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Buying and selling a home during coronavirus

Are you looking to move home but want to know how coronavirus has changed the home buying and selling process? Here is the latest advice to be aware of, plus details of possible delays you could face, house price activity and how to negotiate.

Post updated: April 27th, 2021

buying home coronavirus

Can I move house now?

Yes, you can move home in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Estate agents are now open, viewings are taking place in a socially distanced manner and conveyancers are busy processing transactions.

What, even if I live in an area in lockdown?

Yes. For more information on this, look at our latest advice on Can I move during a local lockdown? 

Is it a good idea to move now?

With the experience of lockdown and more time than ever spent at home, many people have re-evaluated their housing needs and are making the choice to move.

There is also reduced stamp duty in place until the end of June with tapering until October. Stamp duty cuts, alongside an increased demand for certain homes post-lockdown, has resulted in rising house prices.

With demand outstripping supply, it’s definitely a “sellers market” as newly listed homes are being snapped up. This puts sellers in a strong position to negotiate and pick from the best buyers who are able to move quickly.

Our House Price Watch report indicates that the average rate of annual house price growth is 6.9%, the highest rate in 5 years.

Want to find out how much you can borrow? Get fee-free advice from our mortgage experts at L&C

What about the stamp duty holiday?

The Chancellor announced a stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland lasting until June 2021. In England and Northern Ireland, until the end of June, you don’t have to pay any stamp duty if you are purchasing a property worth less than £500,000, unless it is a second home. Then, from 1st July 2021 until 30th September 2021, the rules will change so that no stamp duty will be paid on the first £250,000 of the property’s value, before returning to £125,000 on 1st October 2021.

This will save buyers as much as £15,000, if they are buying a property of £500,000 or more.

You can find full details on stamp duty rates in our guide or use the calculator below to see how much you could save.


Stamp Duty Calculator for England & NI, Scotland and Wales

1. Where is the property you are buying? more info

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2. Enter your property price

Please enter a value for your property over £10,000

3. Are you a first time buyer? more info

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4. Are you a UK resident? more info

4. Is this an investment purchase or second home? more info

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Selling a house during coronavirus

If you’re selling, when it comes to appointing your estate agent, give them a call to speak to them. Whilst estate agents are open, some require you to book an appointment in advance.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can find your nearest and best performing estate agents using our comparison tool below.


Find and Compare Local Estate Agents

This form will take you to for the results


Viewing a house during coronavirus 

Home viewings are permitted, but following government advice that states:

  • Initial viewings should be done virtually
  • There should be no more than 2 households inside the property at any one time. This includes the estate agent. Anyone in a support bubble with another household, however, will count as part of that household.
  • Viewings in person need to be arranged by appointment only
  • When physically viewing properties, where possible, you should maintain a 2 meter distance where possible, avoid touching surfaces, wash your hands regularly, and bring your own hand sanitiser
  • If people are being shown around your current home, you should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing with standard household cleaning products
  • Estate agents and potential buyers/tenants on viewings are advised to wear face masks

How do I make an offer on a house I want to buy during coronavirus?

Government guidance states you are free to make or accept an offer or reserve a property as normal. But:

  • Be aware that there can be a greater risk that parties may need to delay because someone is showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating. Where needed your legal adviser should advise you and help make sure that any contracts or agreements are as flexible as possible to accommodate this risk.
  • Prospective purchasers may wish to visit a property again once they have agreed a sale, for example to measure up. Where this has been agreed to, the above advice on prioritising virtual visits, hygiene measures, maintaining social distancing at all times and mitigating contact where possible should be followed.
  • Purchasers may also want to send in tradespeople to carry out inspections. Where possible these should be scheduled with one person visiting the property at any time. Where a tradesperson is visiting the property, the occupier should maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly and minimise contact as far as possible, for example by staying in another room.

Should I negotiate?

Yes. You should always assume that the price a property is marketed at is up for negotiation and haggle over the asking price. But be aware that, as mentioned above, we are in a sellers market.  Following lockdown, people have re-evaluated their priorities and demand for the “best in class” properties, particularly those with a garden, office space and great wifi, has shot up.

Want to find out how much you can borrow? Get fee-free advice from our mortgage experts at L&C

Be prepared for delays

When it comes to buying and selling homes, we aren’t quite back to normal.

The government is calling on “all parties involved to be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves, for example if someone becomes ill with coronavirus during the moving process or has to self-isolate.”

Many property professionals, from mortgage brokers to surveyors, are also experiencing delays due to high demand for their services at a time when staff are working from home or just beginning to return to the office.

How to avoid delays when buying and selling a home during coronavirus

Can I use removals firms during coronavirus

Yes. You will want to get quotes from removals firms as early as possible in your home moving process to discuss availability.

The government also advise that you should:

  • Do as much of the packing yourself, where possible
  • Clean your belongings, with standard domestic cleaning products before they are handled by the removals firm
  • Leave internal doors open and seek to minimise your contact with the crew, maintaining 2 metres distance where possible.
  • Do not provide refreshments 

Cleaning services

You may want to speak to a cleaning firm for your home, or the house you are moving into. A deep clean of your onward home once it has been vacated might help put you at ease. To find a cleaner near you, simply type “cleaning services” in the tool below.


Let us know your thoughts, questions and concerns in the comments below

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  1. Nick HinesNick Hines

    It has become a crazed market at the moment with even the estate agents jumping on the band wagon. I spoke with one today who told me that have had to sell my property before I am allowed to even view a property stating government guidelines has dictated this so avoid any unnecessary viewing.
    It’s not just a sellers market it is now a greedy estate agent market who now pick and choose the most juicy clients. Who sells their house before looking for another isn’t that what buying chains are for ?

  2. Elsa TicaElsa Tica

    Keep up the good work, thanks!

  3. S porterS porter

    Bought a house in August 2019 didn’t get an offer on our old house until feb 2020, which we accepted. Before exchange lockdown happened. We have now exchanged and because of the extended time we are now facing a capital gains bill. Surely if the government locks down the country and tells us not to move, we should not be penalised financially

  4. Dave SandersonDave Sanderson

    I’m 71, my partner 65, we each have our own house, we plan to marry and buy one together. We know where and what we want. However, although the stamp duty holiday is very tempting, we still think we’ll wait until next year to put our houses on the market, just in case we fall ill in the autumn when a second wave seems likely. After all, there’s far more poeople involved in a move than either of us has met in the last 4 months, so the chances of infection are much higher.

