06, June, 2023

Can I sell my house during the coronavirus outbreak?

We Buy Any House

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We are all finding ourselves in unprecedented times, not knowing how to move forward with our everyday lives after the new stay-at-home measures were put into place just over two weeks ago. One of the biggest questions that our customers have come to us with is how to handle the sale of their property. Here at We Buy Any House, we’ve tried to source answers to your questions to help you get through this troubling time.

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Can I still host viewings to sell my house?

With the stay-at-home regulations in place at the moment, hosting viewings in person is not an option. It could put both yourself, anyone living in your house, and those coming to view the house at risk, and is not safe. However, several estate agents and property companies, including ourselves, have started hosting virtual viewings. This allows potential buyers to still see your property and ask you any questions that they may have, without putting anyone at risk. There are several ways that you can host these viewings – you can ask your estate agent and see what they recommend. If you’re choosing to sell on your own, we would recommend using Skype, Zoom, or WhatsApp for a video call. This will allow you to walk your viewer around your property, seeing your house through your mobile phone or tablet and let them get a good feel for your house.

Can I still accept an offer for my house?

If you receive an offer on your house from your virtual viewings, or perhaps a delayed offer from before the measures and someone viewed your house then, you’re still able to accept their offer to buy your house. After accepting the offer, the rest of the process is likely to be a little slower than usual. Conveyancing is currently being slowed down to delay completion until after the stay at home measures are lifted. However, you’re still able to accept the offer and get this process started during the lockdown.

My house was due to complete before the lockdown started – what do I do?

The official recommendation that the government has released in regards to house sale completions is for all parties to do what they can to push back the completion date. It is recognised, however, that delaying isn’t always possible in every case. If you’re unable to delay your move for whatever reason, you are still able to move house. The government have advised that you practise social distancing for every step of your move and that you stay as safe as possible throughout the process.

Are moving companies still active?

If you’re due to move in the lockdown and haven’t got your moving van sorted yet, you may find it harder to arrange. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, of course. It was recommended that removal companies take every precaution possible. Most companies are trying to complete the moves for homeowners that were booked in before the lockdown, but they were strongly advised in the guidelines to cease working whenever it was possible for them to do so. Some companies have already closed for the foreseeable, but self-employed removal companies may still be operating throughout the lockdown with social distancing regulations implemented into their service.

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Can I still apply for a mortgage if I find a house that I want to buy?

Currently, mortgage applications are being considered, but they have been changed somewhat. Most lenders are only offering mortgages that require a deposit of 40% or more, which compared to the usual deposit varying between 5-20%, is a significant increase. Most applicants aren’t going to have a 40% deposit to put down, meaning that mortgages are harder to achieve now than ever before. It’s also going to be incredibly hard to arrange the mortgage if you did have the 40% deposit, as any face-to-face meetings aren’t going to be arranged until the social distancing measures are over. You may be able to agree a good amount over the phone, but securing a mortgage was a lengthy process before the lockdown, and will only take longer during it.

How can I help my house sell?

Homeowners have been advised to halt the sale of their properties until the social distancing measures have been lifted, but we appreciate that this isn’t an option for everyone. If your house was already on the market, or due to the pandemic you’re looking to sell because of financial issues, there are still options for you.

If your house is already on the market, and you made arrangements with your estate agent before the lockdown started, you’re in a stronger position for your property to sell. You’ll have your house online already, with professional photos to advertise it, allowing potential buyers to get a good impression of your house and why they should buy it. You can talk to your estate agent about setting up virtual viewings, and hopefully, you’ll be successful.

If your house isn’t yet on the market, you’re still able to get it listed. You can call a local estate agents, as most of them will be working from home, and arrange to have your house advertised. They will not be able to visit your property to conduct a valuation, or take photos, but they can get the relevant information from you and list your property. They may even be able to offer valuations via video conferencing, a service that we have implemented into our service to keep our customers safe for each step of the process. You can take your own photographs of your property to use when you advertise as well, making your sale comply with all of the social distancing guidelines.

Whether you had advertised your property before the outbreak or not, you are still likely going to be affected by the property market. All expectations are for house values to drop, which isn’t what any homeowner wants but is out of our hands. For now, values haven’t been affected as heavily as expected, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this is going to change. Part of selling a house is negotiating the price, and in the current climate, homeowners who are wanting or needing to sell their house are having to accept a lower price than they may have been initially aiming for. Research suggests that in the coming weeks, this is going to be more prevalent, and this is likely to cause issues for homeowners across the country. Many homeowners who were intending to sell their house this year are getting ahead of this expected drop now and selling their house for a lower price than they expected, but not as low as it’s due to be in the coming months.

Selling a house during the coronavirus outbreak isn’t going to be easy, but it isn’t an impossible venture. If you want to try and sell your house, get in touch with us today. We’re still operating and are doing everything we can to help our customers reach a sale.

We buy any home in as little as 7 days, or timescales to suit you. Head to our website for more information.

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