COVID-19 – House sales and purchases

Property - KBL Solicitors

The position around house sales and purchases is changing on a daily basis.  Below are some of the questions we are being asked, which we have answered to the best of our current knowledge.

Please note that things are moving at a fast pace and some mortgage providers have now taken the decision to temporarily suspend mortgage applications.

My home is on the market, how do I deal with viewings?

If your property is already on the market, you can continue to advertise it as being for sale but you should not allow people in to view your property. There should not be any visitors into your home, and you should therefore not let people visit your property for viewings. Your agent may be able to conduct virtual viewings and you could speak to them about this possibility.

If I accept an offer how long will the selling process take?

The buying and selling process can continue during this period but you should be aware that the process is likely to take longer than normal. You are free to continue to accept offers on your property, however the selling process may take longer.

My property is unoccupied. Am I still affected?

The Government’s advice is to continue to support the sales of unoccupied properties as far as possible.

Should I exchange and complete on the same day?

Agreeing to simultaneous Exchange and Completion makes sure that the risks are minimised and stops you from being placed at risk of breaching the contract.

Interest rates are at an all-time low, should I change my mortgage before completion?

If you look to change provider this could cause delays and you may find issues with the seller wanting to pull out, the lender may want to revalue the property and you could find that you do not meet the new lenders criteria.

My mortgage will run out soon, what will happen?

Mortgage lenders are looking to extend mortgage offers for up to 3 months to allow parties to find an alternative date to move when safe.

I’ll be homeless if this purchase doesn’t go through, what can I do?

If another date can’t be found, the move is critical and safe to do so then there is an exemption in place to allow the move to go ahead.

I need to re-mortgage my house as it is currently being transferred into my sole name, can it still proceed?

Yes, although you need to be mindful of mortgage lenders changing criteria and possible delays in the transaction, mortgage offers should not expire as it looks likely that they will be extended for 3 months.

I’ve heard about a 3 month mortgage payment holiday, how does this work?

The payment holiday is available to anyone experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19.  You must contact to your lender to find out how to apply.  Remember that this is just a break in payments, interest will continue to be charged and you will need to repay any amounts deferred.

If you have any queries please contact Zaheer Ahmed by emailing