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I was going to sell my house. Should I wait until all this is over?

Posted on 24th April 2020 in Residential Property, Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted by

Nick Conner

Partner and Solicitor
I was going to sell my house. Should I wait until all this is over?

While every transaction is different, it will generally take 2-3 months from the date a buyer is found to the buyer getting the keys, i.e. completion. Taking into account that lead-in time, there is logic in sellers still trying to get their house sales tied up now, and we continue to be instructed on new deals. However, there are a number of practical issues to consider which we will look into here.


Property photographs

If the property is not yet on the market, estate agents will have different approaches to visiting and taking photos. From our experience, if the property is vacant then estate agents will still be happy to visit and take photos for the purposes of marketing the property online and compiling a brochure. If the property is occupied, either by the seller or tenants, some agents may still be happy to take photos but we would suggest these to be in the minority.



Again, if the property is vacant, agents may be happy to conduct viewings in person if the buyer is happy with that approach, but this would be the exception. We have seen many agents promoting virtual viewings online, and have been instructed ourselves by buyers who have agreed to proceed on that basis, i.e. without having seen the property in person.


Off market

All agents will have a database of interested buyers identifying the key areas and even roads of interest to them. Therefore if you are thinking about selling, speak with a local agent and ask if they have people on their database who are interested in your area. Even if no formal brochure can be prepared as yet, a buyer with their heart set on that area may well be happy to proceed. They may perhaps even ask you to take some photos to email to agent.


Be ready to sell

Regardless of whether or not you put the property on the market at this stage, it is good to get a solicitor involved at the earliest stage. We can help identify any quirks / areas likely to prompt enquiry with the legal title that would be raised by a buyer during the sale process. Examples include: boundary disputes, covenant or access issues, solar panels, private water or private drainage. If those areas can be looked at ahead of a sale being agreed, that will save time in the long-run and reduce the risk of the sale falling through.


For further guidance on selling or buying a home during the Coronoavirus pandemic visit our support hub, or contact a member of our Residential Property team.

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