4 May 2020 by Melanie Carroll

Sellers who are ‘sale ready’ may shorten the process

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the property market stalling and there is a sense of resignation amongst clients and stakeholders that transactions are not going to proceed, at least in the short term.

However, with many of us trying to find ways to keep busy, could we be making better use of our ‘downtime’ to get ahead of the game?

Those who wanted to move before lockdown are likely to find that their desire remains. Equally, there will be those who have realised during lockdown that they must move once the worst is over, such as young adults keen to fly the nest, couples who have realised they cannot live together and workers who have realised that working from home is the ‘new normal’ and that they need more space for it. In short, there was, and is, pent up demand in the property market.

Property prices were in the ascendancy at the start of the year and new instructions were in abundance.  No one can predict with any certainty what will happen and when but, at Bolt Burdon, we are sure that there will be a second bounce – and we are anticipating being busy!

If you are thinking of selling your property, don’t wait – there’s action you can take now to ensure that you are ‘sale ready’ once restrictions are lifted and here’s how.


Instruct your solicitor before you do anything else – of course, we would say this but it’s true!  You need to complete a series of forms and supply certificates, planning information, service records, warranties and the like.  Now is a great time to collect all of this paperwork together, apply for duplicates of any documents you have misplaced and make sure that your paper trail is complete.  A good solicitor will prepare the papers and review them critically – if there are issues, then advice can be given as to how to remedy these so that buyers are presented with a solution, not a problem.  In essence, if the initial documentation is complete and comprehensive, with all of the documents referred to readily available, then this will reduce the amount of questions raised, saving you time and possibly costs.


Estate agents offices are currently closed, and so it will be difficult to put your property on the market.  However, agents are being more creative, flexible and adaptable in their approach.  You should contact them now – they are working remotely and will be able to lay the foundations so that a formal market appraisal can be carried out as soon as possible.  Virtual viewings are a common phenomenon now.


There will be few people who have been unaffected, from a financial perspective, by Covid-19.  The lockdown affords a great opportunity to review your financial position and prepare a budget. If you are looking to buy a property, then you can research your credit report and collate your ‘source of funds’ information which will be required by both the agent marketing the property and your solicitor.


It is difficult to arrange removals at present.  The advice from the British Association of Removers as at 1 May is that only exceptional moves should proceed, once a risk assessment has been carried out and with sufficient PPE for all involved.  However, whilst it isn’t possible to book removals now, you can make enquiries as to what services are offered and at what price – great for budgeting purposes.


With many of us having more time on our hands than ever before, now is the time to look at your property with a critical eye.  Who will be your target audience and what will they want and/or expect?  If there are DIY jobs you’ve been putting off, now is the time to get them done.  Make sure your property is clean, de-cluttered and tidy (which may be tricky with home working and home tutoring!).  Focus on ‘kerb appeal’…

Don’t delay – get your ‘house in order’ today!  Literally!

For further advice on residential real estate issues, whether related to Covid-19 or otherwise, then please contact Melanie Carroll or a member of the Residential Real Estate team.

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