  5. RuthRuth

    We are desperate for the housing market to re open in Wales. We sold our house in Birmingham in June 2019, only to have the chain collapse as we planned the move.
    We were lucky enough to find temporary rental accommodation, which allowed our purchasers to move in. We waited and waited for our vendors to find a new property, but we are still waiting nearly a year later.
    We have since found an alternative property, but that is over the border in Wales, and we can’t view it until restrictions are lifted.
    The system would be so much better if vendors were legally bound to move out after accepting an offer. We have paid the price of months of extra rent and ridiculous levels of stress. With lockdown on top of that, it has been a totally rotten experience.

  6. Richard HansonRichard Hanson

    When the virus broke out, we were about to make an offer on a house some distance away from our existing home so we would to be closer to our family . We have decided to wait until there is more certainty on the impact of the virus, economy and house prices. Ironically, having dedicated space for home working, good wireless provision, a large garden and a rural location seems to have enhanced our relative value and marketability.

  7. Kath PottsKath Potts

    We have suspended our house sale w/c 18 May as we are both shielding and this may continue longer than the end of June.

    We have two estate agents; one we will reinstate but the other we have sacked and propose to instruct another local firm when the time is right.

  8. Alison FoysterAlison Foyster

    When and how we we be able to travel from Scotland to England to view properties?

  9. MitchMitch

    we started viewing properties weekend of 23rd of May with no issues, just maintaining social distancing and wearing PPE.
    Have now put in an offer and it was accepted on Friday, so joining the queue for paperwork & searches etc now
    Fingers crossed it’s not too long as both of us have no chain!

  10. HuwHuw

    This not the case, nobody is accepting viewings, we have tried to view 4 properties only to be told the vendors are removing their properties from the market for the foreseeable future.

    • PaulaPaula

      Thanks Huw for taking the time to comment. I’m not sure where you are looking but we do know of people who are able to view properties. In many cases this may be after a virtual viewing first. I would keep trying as not all estate agents are the same. There will be some vendors keen to shift their properties as their personal circumstances have changed. Keep trying and good luck.

  11. DTDT

    We had listed our house for sale before Coronavirus but it’s off the market at the moment. Difficult to know what to do at the moment. Minded to wait a few months to see what house prices do. The fact that rental prices have risen may be an indicator that house prices will do the same. House price commentators often get it wrong, the housing market is broken and therefore usuals principles of supply and demand dont apply.

  12. TayoTayo

    Would we be better extending kitchen andputting downstairs loo thAn buying New house we are morgage free thinking long term. Hisve pArkinson new house smaller and price more than selling price ofours wld we be better todo above work and consider moving few years down the line

  13. Elizabeth EverettElizabeth Everett

    I wish I’d known about Homebuyer’s Protection Insurance a few months ago! I had to withdraw from buying a house just before exchange of contracts last October because of issues revealed by the survey and the searches. The property had a leaking roof, and the garden outlined on the Land Registry Plan was significantly smaller than the the estate agent had indicated. Even though my conveyancer was offering a ‘no purchase, no fee’ scheme, overall the non-refundable costs of the buildings survey, the mortgage survey and the search fees cost me £1100 not to buy that house. I am now almost at exchange on another house, and it’s too late to take out the insurance now, so I’m praying all goes ahead this time, as I can’t afford to lose money again if this purchase fall through.

  14. AmandaAmanda

    It’s all too late for us. We were due to exchange the day after we went into lockdown, so everyone was advised not to. After trying to figure it all out for weeks, we then received a request from our buyer for a £27k reduction – the house builder we are buying from says they are still managing to sell at full price so did not need to give us a reduction. We have zero extra money (buyer had already beaten us down loads), so our sale and of course our purchase fell through at the beginning of last week. We have put our house back on the market but have little hope of being able to sell it in time before someone else snaps up the house we were due to move in to. I know it sounds selfish with everything else that’s going on, but the culmination of 9 months of stress and hard work which was literally one day from coming to fruition, all evaporated. So disappointing.

  15. JanJan

    We completed on the sale of our house on 2nd March and we’re due to exchange and complete on our new home on 21st March. vendor then changed his mind and pushed it to 14th April when of course we were in lockdown and he is now self isolating so we are now in an Airbnb with all our money being spent on rental. The property we were buying needs a lot of work doing to it which we will no longer be able to afford to do. We have no options available to us as we are cash buyers we can only hope that something else as good comes on the market cheaper and preferably empty.

  16. MoMo

    Response to Monika’s comment below.
    We are in same situation , deposit already given , completion couldnt take place due to lockdown. Now being asked for £27500 for couple of weeks extension.
    This is all due to the ridiculous govt policy of moving being allowed to a vacant property. My suggestion would be get your solicitor to do a variation of contract . Also get your MP involved, we asked ours to write to housing minister to convey the extreme impact of the policy on NHS staff like us. Involve local or even national newspapers to highlight the discrepancy.
    All the best, hope it works our for you, Citizensadvice is another option.

  17. Monika BhardwajMonika Bhardwaj

    Please Help!
    I’m a buyer of a auction property. Exchange took place on 27.02.2020 completion date was 28.03.20. Due to Corona pandemic things haulted. Seller’s solicitors gave us extension due to lockdown measures until 22.04.20 and has served us with notice period to complete by this Tuesday 28.04.20
    I work for NHS and written then 2 plead letters to give us little more extension, because we are very close to complete.
    They refused and said we will forfeit our deposit of £20,000. They are asking us for pay extra £7,000 if we want further 4 weeks extension and if we would not complete then they will keep our £7,000 as well.
    We have been offered mortgage by Santander yesterday but it is very tight for bank to release the funds by this Tuesday. Paying extra£7,000 now just for the matter of days seems unfair. Circumstances has been very unprecedented. Do we have any rights as a buyer in this situation?
    Please Help!


