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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

move house once lockdown lifted

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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.

Any questions? Leave them below and we’ll do our best to answer them.


Leave a comment (16)* Required

  1. ritarita

    Would anyone like a list of estate agents who want to get a an easy fee, by overestimating and increasing sellers aspirations on value, but who don’t want to work to assist potential buyers by denying viewings to those except those who are already on the sales ladder for their extsting homes

  2. Miss Stacey SterrowMiss Stacey Sterrow

    I’m doing a mutual exchange but my landlord has said that their guidelines have not changed so I still cannot go ahead and move.

  3. claire helmclaire helm

    before lock down we had a buyer who was renting and the house we are purchasing the owner is moving into another property he already owns. all the surveys and search’s are completed. can we go ahead with the purchase and sale as our solicitor says we have to wait to lock down. we are all moving ourselves so is there anything to stop us?

  4. SusieSusie

    We are renting at the moment, have put a deposit on a new build retirement property. The solicitor has the documents ready. Should we try to negotiate the price in these uncertain times.

  5. LizzieLizzie

    We were just about to exchange on the sale of our property and purchase of another property when we went into lockdown.
    We expect that our Buyer may try to renegotiate the agreed price. If this happens is it reasonable to do the same to our seller? What percentage decrease is reasonable.

  6. AnnieAnnie

    We were about to exchange just before lockdown and luckily are still financially able and willing to continue to buy the property. My first question is; should we be looking to renegotiate the house price? I am assuming the house prices will fall because of this but we also don’t want to lose out on this house.
    My other question is; when should we start anticipating everything to start moving again now that restrictions are easing? We are moving from a rented property and the sellers are moving into a new build so there is not a long chain, and a completion date will be based on how far along the build has come during lockdown.
    Really hope you can help with some guidance on this.
    Thank you!

  7. Rena PlumridgeRena Plumridge

    We were just about to move home when lockdown struck so everyone in chain (3 of us) froze. We haven’t exchanged can we pick up where we left off NOW, or do we still have to wait for more restrictions to be lifted. I have a removal company who’s willing to move us. ( we are moving into empty new build)

  8. AndrewAndrew


    We have bought a property 200 miles away that we are going to move to at the end of June (existing rental ends than). House is empty and completed at end of March. Being good citizens, we haven’t visited or even picked up the keys. However, we are getting closer to our moving date (which is essential as existing rental is ending and paying mortgage and rental is unsustainable) we want to collect the keys and measure up etc. prior to moving in. We are therefore planning to collect the keys next week but were concerned if this is considered “essential” travel.

    What are your thoughts please?



  9. Sheldon EgdellSheldon Egdell

    We are a removal company and currently have all our jobs on hold, we have not been identified as key workers and are in Limbo as what to do next. We are unable to keep to the 2mtr rule when carrying out a 2 man lift, how can we do removals in a safe way

  10. Jane AlexanderJane Alexander

    We were one day away from exchange and then the lock down happened. The only thing stopping me from moving is no removal vans 3 in chain all with no mortgages but all needing to move out and in new property same day. My question is do you think removal men will be in the first phase of the lock down lift. Thank you. We need to move house urgently due to medical reasons

  11. DebbieDebbie

    Can I view an empty property as long as social distancing is adhered to. I am near exchange on my house sale but the house I want the estate agent will not let me view as he says it is not essential travel. How can this be the case when a person can drive to B&Q for a tin of paint- is that essential travel? Where as I am a frontline key worker and need a house to live in. Thanks

  12. Anne JonesAnne Jones

    So when can we go for date for moveing how long after lockdown ends can we move

  13. RekhaRekha

    Will bank valuations now take place? It was originally due on 3rd April and delayed due to restrictions. It is through share to buy and the flat is a new build and vacant. Mortgage broker last update was that restrictions still in place. Will this be likely to continue? Added to this the housing provider needs to get a cladding expert to sign off which was also delayed.

  14. TracieTracie

    My lease needs extending in order to sell can I serve my own sect 42 notice

  15. FionaFiona

    We were about to move when lockdown hit – we were just 5 days away. We are aware the house may be worth less, but we went through enormous hassle getting a mortgage, even with 50% deposit, and aren’t keen to go through it all again, which would apparently be required if we asked for a fresh valuation…. especially as our income has taken a hit meantime! Looks like we may be paying more than it’s worth but we are willing to do that.

  16. AlexAlex

    Wait a minute. You’re saying – just pick up where you left off. You’re not expecting to have a price fall?
    I was in the middle of buying a place, but I’m not going to pay now for something that might be worth 20% less a year from now.

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