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Covid-19 - how will it affect my property purchase?

Posted on 26 March 2020
Covid-19 - how will it affect my property purchase?

With so many people and businesses now having to work from home, including estate agents like Pinpoint Property, and solicitors, you might be wondering what this is going to mean for the house sale you agreed before the world went slightly mad. 

The current situation is as follows

Mortgage lenders - some are reducing their mortgage products available t0 60% loan to value so if you don't already have your mortgage offer in place, you may have to review with your mortgage advisor and decide on different product or to wait until this scenario changes.

Banks - most banks are no longer able to carry out face to face mortgage valuations so if one has not already been carried out, it is unlikely now it will be done until current social distancing restrictions are lifted.  With many of the staff in their business centres now working remotely where they can, access to archives to source property deeds for solicitors may be severely restricted.

Belfast City Council - inspections are now on hold, and property certificates required for the sale will not be obtainable until normal service resumes

Land and Property Services - closed for business so no property searches and certificates requests  cannot be processed.

Solicitors - while open for business, many are working from home.  They may be able to progress a sale to completion if they already had everything in place and both vendors and buyers circumstances allow it to be done safely with no risk e.g purchase of property where tenant is in situ, but it's likely these will be few and far between.  With courts still in operation it is likely, understandably so, that they will repriortise their workloads to concentrate on that, or other work.

Estate agents - our agents at Pinpoint Property pride themselves on their communication and try to obtain and pass on updates from solicitors on sale progression activity.  With no activity happening for most sales and many solicitors putting sale packs to the bottom of the priority list, we're not expecting to be in a position to offer many updates for the next few weeks.

On the bright side, you're not alone.  The other parties in your sale, or chain of sales will be facing the same delay to progressing their sales, so take a deep breath and relax.  It's a temporary pause in proceedings, not the end of them.