  18. JonJon

    Hi, I’m in the process of buying a property and have been asked to exchange on 30th April otherwise sale is off. Completion date is Sept with a number of Covid-19 clauses protecting seller. I don’t feel comfortable paying a large deposit with such a long completion date. Is the seller being unreasonable? Thanks.

  19. LynnLynn

    We have no choice to move after of month. We have been in total lockdown as has our daughter in her own home. Should we move into our new home on the day or stay with our daughter for a couple of days bearing in mind that the coronovirus c!an live on the cardboard and plastic boxes for up to 72 hours

  20. RichardRichard

    My daughter, is in the process of buying a new build, she’s exchanges contracts but the house isn’t ready. can she get out of the contract and loose her deposit ( 8K ) I’m concerned that house price will drop in the current climate? thoughts welcome?

  21. BobBob

    Renegotiate on price.

  22. Carl FryerCarl Fryer

    I am a first time buyer with my girlfriend and had planned to exchange on the property by the end of the month. The house is currently empty but with everything going on in the world and the fact that I will need to work from the house, I am unsure whether to exchange now or wait a few months until we hear more about market conditions etc. Can anyone help?

  23. JohnJohn

    Hi I’m a property developer of a small business
    Before the crisis started I had. 3 property sales going though which had put impact on the buyers companies alone ,
    Due to exchange on 26-03-20
    But it was put in force to not happen , to top it off the other two buyers pulled out due to the impact ,
    This has mad my company lose
    1.7 million in sales ,
    I have fill documentation for this ,
    Can I claim anything as I have 800k over draft with Switzerland bank counts ,

  24. SarahSarah

    We exchanged and completed on 18th March. We are house sitting until our new build is ready (was meant to be end of May). Building works have now stopped until this is all over. However home owner needs property back asap as travel plans ceased due to Covid19. All stuff in storage which is also in lockdown. No rentals available. What do I do ? I have two daughters and will be homeless.

  25. Sarah CravenSarah Craven

    Having rapidly moved my exchange/completion forward, despite booked removers cancelling 25/3/20 due to British Association of Removers forbidding their members to go into houses. I luckily found a local man with van who threw my stuff into storage and I completed on sale of flat 27/3/20 just as government advice stopped property sales. I feel relatively fortunate however, with my belongings in storage indefinitely and staying with friend, who is good willed at present. My question is when will building start again, I have reserved a new build due to be ready by October/November, should I go ahead with the next step and put down the deposit, paying and solicitors hourly rate of £260 to do the lengthy search process, should I renegotiate on the price of the new
    build, is it worth waiting for the building industry to be given the go ahead again?

  26. Mary KaneMary Kane

    We agreed a date with our removal firm for 31 March to move our goods out of storage. Full payment had been made up to this date. On 24 March they wrote to say they were postponing this move because of the government’s emergency due to Covid19. I have now received an invoice from the removal company telling me they will take monthly storage charges from me for April, May and June. No explanation given. I feel this is a situation that is not of my making and besides I do not have any funds left to continue storage. The house we are moving into is empty as we had been doing some renovations following completion of the sale mid February. Is this legal for them to take this money. The government guidance I have read on your site says removal companies can move stuff into empty premisies with all the usual precautions. Your comments would be really helpful. Thanks.

  27. David MoseleyDavid Moseley

    We viewed a house in November and offer accepted, searches started. Mid January we were advised that the vendor has applied for Probate. My solicitor said it would be Ok and would be 6 to 8 weeks. Now 10 weeks later and repercussions of COVID 19 government restrictions, we cxannot buy, rent or move. We are in a temporary accommodation (holiday parkhome) paying £1000/month. Should have been 1 month. If we keep paying we will not have enough money to buy the house when restrictions are lifted. The house is empty and I would do the move on my trailer so no contact with anyone. Any help as to how to continue.

  28. Mrs Alison FoysterMrs Alison Foyster

    We seem to be ‘accidental’ second home owners, having moved to the very north of Scotland from England. We kept our property in England, and have been renting it out but decided to sell at the end of last year. How are we affected now? Is it better to rent, or continue with trying to sell?

  29. MaudMaud

    I am currently in the process of purchasing. First time buyers are buying my home, and the property the people I am buying off has no onward sale so we have a small chain.

    The survey of the house I am buying has highlighted some work which needs to be done, I assume this will hold everything up. Would it be acceptable to get some quotes, albeit rough ones, and ask the people I am buying from to reduce the price of the house to cover the work and if the work costs less then I can agree to refund anything over the amount paid? We could all then move and I could have the the work done which should avoid any delays – but would that be acceptable legally?

  30. CarolineCaroline

    My completion was due 9th April but sellers are a couple in their 70s/80s and don’t want to move till this is all over. How long is a piece of string! Appreciating I am not in the worst situation having read some of these comments. This terrible time will pass eventually

  31. MagsMags

    Our house has been sold in Highlands of Scotland and is empty the move / exchange date is the 15th April there is no chain – do you think it possible for it to go ahead with all safety measures in place .?

  32. Barry WBarry W

    Rebecca, I’m not sure exactly what happens on completion day (you say there’s no lenders involved) but it might be worth contacting the other compliant solicitors and working out how to cut her out of the equation, basically get her fired. Or get someone else in her firm to stand in.

  33. Tiffany McCarteTiffany McCarte

    Hi looking for some advice
    We were due to complete sale Monday 30th (tomorrow) last call we received from solicitor was Tuesday saying that everything would be going digital soon then office closed on Wednesday that’s all we have heard. We are in a chain of 3. The sellers of the house we have bought has been unoccupied for 1 year then the buyer waiting to get into ours. There has been a few bumps on the way but now sorted. I am so stressed ready to pop with twins and 2 babies already! I just want this over with! We would be completing the move ourselves we don’t have much to take to new house few things my husband can manage. I am going to write and email to my solicitor today in hope she will get back to us with an upto date response I’m sure we are all worried and anxious at this time! Any advice thank you

  34. RebeccaRebecca

    There are 3 of us in a chain no mortgage on either property the top of the chain has already moved out of the property and our sellers will have vacated and we are both moving ourselves no removal company involved… however 1 of the solicitor is refusing to complete even though all in the chain want it completed… is this legal that the solicitor herself refuse to do as 2 other solicitors and all buyers want ???

