What the new Covid rules mean for buying or selling a home

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What the new Covid rules mean for buying or selling a home

Strict new rules have been introduced across the Uk in a bid to stop the second wave of Covid-19.

While the rules are primarily aimed at the hospitality industry and socialising, they will have a knock-on impact on many areas of life.

That will include buying and selling your home, according to Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at regulated property buyers, Good Move.

He said: “The recent news will undoubtedly cause further worry for buyers. Moreover, with the furlough scheme soon coming to an end, and predicted job losses, protecting their finances will be at the top of buyers’ minds.

“We believe buyers will still take full advantage of the stamp duty holiday to save them money. However, whilst the stamp duty deadline of March is still six months away, buyers ideally need to purchase a home before Christmas to ensure they have enough time for completion ahead of the deadline.

“The new restrictions may delay the time it takes for everything to go through, therefore the more time buyers give themselves to prepare, the better. Moreover, we also advise buyers to speak with a financial advisor to help guide them through the house buying process. Using a financial advisor and their expertise will ensure buyers get the best possible mortgage for their circumstances at the best possible rate which in turn, will protect their assets.

“During these unprecedented times, buyers should do their research before purchasing a property instead of putting an offer on the first home they see. Price, location, and space are the three important factors buyers should consider when looking to buy a property.”

Ross added: “Average house prices are on the up due to the recent surge in activity, however, as we know, they will soon start to decrease.

“Moreover, the unemployment rate is predicted to hit 7.4 per cent this year, so buying a home may soon be the last thing on many people’s minds, especially once the furlough scheme ends. Sellers must remember that today, many buyers do their research before purchasing a property and they’re up to date on local asking prices/what others have paid for similar properties so are unlikely to go above the asking price.

“Therefore, if people are serious about selling, we advise working with a chartered surveyor to offer advice on the value and condition of their property to ensure the asking price is right. After all, starting with too high an asking price can cause delays, and make it less likely for sellers to find a buyer.

“Moreover, many estate agents now offer digital and virtual viewings of properties. Therefore, if buyers are uneasy about visiting a property they are interested in, luckily, they can view online which is good news for sellers.

“However, if this is the case, we would consider sellers taking their own photographs of their property for the estate agent to use to ensure they’re capturing the best possible angles to make their property look visually appealing to buyers.”

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