Across the nation, life is on hold. We’re staying at home and staying safe. Although it can feel frustrating, we know how important it is to follow government guidelines - including when it comes to selling your home.
However, if you have been planning to sell your home this Spring, it’s normal to feel frustrated. What can you do? Just sit and wait? Like a clock-watching exercise, you’re wishing the weeks away and longing for viewings to resume - and the normal sales process to continue. After all, you might have a whole number of reasons to sell up and move which won’t wait for the coronavirus to pass! Such as a baby on the way!
Did you know that you can start preparing now - to help the sale go through fast when the market opens back up?
In this blog post, we’ve suggested 6 important things you can sort out now. So when we’re out of lockdown, you can hit the ground running… and push that house sale through as quickly as possible!
1. Make sure you have the correct ID
First things first, dust off your files and search through those draws for your:
● Photocard driving license (did you know that the paper counterpart was abolished in 2015?)
● Proof of address (recent utility bill or bank statement)
You’ll need to give these identity documents to your solicitor, estate agent and Legal Adviser to begin processing your sale quickly. Whatever your financial position, ID is always required - and nothing can start without them.
In an increasingly paperless world, it’s easy to forget printed documents are needed. So don’t let this be the reason that your fast sale slows down at the first hurdle, after lockdown.
2. Check your registered title
Checking that your property has a registered title is the first thing your Legal Adviser will do. So why not do it yourself - and save time?
Your ownership of the land is recorded with the Land Registry (visit the website here), providing you with a state-backed registration.
And don’t worry if you find that you have a non-registered title. It’s not an issue - but it’s good to be aware of it as this can slow down a fast sale. The quicker your Legal Adviser can resolve this, the faster your sale can go through.
3. Confirm you have a right to sell
It may seem obvious that you can sell your property, however, it’s not so clear in every case. For example, if probate hasn’t been granted yet, it can slow matters down.
For situations where power of attorney is involved, use this time to make sure you have the right paperwork in place.
Matrimonial sales (if you’re separating) will still require both parties to instruct the Estate Agent & Legal Adviser. Again, use this time to agree to this before the lockdown lifts.
4. Ensure your Legal Adviser is prepared
How many times have you heard a friend complaining about the speed of a solicitor? Although we can’t influence the caseload of any solicitor - especially during these strange times - you can instruct your Legal Adviser and prepare the funds for Searches early.
Bear in mind that solicitors are governed by protocols that protect all parties when buying and selling - which is great. However, these protocols can cause a fast home sale to stutter. Letter writing, I.D checks, and transferring of funds all take time - but time is on your side at the moment, so use it to prepare. If your solicitor is ready and waiting with funds and ID all the better.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask! Solicitors won't do anything until you instruct them to. And, most solicitors are still open and operating over the lockdown period - as they can easily work from home.
5. Dig out ‘Help To Buy’ paperwork
Are you using a ‘Help To Buy’ mortgage or ISA? If so, you need to make this clear from the outset.
Equally, if you used ‘Help To Buy’ to purchase the property you are selling, you’ll need to gather that paperwork and arrange a formal valuation. Even if the valuation has to wait until after lockdown, get on a waiting list so you don’t waste any more time when the country starts to reopen.
A huge part of selling a home fast is accurate personal and household information - and making sure it’s available to all parties. So looking for this information ahead of time will increase the speed of your sale - and make the process less stressful for you after lockdown.
6. Be clear about your deposit
Use this time to be clear about your finances. Specifically, if you have a gifted deposit.
Firstly, it’s fantastic that someone is supporting you! But you do need to make sure that your Mortgage Adviser and Legal Adviser are aware of this. Why? Well, affordability is key. So, some lenders do need to check that your finances stack up - which means they may view your deposit from the bank of mum and dad differently.
Don’t worry though. Get in touch with them early and discuss it openly. It’s not an uncommon situation and the sooner you discuss this, the quicker you can get an answer - so you can move ahead after lockdown.
Sell your property quickly after lockdown
Do you need to sell your current home? You’re not the only one - so make sure you’re as prepared as possible to hit the ground running when the country opens up again.
In the meantime, keep in touch with us. We’re constantly updating our processes during this unprecedented situation - and releasing information to help you with your move. We’re also here to help virtually… and only ever a phone call away.
Get in touch to discuss your house-moving situation - and how we can help you.
Market Drayton 01630 655535 Newcastle 01782 615530