  35. SueSue

    We are due to complete on April 15th.
    We asked our conveyancers to ask our buyers if we could come to some sort of agreement to delay as advised by the government.
    They have point blank refused and want us out on this date.
    Our removal company is no longer operating. We have been looking to hire a self drive van but even this is a great worry as we are pensioners with health issues and physically don’t know how we would be able to manage alone.
    We are moving 350 miles away.
    This is an absolute nightmare, if the coronavirus don’t get us the stress will.

  36. Barry WBarry W

    Alexandra, from the government site….

    “What if an extension goes beyond the terms of a mortgage agreement?
    UK Finance have today confirmed that, to support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion, all mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months to enable them to move at a later date.
    If a customer’s circumstances change during this three 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.”

  37. John TaskerJohn Tasker

    We expect to complete within the next 2-3 weeks, and move in 4-6 weeks later to allow for essential renovation work. BUT our builder can’t get supplies and will probably have to cease working. Added to which our storage company is closed. Potentially we will have most of our stuff in storage for months, costing over £500 per month.
    Our only hope is to delay exchange/completion so that our money can earn interest which almost covers our storage costs .
    Oh, and the owners of the house we are house-sitting return soon from Hong Kong and will go into 14 day quarantine in this house….

  38. AlexandraAlexandra

    Good evening the house we are buying nearly completed as we we’re due to exchange and complete tomorrow(we we’re advised that leaving a gap between exchange and completion might put the purchase at risk due to coronavirus) then the person on top of the chain put all on hold due to coronavirus, solicitors told us there is nothing we can do but wait, we understand the situation as both of us are working for the NHS, however we have a mortgage offer until the end of April, we are worried and wondering if the bank would extend the offer given these unforeseen circumstances, much appreciate any help

  39. PhilipPhilip

    Having briefly read Covid-19 Police Powers in England, I note the following provisions : “no-one will be allowed to leave their home “without reasonable excuse”. These measures come into force on Thursday and will last six months, to be reviewed every three weeks. This law has major implications for anyone moving home during theses uncertain times. No reasonable administration can expect its citizens not to move for an indefinite period. So the term “reasonable excuse” is crucial. Where family has ‘Exchanged’ and are legally committed to vacate a property on a given date this is must be considered as essential travel and fall well within terms of “reasonable excuse”. With proof of a Completion Contract it’s highly unlikely that police would disagree.

  40. PhilipPhilip

    We agreed purchase terms with sellers the weekend before Boris locked down the country and instructed solicitors to conduct transaction. They assured me they could do the work working from home having systems in place to work remotely. We are in rented and very anxious to minimise the length of time to Complete. Fortunately we are ‘cash buyers’ and our sellers live elsewhere, so theoretically they have no chain. We’re proceeding with the hope we can ‘achieve the impossible’ and ‘get exit done’ from our rental at a cost of £500 per week.

  41. Barry WBarry W

    BBC: “ Several new activities which are permitted have been added to a list outlined by the PM, including moving house, fulfilling legal obligations and….”,
    So that will hopefully help those who have exchanged, along with the practical steps the (willing/able) removals firm can and must take.

  42. James HJames H

    I understand that movers and moving companies are hesitant in moving at this time. However the other side od this story is…..we were happy to delay given the current lockdown but my rented apartment agency basically said I have to leave my rented apartment next week when I enquired about some possible contingency. They offered no other options but leave. So we are left with no choice but to pack and try to move during the lockdown.
    We will rent a van and do it bit by bit.

  43. Miss S GrantMiss S Grant

    I am an Estate Agent and would like to receive updates, especially on what is happening with buying and selling homes during the coronavirus lockdown and what removal companies should or shouldn’t do.

    Many Thanks.

  44. GaileGaile

    Can I still buy a home buyer’s protection for property purchase now?

  45. ABAB

    We are exchanged and due to complete tomorrow on a new build with first time buyers buying our house. Our move is still going ahead, we would lose everything if we didnt including mortgage offer, surveys, reservation on new house, buyers have left their rental and living with vulnerable parents whilst still working, which is a huge risk. Removals coming as a two man team in separate vehicles wearing protective equipment and adhering to 2m rule as much as possible, and there will be just myself and my partner present. We will have everything ready then vacate whilst they pack up and unload into new house. New owners will delay unloading until we are well clear. We are paying by bank transfer etc, this is a vital move and needs to go ahead and we are minimising the risk to everyone as much as possible. Not ideal but we have followed all social isolation for over a week and again will be in for the forseable after this. I 100% think house moves not exchanged should be halted but those due to complete in the very near future should continue as safely as possible, as stated by Micheal Gove the other morning.

  46. PhilPhil

    I exchanged a few weeks ago and completed last week. My removal company cancelled on me which I totally understand. Luckily my work has provided a van and driver to help, plus I’ve asked a friend. We are going provide a chain and get everything loaded without being close to each other. For the heavy stuff we are going to wear face masks and gloves throughout. I have no choice in the matter as my landlord has refused me staying saying that the new tenants are self moving and are all ready to move in. It has caused me stress as I paid for the full packing service as well so I’ve been doing all the packing myself now for the last 2 days. I think if people are being safe and following the rules, there shouldn’t be any problems.

  47. TheresaTheresa

    We were due to move into a new build tomorrow.
    We are top of the chain of three.
    All set to go then our removals firm closed on Wednesday like many others and then that evening the estate agents closed.
    We are retired and close to the age of self isolating.
    Feel awful for the young family who are due to move into our house.
    Keeping to the Government restrictions we want to keep safe.
    We have agreed with all solicitors to defer. Giving 5-10 days notice.
    What worries us is how long the move will be halted. Weeks or months??
    Very stressed and upset.

  48. DanDan

    House we are buying nearly completed then person In chain put all on hold due to coronavirus.

    I’m ok with this however we have a mortgage offer…which might run out if things don’t get back to normal.

    How likely do you think the bank would extend the offer? Given these unfortunate unforeseen circumstances


  49. Sandra HobbsSandra Hobbs

    I completed on Monday lunchtime. Had booked a van to move this weekend, with help from friends. Now with restrictions, I feel I shouldn’t ask friends to help. I am stuck with all my things in the rental property so can’t actually move into my new home. Would really appreciate some advice if possible. I cannot physically move my furniture myself.

