People looking to move home shouldn’t wait to begin their preparations, according to lawyers. As Chris Salmon of Quittance Legal Services explains, those serious about selling can instruct a solicitor, in spite of the continuing lockdown and before they have found a buyer.  

“If a seller has instructed their solicitor weeks earlier, not only will much of the paperwork already be complete, the established relationship between a vendor and their lawyer should help them get to the front of the queue when a quick response is needed,” he explained. 

According to Mr Salmon, plenty of conveyancing work can be carried out during the lockdown, in preparation for the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. 

“Even if a quick sale is needed, without a buyer it will be tempting for sellers to give up on progressing the move until the lockdown ends. However, much of the sale conveyancing process can be carried out before a buyer is found.” 

Tasks which could be completed in advance include client identification and verification to comply with anti-money laundering requirements. Some of these checks are carried out electronically. Others, such as obtaining a certified copy of a seller’s passport, could, according to Mr Salmon, be completed by a combination of email and video call. 

Work to complete transaction forms for the sale can progress during lockdown. If sellers have more time on their hands, this is an opportunity to pull together the necessary documents, including guarantees for building work and building control, gas and electrical safety certificates. 

If the property is leasehold, the solicitor will need to source a managing agent information pack. As long as the freeholder’s agent is working from home, a solicitor can begin assembling this information before the market reopens and demand increases. 

Read more about this story on the Property Wire website. 

About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.

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