Get ready to move house once lockdown is lifted
As we wait to hear if estate agents and property professionals are seen as essential businesses and if the government will ease restrictions on moving home, what should you be doing now to get your home move ready to go?
Post updated: May 12th, 2020
Post updated: May 12th, 2020
The property industry are waiting to hear when they can get back to work helping people to move home, with social distancing in place. The government are working on new guidance this week.
This will be welcome news for many homeowners who had their home moves halted as the country locked down in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
While you stay alert and stay safe, what can you realistically do for the next few weeks to ensure you’re ready to move when the lockdown is lifted?
Getting yourself ready to move…
- Get house hunting from home. Zoopla say that people have kept their homes on the market with only 1% fewer homes for sale on the portal today than there were on 7 March. So take a well-earned break from home schooling and get house hunting instead. And many estate agents can even do virtual viewings on-line. While you can go window shopping, we’d strongly advise against making any offers at this time until you can see the property in person.
- Find an estate agent. If you’re keen to sell, then use the time now to find an estate agent with our online Estate Agent for Me tool. It lists agents local to you according to how quickly they sell, how often they achieve asking price and their fees. Then speak to the agents. They will advise you on how much they may list your property for, subject to a physical viewing once restrictions are lifted, and to give you an idea of the market in your area. But don’t sign up with any estate agents yet. Get a copy of the contract and read it carefully, ready to sign up once the government lifts restrictions
- Find out how much your property is worth. If you’re selling, you can get a rough idea about how much it’s worth with our instant, online and free valuation tool.
- Sort out your finances. It’s not a great time for anyone to be making a big financial outlay at the moment. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at your options. If you’re planning to move to a more expensive property or your mortgage deal is coming to an end, this is the perfect time to remortgage onto a better deal. Speak to a fee-free mortgage broker to see how much you can save, borrow in future and which lender will offer you the best deal
- Get your paperwork in order. If you’re applying for a mortgage, you’ll need at least three months’ worth of bank statements and pay slips, your name on at least one utility bill at your current address, and need to be on the Electoral Roll. Use the time to check your credit rating as well.
- Prepare your home for sale. According to our 2019 Annual HomeOwners Survey, more than 68% of homeowners say kerb appeal was important in their choice of home. The most important factors were windows being in good condition, a well maintained roof and a tidy front garden and driveway/path. We’ve teamed up with Checkatrade to help you find local tradesmen near you and get those jobs done fast
- Get a legal firm lined up. You need to choose a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal work involved in buying and selling a property. Compare quotes to find the cheapest, nearest and best rated conveyancers from our panel or get an overview of how much conveyancing costs in our guide as well as our list of questions to ask your conveyancer
- Get removals quotes. If you have a house move on hold, then you might be surprised to learn you can still get removals quotes as many firms are doing virtual valuations. Using Facetime or WhatsApp video, you can walk your removals firm around your home to enable them to give you a quote. Check out how to find the right removals company for your move and get removals quotes today.
But should I move house as soon as lockdown is lifted?
- If you were part way through a move, then when the lockdown is eventually lifted, the first thing to do is get back in touch with your conveyancing solicitor and check everyone in your transaction is happy and able to proceed and pick it up from there.
- If your home is already on the market but yet to sell, then it will be the case of finding a buyer in what will be yet more unique times for everyone. People’s confidence, if not their wallets, will have taken a hit. For some people the driving factors of death, divorce and debt will mean they have to find a property. But will buyers want to make lower offers? Only time will tell.
- If you’re thinking of buying but aren’t in a hurry, you might want to wait a few weeks to see how the market settles before making the biggest purchase of your life.