  50. Rachael FinchRachael Finch

    Similar boat to most people. We are due to move this Monday. Removal company at this stage are still honouring this. We are moving 300 miles, my partner has already left his job so we can’t afford to stay where we are plus we have already given notice. I have relocated with work and I am classed as an essential worker. Would we be allowed to actually move??

  51. FrostieFrostie

    Exchange and completion isn’t just something that selfish people want to happen, it isn’t a process in isolation. We are moving 350 miles away. I’ve left my job and started my new one, remotely until we move. My husband has left his job. We are shared owners and our sale absolutely has to complete in 3 weeks or we lose everything. Our children have left their schools; there is sooo much at stake. All the solicitors and agents in this process have been complacent and unprofessional. We have been screaming about getting it all tucked up for bloody weeks now, and were meant to be exchanging on Friday and got an email from our solicitor advising not to exchange!! Argh, have you not been listening to us?!?!
    Our movers still want our business but solicitors are so frigging wishywashy. 🙁

  52. HannahHannah

    I’m meant to exchange and complete on friday, if we don’t complete in the next month we lose our morgatage offer. We can move just using our cars and the use of a van. But if we don’t move we are stuck in our rental which we gave notice on and have to leave. Should we exchange and complete.

  53. Anxiously hopingAnxiously hoping

    I don’t really understand why removal firms are saying stop transactions
    from completing. Moving home responsibly, and safely is more than achieveable with the public health guidance. Our removal company has 2 men coming who will be wearing masks and gloves. They will stay 2 meters apart as much as possible – and it will be possible for the most part. We have been asked to either stay in one room away from them and not move around the property, go in the garden if it’s nice weather or take our daily exercise that day away from the property so the risk is lowered. They are calling us on the day to check we have not had any symptoms. We will them drive our own car to the new property and stay in one room whilst they unload. We have had to agree that they will only put furniture into the relevant rooms but boxes will all be put in the largest downstairs room or garage for us to manage when they leave. We will pay them via online banking.
    I think this is more than reasonable and safe and there are ways to carry out a home move safely if exchange has already taken place.
    Common sense must prevail! There is no reason for people to be left heartbroken and unsure about such transactions.
    We are due to move on Friday and have thousands of pounds already invested. If we don’t move we will spend lockdown without a washing machine, fridge or any money as we are relying upon the new build and it’s appliances and the equity from the house to get by. This is not putting our new home above people’s lives, there is no reason moves cannot take place safely and in full compliance with the guidance.
    Wishing everyone good luck whatever your circumstances!!

  54. Mrs Jean WestbyMrs Jean Westby

    Hi looking for advice could I get a refund on a property, that I have paid the estate agent a fee of £300 to conduct viewings, because of the corona virus, one viewing as been done, before the outbreak was made public. Kind Regards
    Jean Westby

  55. AnxiousAnxious

    I really wish people would stop trying to get house moves done while this is going on. I work for a removal company and because people are still happy to move then I am forced to work. It’s a huge worry having to be around people all day and not being able to distance myself. On top of that we are having to be in peoples houses putting our own health and the health of our families at risk. We could be passing this around without even knowing. Remember that someone’s life is alot more important than you’re new home.

  56. JanetJanet

    I got the keys to my own house 13th March, and had three weeks to get decorating done and new stair rails fitted. My move was scheduled for Friday 3rd April. I had given notice to my letting agency as I have rented for 6 months with my dog, had instructed BT to swap phone and broadband to the new house, had spoken to the council for the council tax, had started with the energy provider, and the water. Now my move has been cancelled!

    I spoke to the letting agency on Monday just gone and they were in the process of closing the office, with staff working from home. I was advised to ‘stay put’, and they would inform the new tenants. What annoys me is I was depending on the deposit refund to pay some bills but now am faced with finding further rent from my limited income (pension). My savings are fast becoming depleted because of house move expenses, and I just wish I could get out of this extremely cold, expensive to heat house and move into my own little one, which is just a 10-12 minute drive away in the same town.

  57. GillianGillian

    Solicitors should not be allowing house moves to continue and complete. It’s ok for them sat working from home and not putting themselves at risk but they are putting buyers and sellers at risk by continuing.
    I own a removal company and we have stopped working until we get more clarification. I am not willing to put my staff, customers and myself at risk in these dangerous times. BAR have also instructed removal companies to stop trading and follow the prime minister’s advice. Moving house is not essential at this time

  58. MichaelMichael

    Looking for some advice.
    We exchanged contracts on a new build September 2019. The anticipated completion date was 28/02/20. This got delayed to March 28th and then delayed again till April 24th 2020 by the builder. (bad weather and other excuses).

    Our mortgage offer is due to expire 17/04/20. We applied for an extension on the 10/03/20 to give us another month on the offer. Paid an additonal re-valuation fee of £100.00 to the lender for this to take place. Its is now 25/03/20 and the revaluation has still not taken place.
    24/03/20 I received a phone call direct from the lenders Surveyor saying that they will not go out and re-value the house due the lock down. Not to sure why the valuation was not done before hand. 14 days from instruction and payment to them saying they cannot do it.

    The builder is continuing to build the site and the house at the moment. Our solicitor has asked the builder to bring the completion date forward to the 17/04/20 or before our original mortgage offer expires.

    If the builder is unable to do the above and the lenders surveyor is unable to go out and re-value the house, this leaves us with a house due to be complete on 24/04/20 and a mortgage expiring 17/04/20.
    From my understanding and through no fault of our own, we will be forced into a position where we are legally breaking our contract with the builder and unable to complete thus potentially loosing our deposit.

    Do you have any advice that you can offer. I have contacted our solicitor/house builder and mortgage broker to try and resolve this but as of yet not getting anywhere.

    The last contact we had was 24/03/20, this was the solicitor asking the builder to bring the completion forward.
    Last we heard from the broker was that they was speaking with the lender to see what is going on.

