How our Conveyancers Can Help You through Coronavirus

Sarah Ryan, Head of Private Client
Author:
Sarah Jones
Head of Residential Conveyancing
Date:
03/04/2020

We moved from self-isolating, to shielding and lockdown in a very short period of time and last week the Government produced guidelines for home movers as more restrictions were imposed.

These guidelines have been confusing for many people who want to move home and law firms have interpreted the guidelines differently, which has caused more confusion. Some law firms have refused to continue with transactions, leaving clients and chains in limbo. 

At Simpson Millar, our approach has been to consider every case on its own merits.

We’ve reached out to all of our clients to ask them if they want to halt the process, continue (subject to guidelines) or cancel. 

By working with our clients in this way, we can provide support and reassurance in these challenging times. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback and the majority of chains are continuing.

Over the next few weeks, as we move further into lockdown, there will be more uncertainty in the housing market, such as:

  • Delays in selling property as clients can’t view properties until the restrictions have been lifted
  • Delayed exchanges meaning more uncertainty for homeowners and movers
  • Some law firms not surviving the slowdown. We’ve seen an increase in home buyers wanting to instruct us to give them certainty over the next few months.

This is a changing dynamic and we’re happy to help anyone who’s struggling with their existing Conveyancing Solicitor to move their file to us or help with their sale or purchase. Our Conveyancing Solicitors can get the property sale and purchase information electronically and will provide an overview of the current status within a few hours.

Don’t despair, the housing market will bounce back. Transactions will increase and we may even see a boom once the restrictions have been lifted. In the meantime, we can work with you to progress your sale or purchase by agreeing the following:

  • We’ll continue to report to you on the property title you’re buying. Although our offices are temporarily closed, we’re working remotely and we can Skype or conference call you to discuss any concerns you may have. We’re continuing to push transactions forward to be in a strong position when the restrictions have been lifted. By engaging and keeping everyone informed, we hope to keep chains together.

  • Mortgage lenders are offering extensions of mortgage offers, which means that although there’s a halt, the offer should still be valid when we come out the other side. It also lets us report fully to you on the conditions of the Mortgage Offer and be ready to move forward once chains can proceed.

  • If you are selling your property we can review the title and prepare the draft contract now ready for when a buyer is found. This will speed up the process once you can start arranging viewings again. We can also pick up on any unforeseen issues with the property title and deal with these now rather than wait for a buyer to be found.

  • We’ll continue to report to you on the results of your searches. Our property search package also includes ‘search pledge’. This means if you’ve paid for searches and your purchase cancels, your second search pack is free of charge.

If you would like to discuss your sale, purchase or remortgage with one of our experienced Conveyancers, please get in touch to see how we can support you through this challenging time. 

We can act for you throughout England or Wales, and as a nationwide firm, geography is not an issue.

Our clients have been very positive as we’ve navigated the current climate with them. This is what they’ve said:

We were always kept up to date and in the loop and even through all the uncertainty happening during the viral outbreak and lockdown Simpson Millar helped us to complete and get our new home. Friendly and helpful staff throughout.
Friendly, straightforward and supportive. They helped me through a prolonged, turbulent sale of my house, and managed the purchase under the duress of lockdown with patience and care.
Very easy to deal with, perfect communication. Would definitely use again! Thanks for completing during this tough time with no delays.
I was very impressed by the service provided during the recent sale of my father's flat. I was kept fully informed and up to date. I was particularly impressed by the professional approach of Danielle Audroire who communicated with me throughout the process and to Sean Greer who managed to complete the sale in difficult circumstances after the Coronavirus lockdown had started. I would not hesitate to recommend Simpson Millar.

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