen now?

A. The great news, as we understand it from Government advice, is that with the legal profession back to work, legal matters can continue. Our dedicated sales progression team is advising buyers and sellers as chains move to completion, the succinct information they’re providing being vital now the property market is now able to operate again.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our friendly team.

Q. Is it a good time to buy now?

A. Now that Estate Agents are able to open their doors again, it is entirely possible to resume your property move under safe conditions. With our precautions in place and the industry able to operate across all sectors, we believe it will be a very good time to buy.

Ultimately, it depends on your personal circumstances and how comfortable you feel moving at this time. If you aren’t sure of the best course of action, please feel free to call one of our friendly team, who will be happy to provide you with all the options available that best suit your needs.

Q. What is happening to interest rates?

A. The Bank of England Base Rate is currently at 0.1%, reduced from 0.25% in March to help maintain economic stability. For homeowners on a variable rate or those looking to remortgage, you will notice a reduction in mortgage payments.

Q. What is happening to the property market?

A. At the start of 2020, we saw high numbers of sales and achieved excellent prices for our clients, showing there was confidence in the marketplace, but understandably, things slowed down during the COVID-19 shutdown. The great news is that the early summer market has resumed with an above-average level of sales agreed and enquiries coming through.

If anyone is thinking about selling or buying, we highly recommend speaking with us. We’re now able to organise in-person meetings, as well as virtually, to find out what you’re looking to achieve, including face-to-face and virtual tours and market appraisals.

Q. I have sold my house and need to move – what is the process now?

A. We would advise anyone selling their property to confirm their legal position with their solicitor and work closely with their agent.

Those in this position with us, we are remaining in regular communication to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. It’s important that all parties involved in a property chain work together with the understanding that things will take longer than originally anticipated. Now that the market has opened up again, however, we expect the process to speed up considerably.

 


We are still open for business

We’re still here to help you with any property needs and/or questions you have; and now, we can organise safe meetings in person alongside our virtual viewings, and talk over the phone. If you’d like to speak with one of our friendly Sales team, please call us on 01903 213 281 or email sales@michaeljones.co.uk

Stay alert and stay safe.

 


Content accurate at time of publishing.

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