  59. Louise NewmanLouise Newman

    I’ve exchanged on the sale of my house but not exchanged on the purchase of the house I’m buying, terrified that we might become homeless, my solicitor is being great but so much uncertainty it’s unchartered waters right now. Also I am buying the house jointly with my parents and my father became ill very quickly and died on Saturday, very stressful and upsetting can’t believe that so much is happening and we need a home to go to!

  60. AmitAmit

    At the point on completion you will own the property therefore no restrictions to you travelling to ‘your home’. With regards to the keys, surely they can be delivered to you.

  61. AmandaAmanda

    We were due to exchange yesterday and move on 31st. No idea what is happening now. I agree that removals firms shouldn’t be pressure to take the risk, but I am of course concerned about what will happen to our move at all! We have been trying to move into this specific house since last June! We have spent half the night trying to figure out if we could do the move ourselves but we are in a 4 bedroom house with a loft full of stuff and while we are happy to put the work in (hard though it would be with no help) we cannot physically do all the loading/unloading/reloading and several trips between the 2 properties in the space of a day (or more realistically, an afternoon once funds have transferred around lunchtime), as we would only have a van or very small truck (even if we could get one). It is so hard for everyone, and I feel for everyone in this difficult position who is having to take really tricky decisions about what should and shouldn’t happen. Good luck all!

  62. EmilyEmily

    We’re first time buyers and are meant to be completely on Friday (27th March) We have been asked to pay deposits etc today by my solicitor. But have just had them confirm we have not exchanged as yet.
    We are living with parents so are ok to stay put for now.
    Solicitor is advising us to go ahead, despite not being able to technically move in or get keys whilst restrictions in place. They are saying our mortgage and help to buy will need to be put on hold and we may loose both.
    Any advise would be brilliant.

  63. JolieJolie

    I’m due to move this Saturday
    Removal company are happy to go ahead with move
    I’ve spoke with police who asked me if I consider move essential, to which I kind of think it is. They replied that they can’t stop me.
    Is this the case.
    Can I actually move?

  64. May McCormickMay McCormick

    I’m due to exchange tomorrow and have moved belongings into storage yesterday buyers homes are in boxes too my removals kept the required distance with only one allowed to speak to me

  65. EmmaEmma

    I’m waiting to move in with my boyfriends rented house, once my house was completed, which had been pencilled in for next week. He rents and I’m selling. The problem is the person he rented with has moved out so I can move in before we buy our house but now it might mean us paying his rent and my mortgage as my house won’t be able to be completed. It’s all I can think about and the worry is driving me mad.

  66. Mike DaviesMike Davies

    Our move date is 30th of March and our Removal Firm has said they’ve been advised by BAR not to continue with our transaction. We’re in a short chain and with the guy we’re buying from also affected by the removal Company as he was using the same one. We’re moving approximately 1 mile witching Porthcawl and he’s moving 25 miles to Swansea. As yet we can find no alternative removal Company and although we could have probably hired a van and done this ourselves a few years ago we’re now retired and need the help. We’d be grateful for any advice.

  67. ClaireClaire

    I am due to move 70 miles because of my job. I’m a key worker so I have to go to work. While waiting for the move I have been staying near to where I work but because of the lockdown I can’t stay there until this is over. I face 12 hour night shift with 3 hours a day driving. I need to move and even more frustrating for me what I am buying is empty. Im even moving myself so not to put removal people at risk. I’m so stressed by all of this.

  68. RickyRicky

    I have been in a small chain since December 2019 where I agreed a sale of my property and subsequently secured an offer on a new property. A few weeks ago once all queries had been concluded I wanted to exchange but this proved difficult with my buyers as I could sense them stalling. News of Coronavirus ramped up in the last few weeks to which my buyers wanting to exchange and complete on the same day. One day before exchange and completion my buyers withdraws breaking the chain because of Coronavirus fears which subsequently left with £1k+ out of pocket. Surely there has to be something done about this? Grateful for any advice.

  69. Nick MCRremovalsNick MCRremovals

    Solicitors please stop the sale process. What you do not understand is that you are compromising the removal companies.
    We are the ones who have to make the decision if it is safe to send in staff due to the potential risk of infection.
    Solicitors sit in their offices, pushing through sales without care for the consequence for the removals company shutting down to protect its staff and the public.
    Their client is now in a predicament that they may not be able to move.
    We have had customers crying when told the risk is too great to enter a customers house. In the interest of our staff, the public and the hope to slow down the spread. We and many other removals companies have closed.
    Please stop, just for 3 weeks and help stop the stress you are causing and compromising the sellers, buyers and all in the chain.

  70. LukeLuke

    We are due to complete on Friday 27th – selling our house and moving to a new build. Short chain – our buyer is renting.
    Solicitors happy with going ahead as are removals.
    We have no money until the equity is released. Three kids off school and everything packed and ready to move – the anxiety is making us all ill!!
    There need be no face to face interaction at all – removals can be 2 people wearing protective equipment and we can be in another room or have vacated. Everything else can be done online.
    We have waited for this for 3 years. If our mortgage offer expires we won’t get another due to the climate.
    It all feels so unfair.
    We exchanged contracts a while ago and are just 2 days away from completion. We have followed all the guidance to the letter and feel we are being punished because some people took a trip to the beach.
    Praying for everyone living with this uncertainty. We are physically unwell from the stress of not knowing. The kids are devestated. Please help!!

  71. FionaFiona

    We are sat here wondering what to do as well… we are meant to pay and get keys to our new house around April 3rd, we’ve given our notice on our rental house, which we are due to leave on 15th. Husband has cancer and we were looking to move in before any treatment. Just devastating to potentially delay for many weeks. Only looking to move 20 minutes away and it has been a massive struggle to even get this far. Removal company have shut down too. Can’t move ourselves with a van due to having a very heavy piano. Cannot pay mortgage AND rent. Self employed too and losing income! What a total nightmare. Only married 3 years too…. life is not good right now! Thoughts go out to everyone else going through this on top of everything else….

