Like everything, the process of conveyancing (which is the process of legally sorting out the purchase of a property for you) has been affected.

The Conveyancing Association (CA) have advised where possible for electronic contracts to be used to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. They have also warned their members to prepare for sales not going through because of obvious reasons.

Below are some points that will keep you well informed and hopefully help you in your discussions with your solicitor/ conveyancer:

  • If you have exchanged your contracts already, you should get written confirmation/permission from your mortgage lender that you can extend the offer period during this period of lockdown. Also, if you need to extend the process because of the current situation, that all parties should be in agreement and involve everyone in the process too to make sure no one is left out of the loop.

  • You will probably be asked by your solicitor if you can still afford to go ahead with the purchase and be sensible, don’t carry on if you know you don’t have the income to support the proposed mortgage debt. Think very carefully before signing contracts or exchanging contracts and if you do decide to sign and exchange make sure your solicitor puts a clause in the contract that deals with the possible effects that Coronavirus may have that prevent you from completing the purchase.

  • If you have a mortgage offer ready to go that is higher than 60% of the purchase price of the property you are looking to buy, you need to be aware that house price volatility can affect the lenders ability to carry on with the mortgage you have approved at this time. Simply put, if the house you are buying is worth less than the price that you agreed to buy it at,your lender will have to reduce the amount they can lend which means all sorts of re negotiations may need to happen.

  • If you are in a ’property chain’ (that’s where the property you are buying is being sold by someone and they in turn are buying something else but need to sell their property to you first in order to buy the one they want and so on until you get to the end of the ‘chain’)and someone dies in that chain then this will impact the amount of time it will take to complete the purchase as the deceased estate will need to be settled before the property can be sold which delays the property chain completing or they may take the property off the market all together which will collapse the ‘chain’.

This list is not exhaustive, and your solicitors will have received guidance from their regulatory body.

At Simpson Financial Services we are here to help and if you have any questions or concerns that are of a legal nature, your solicitor is first port of call or if you are concerned about your mortgage offer  and if you are thinking about not proceeding with your purchase then please contact us to see what your options may be.

From all of us at Simpson Financial Services stay Safe. Stay at Home. Save Lives.