Selling Your House During A Pandemic

Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things a person can do in their life time. Attempting to progress a house transaction when the country is under threat from a deadly virus can easily crank the pressure up.

My fiancé and I decided to put our house on the market at the beginning of March this year. We had a lot of initial interest, with one prospective buyer on the cusp of submitting an offer.

The lockdown hit. The country ground to a standstill overnight, and our hopes and dreams were put on hold.

Fast forward seven weeks and the English property market was allowed to re-open. After under going months of not seeing anyone, and still not being able to visit with my parents, it seemed crazy that I could let complete strangers walk about and view my home.

After lengthy discussions with our estate agent, who was fantastic, it was decided that every precaution would be made to ensure both ours, the viewers and estate agents safety.

These measures included us not being around in the property, and prospective buyers and the agent using facial masks, gloves and hand sanitiser when they viewed the property.

When we returned, we wiped all the door handles and anywhere else we could think of that would have been touched with anti-bacterial wipes. At the beginning of the year, this may have seemed like crazy behaviour. However, now it seems second nature.

Two weeks later, after slight negotiations we agreed a price and sold our house.

Now the hunt was on for us. We found a property that we liked, and began liaising with the agent and seller. We put an offer in, but this is where issues began to arise. The seller seemed to want more and more money. Now I understand this is part of a negotiation, however this property had been ‘sold’ twice and been put back onto the market. But there seemed to be something off. A cash buyer came in, and the agent revealed that this was the way to proceed for the homeowner.

So, we continue our search. The way we view properties is different. One because properties don’t appear to be on the market for very long. But we now go equipped with masks and hand sanitiser. Also, agents are asking to see our agreement in principle, as they want to ensure that buyers are in a position to move and aren’t just going to have a nosey around people’s homes.

Whilst all of this is going on, we’ve instructed a solicitor to begin the process with regards to our sale. With the hopes of informing them of a new property a little further down the line.

We also had to check with regards to our agreement in principle that we’d still be eligible for some of the mortgage products due to some lenders reducing the products they have on the market due to the pandemic.

House hunting during a pandemic has been an interesting period, and one I’m hoping that I will never have to repeat again.

Today's Conveyancer