  72. AlistairAlistair

    Got a call from the solicitor today. The Scottish land registry has been closed to prevent the purchase and sale of houses during the Coronavirus. He mentioned that there is a chance that it may become digital, which would allow the sale of houses. But if this doesn’t happen, then we can not buy or sell homes until the lockdown is lifted. In the meantime, I’m paying for both my new place and now the house I was due to hand keys over on 3rd April. All whilst my wages are taking a huge hit due to government restrictions. Why close the land registry? Why not make sure both parties consent to sale during this difficult time, rather than force a delay. As if it wasn’t going to be financially crippling with reduced wages, but to be stuck in the middle of a house sale and in two residential properties is not good.

  73. HayeyHayey

    Unfortunately like a lot of people on here we are due to exchange and complete on Friday on our new build property, which my solicitor was still happy to do. However a solicitor of someone in the chain has said they won’t do it until the restrictions are lifted! we are so upset, and worried about someone pulling out! Restrictions now minimum 3 weeks, they better not be extended…

  74. SarahSarah

    We are due to move tomorrow. Our company cancelled at 10 pm last night. Luckily we managed to find someone who would move us. Fingers crossed it will go through. Used Any Van if anyone’s interested. I will update tomorrow if it’s successful. The original unprofessional company have refunded us but only after I threatened legal action. I also consider this an essential move. Good luck to all those in limbo.

  75. AnonAnon

    Please put a ban on people moving house if they have not exchanged. I work for a conveyancing firm and am being left feeling like I HAVE to go into work because people and estate agents are still expecting house moves to go ahead. Not only am I helping to spread the virus by exchanging matters I am putting myself and others around me at risk as I have no choice but to use public transport to get to work

  76. Eileen WildEileen Wild

    My solicitor has said the Land Registry is shut and rge are tring to put a digital procedure in place, basicalli if we go ahead and my seller goes bust we dont have a leg to stand on. Is this correct

  77. BumbleVeeBumbleVee

    We are sofa surfing with family, and due to exchange and complete on the same day on Friday 27th. We’re hoping to hire a van and self – drive on Saturday 28th and not come into contact with anyone..

    There are many people who will be made homeless if they cannot physically move into the new homes.. we’re fortunate enough to have family but they’re vulnerable and it would be safer for us to move out on Friday as planned.

    Answers would be so helpful!

  78. C WilsonC Wilson

    We complete this Friday and following our removal companies instruction have for the past three weeks kept them updated, they would only accept bookings two weeks in advance. Rang today to book and told they were now closed and I would still be liable for storage costs as I hadn’t booked a date and taken out cancellation insurance. Is this correct?

  79. Hinesh PatelHinesh Patel

    I am waiting for searches to come back from my local authority, so frustrating as everything is done from my side!

  80. Aidan JohnstonAidan Johnston

    Our conveyencer has just told us that they have been advised from the government to put all transactions on hold. We were due to move into our new property on Tuesday, can’t express how angry we are.

  81. Katherine GoslingKatherine Gosling

    We exchanged last week and are due to be completing on Friday. Both solicitor and builder have informed us that this should be going ahead as planned. Just concerned about the actual move at the moment! We are planning on moving everything in our cars – moving less than a minutes drive away around a residential area. Would this be allowed as we would be able to social distance whilst doing this? We haven’t given notice yet – but can’t really afford to pay both rent and mortgage for more than a
    month. Any updates will be gratefully received!

  82. Andrew EagleAndrew Eagle

    Thanks very much indeed for a swift and comprehensive reply.
    I realise there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer,but your reply has given as much info as we could expect,and obviously each situation will have differing factors.
    I hope solicitors and conveyancers will apply common sense in my sons case,as all parties,and removers are happy to go ahead at this late stage.
    Thank you once again,
    Stay safe,
    Andrew Eagle

  83. JasonJason

    Why are Estate Agents and solicitors allowing/still pushing exchanges? So dangerous, putting pressure on clients, and more so Removal companies. People are dying. I own a Removal company with employees that have families. How can they abide by the social distancing rules without putting so many at risk. Surely moves can wait. The risk for Removal companies are null and void insurances/H&S rules broken. Disgusting that the Law Society have not updated their website on advice re Coronavirus since 13th March. I feel for people that have already exchanged, but its important for people to stay safe. Its only possible if all agree and realise whats most important. Stay safe everyone.

  84. Kendal staceyKendal stacey

    So we complete tomorrow – already exchanged – so expecting to move. So far the solicitor and removal company agree. So fingers crossed

  85. VickyVicky

    we are very close to exchange on sale and purchase of our property, i’m concerened about how the delay could affect our mortgage offer as this is only valid for 6 months. Is there any kind of extension in place on mortgage offers in the circumstances?

  86. EmmaEmma

    I’ve exchanged & completion is only dependent on me vacating the property this week as there’s no chain either side. My solicitor has said to move as I’d be in breach of contract but it is down to removals being able to do so. They haven’t yet confirmed how they’re proceeding and don’t know if they can now function. Clarity is absolutely needed from the government as soon as possible.

  87. Stephen BellStephen Bell

    Based on what Michael Gove said this morning when asked about house moves he basically said where you can pause then do so, but he did not explicitly say that you could not move. we are in the position where we have exchanged legal contracts and are due to complete on the 31st of March. my solicitor is still saying that it is a go and all parties in the chain are saying that they can move, so I am moving. We don’t have a removal company and my only issue was that the hire company we booked the 7.5 tonne from is shutting up today. Managed to secure a luton van though from another nationwide company, not ideal but I will make it work.

  88. EstherEsther

    I am in the process of buying my first home, and hoping to complete in mid-April. The rental contract on my current flatshare ends on April 30th, by which time I need to have moved out. Like many others, I am incredibly stressed about what the lockdown means, and the total lack of clarification from anyone in government regarding what is classed as ‘essential’ with regards to house-buying and moving house. There must be thousands of us across the country in this situation.

  89. stevesteve

    Does any one have any information regarding house move in these uncertain times. We complete on Thursday 26th.

  90. Sharon HayesSharon Hayes

    Surely, for anyone who has exchanged contracts, moving house is classed as “essential travel”.

    Not only is it now legally binding to complete (or else lose the deposit), but if the move doesn’t go ahead, the stress could make someone suicidal.

    Removal companies will want to keep to their side of the contract. They can keep their staff down to two and can wear protective clothing.

