EDIT: Following the First Minister’s release of the routemap to ease Scotland out of lockdown, we can now update you on the impact this will have on property sales / purchases.
Phase 1 – It is anticipated that we will enter Phase 1 on 28 May 2020 – there will be no change during this phase to the advice as it presently stands for buyers and sellers.
Phase 2 – The government anticipates a relaxation of restrictions on housing moves in Phase 2. No date has been fixed as yet for entering phase 2, which hinges on the success of the first phase.
During the implementation of each Phase, our top priority remains the safety of our staff and clients and our practices and procedures will be adapted with these priorities in mind.
In their recent update, the Registers of Scotland confirmed: –
“The successful implementation of RoS digital services will mean that we are ready to support the recovery of Scotland’s housing market once lockdown measures are eased.“
If you want to discuss how these changes affect your plans, or you are in a situation where you want or need to progress your house transaction now, then give us a call and one of our conveyancers will endeavour to help you.
Our offices are presently closed, but our staff are working remotely and are ready and waiting to hear from you.
If you’ve seen the latest property developments in England, then you are probably wondering whether the position in Scotland has also changed … it hasn’t!
The Stay at Home guidance is being continued in Scotland and this affects how your property is marketed and whether you can in fact move house at the moment.
The biggest obstacle in a prospective house sale at the moment is how to safely market your home. If the house is empty, because it’s a buy to let or second home, then this might be easier to sell. You should speak with your preferred estate agent and ask whether this is something that they can accommodate in the current climate.
Many estate agents are marketing properties using virtual tours, showing your house online using the latest video technology.
The next obstacle for sellers is instructing a Home Report. Again, this is easier where the property is empty, otherwise your Surveyor will hopefully work with you to find a solution taking account of social distancing measures.
We understand that mortgage applications are taking longer than usual at the moment due to their staffing limitations which affects the lenders’ ability to process your application. Your Financial Adviser can give you more information on the timescales and application process.
First Home Fund
This Fund, brought in by the Scottish Government to help First-time Buyers get on the property ladder, is still operating, albeit at a reduced speed. At the moment it is anticipated that the Fund will continue after lockdown.
The current guidance means that it is likely that the finalisation of missives could be delayed until a date of entry can be agreed once lockdown restrictions are relaxed.
If your house move will involve a removal company or where third parties need access to your property to install carpeting, utility services such as broadband, telephone services for example, then this could also affect the decision of when you move. Every aspect of the move must be done in compliance with social distancing measures.
Other People are Buying and Selling?
While the advice is to postpone where possible and wait until the lockdown measures are lifted, for some people this is not possible, or necessary where they are selling an empty property, or are first-time buyers moving into an unoccupied property. In these, or other exceptional circumstances, your property transaction may be able to be completed.