Home Buyer Pulling Out due to Covid-19 - What You Can Do

We understand that it’s really difficult to be planning your move one day and then being told the next day that the chain has collapsed. There’s so much uncertainty out there because of Coronavirus - with self-isolation, shielding and social distancing all part of our day to day lives. If you are in the middle of a house sale or purchase, you’re probably finding the whole process worrying, confusing and frustrating and you’re probably concerned over what happens next.

Following the UK Government guidelines are essential to make sure you and your family are protected and you shouldn’t ignore them.

If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, these tips could help you to de-stress the current situation and hopefully keep your property sale or purchase on track.

What You Can Do

  • Talk to your Conveyancing Solicitor, estate agent and your buyer or seller. Collectively take ownership of the communication and the chain
  • Check if the person in the chain is withdrawing or just stalling until the Coronavirus restrictions have been removed. Is there an appetite in the chain to continue with the transaction at a later date?
  • Ask if the people in the chain would like to share phone numbers. You could consider setting up a WhatsApp group and use FaceTime to talk about the situation and whether there is any intention to go ahead in the future. Remember, you’re not under any legal obligation to do this, but you may find it easier to build a relationship with other the other people in your chain who are facing the same situation as you are.
  • If you are buying a house with a mortgage, check your mortgage offer expiry date. If you think this needs extending you can speak to your mortgage company to understand what you need to do to make sure you still have a mortgage offer in place when you’re ready to proceed
  • If you are selling and your buyer has ‘pulled out’ rather than stalled the transaction, speak to your estate agent to get your house back on the market. Ask them if they’re offering virtual tours and if they have the right technology in place to support you through this and make sure your house is still being marketed effectively
  • Speak to your Conveyancing Solicitor and ask what information’s still outstanding - have the property searches been received? Have all enquiries been answered? Make sure you ask them what they can do now to make sure your transaction is ready move forward in future?
  • If the chain has collapsed, you should tell your Conveyancing Solicitor as soon as possible and ask them to put everything on hold
  • If you are thinking about withdrawing from buying a house because of personal reasons such as job security, you should speak to your employer. The Government has outlined help for businesses – will this help allow you to continue with your sale and purchase in the future? If you’re happy to, you can share this information with the chain.

Making sure that everyone is as informed and up to date as they can be is the best way to deal with this every changing situation.

With open dialogue, you can make better choices to help you to protect your position and hopefully come out the other side with the chain still intact.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about your property sale or purchase, please do get in touch.

For free initial advice call our Conveyancing Solicitors

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.