  91. Andrew kellyAndrew kelly

    Like many others . Me and my wife are looking to exchange and complete on Tuesday the 31st March. With what’s happening with the government I’m unsure weather this is going to be going ahead …… really stressful!!

  92. Andrea ShawAndrea Shaw

    We have exchanged contracts and have the keys and were going to move at the weekend, 27th March. But with the recent announcement is it classed as essential travel??

  93. MarkMark

    I am due to complete and move on March 31st. There is no guidance on whether this is essential but it’s likely to create a congregation of more than 2 people.
    The ramifications for non completion are serious but perhaps more worrying is the expiry of the mortgage offer.
    Are you aware of any guidance, it really could be a financial disaster for us but we obviously don’t want to put ourselves or anyone else at risk

  94. IsaacIsaac

    Similar situation to people below however I’m less concerned about moving personal items, more concerned about carpet fitters, furniture/appliance deliveries not being able to happen. I don’t want to be paying a mortgage for a shell of a house that I can’t live in!

  95. Elizabeth BElizabeth B

    Similar predicament to so many on here tonight. Due to complete this Thursday 26th March. Removals booked, deposit paid… can removals company honour this?

  96. ChloeChloe

    I was due to complete on the 27th March . Now the current owners have delayed for 6 weeks due to the Virus and isolating in the property .
    By this stage my mortgage offer will expire . I am currently in a hotel as I believed I was moving in to the house in the next couple of days so had gave up my apartment .
    I see alot of people here are in similar positions . Im concerned it will be even harder than now to get a mortgage offer in the future after this financial crisis .

  97. Claire CraddockClaire Craddock

    We rent privately and were served notice to vacate our current property by 30th April. We have found a new house (luckily before anything major happened) but are not due to collect the keys until Friday 27th. Will this still happen? And if so are we still able to move in? We were doing it all ourselves as not far away from where we are living now. We can’t afford to pay rent on two properties but don’t want to lose out on our new house and end up with nothing:-( any advice would be much appreciated!

  98. Stephen FosterStephen Foster

    We exchanged on 2nd march and are due to complete on 3rd April, where, hopefully, we will move from London to Hampshire. We have booked a moving company will they be able to work and will we be able to move ?

  99. LeeLee

    I’m the same boat as others. Due to exchange very soon – was hoping this week. The main question is, is moving house classed as essential? What crazy times. Hope they shed some light on this. I’m sure they want to keep the housing market moving.

  100. GavinGavin

    Like most on here, we’re due to move into a new build this Friday. I called the mover just after this evening’s announcement (small local firm) and the owner doesn’t know if they’re allowed to move us or not. If I end up hiring a van myself (if I can!) am I even permitted to do the move?! I’d like to think it’s essential but who knows….?!

  101. StevieStevie

    Like everyone else in these comments we’re due to move into a new build on Friday. The contracts have been exchanged and we’re moving everything ourselves, will we be able to do this with the lockdown? Such a stressful time!

  102. EmilyEmily

    Like many others, we are due to complete on the purchase of our new home this Thursday – it’s a new build, but again wondering where we stand given the latest announcements. If we are unable to move because of the new restrictions, would there be a financial implication imposed on us?

  103. Charlotte CarrCharlotte Carr

    Help! What a nightmare I am due to complete the sale of my flat on 9 April and move to a friends flat for the interim, we are now in lockdown is this considered essential; given the Law Society having said that they would not approve of delays etc. I have organised removals etc incurring costs etc . We exchanged contract on 14 February and my solicitor is very old school he suggested pushing for earlier completion! I emailed the estate agent on Friday to see if he had heard of any problems etc. The whole thing is so stressful, the buyer is legally bound I know but she hasn’t come round to do any of the pre moving in measuring up etc. It all went so smoothly and now this…. asking price after three days on the market and then exchange four weeks later. Any advice very gratefully received many thanks Charlotte

  104. CarlaCarla

    Our exchange date is 16th April and completion 23rd April. We are buying a house from a building company. We have handed our 1 month notice in at our current rental address. Is moving house considered essential travel? Will / how will we receive the keys for the property? If we can’t move to the property what rights do we have at our current rental? Can we stay here until we can move out?

  105. MarilynMarilyn

    New tenants due to move in on Saturday. Will they be allowed to travel and hire a van? Is this essential travel as will be going to their home>

  106. Barbara fordBarbara ford

    Due to move Friday exchange and complete on same day can we still go ahead

  107. Shirley simmonsShirley simmons

    We are meant to be moving house from Croydon to Norfolk this Friday 27th – will it still go ahead

  108. Alan BeresfordAlan Beresford

    Like others, I am due to complete this Friday. I’m buying a new build and the couple buying my house are renting and have given notice, so I would imagine if the move didn’t happen they’d in effect be homeless. So personally I think this is essential. Very stressed.

  109. Charlotte CollinsCharlotte Collins

    we are supposed to be moving into our house on Friday. Will we still be able yo do this. exchange and completion o same day??

  110. SamSam

    Surely moving house is classed as ‘absolutely necessary’, given that it is a legally binding contract that has been agreed and signed by all parties?

  111. Ben tinsonBen tinson

    We are due to receive our keys on Wednesday to a new build. In light of what the pm has just announced, are we still able to do this? We are hiring a van and moving ourselves so won’t need to meet anyone outside of our family.

  112. alison Edwardsalison Edwards

    We are currently in rented accommodation but complete on Friday on our own property, what happens if we cannot get a van to move our furniture? Can we still move if we are in lockdown? So stressed

  113. AysheAyshe

    What would happen with regards to physically moving house if completion has happened but we are in lockdown, would we be allowed to move ourselves into the property as travel may be restricted

  114. NeilNeil

    You seem to missing the point that although most things can be done digitally your pre-purchase survey cannot.

  115. CláudiaCláudia

    Very helpful your article. I have a doubt .. Can you please help me?
    We exchanged contracts last Monday…
    Completion date is 30/4/20.
    My mother is 80 years old , self isolating…because of age group ..
    I really need to sell my flat because I am moving back to Portugal…
    But I am afraid of flying at these times ..
    Other Alternative would move to a Travel Lodge and stay there for a month or two …
    What would you advise? It is a chain free sell …

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