By Andrew Diamond

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 11:58

On 31st March 2020 the Scottish Government issued guidance for people looking to buy and sell property during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Property buyers and sellers now have some guidance, provided by the Scottish Government, as to how purchases and sales should be dealt with whilst “stay-at-home” measures are in force. 

Official guidance is that, if possible, property moves should be delayed.  In all circumstances, it is recommended that you speak to your solicitor in the first instance

Q: What if my move cannot be delayed?

Where scheduled move dates have already been agreed, the Scottish Government has encouraged all parties to do what they can to amicably agree a new date to move, at a point where it is likely the stay-at-home measure have been lifted.

If all parties cannot come to an agreement to delay then they must ensure that they are able to complete the move safely and that social distancing measures are being adhered to.

Anyone currently showing symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus should not move to a new house at this time. In these circumstances all parties should agree amicable arrangements to change move dates.

Q: What if my offer has been accepted but no date of entry has been agreed?

Where an offer has been accepted but no date of entry agreed, buyers and sellers should not agree a date which falls within the stay-at-home period. Of course, the current measures may be extended and therefore it is recommended that an agreement made between parties around a future date of entry should make explicit provision for the possibility of having to defer that date.

Q: What if my date of entry has already been agreed but falls within the stay-at-home period?

Anyone with an agreed date of entry should work with those involved in the transaction to delay this.  However, you must bear in mind that you may have already reached a formal legal bargain to buy or sell on a particular date and so it is recommended that you contact your solicitor in the first instance.

Q: What if I put my home on the market just before stay-at-home measures were put in place?

Due to the social distancing measures put in place, you should not allow viewers into your home. You can continue to advertise your property as being for sale and should work with your estate agents to discuss whether virtual viewings can be conducted.

Q: Can offers still be accepted?

Whilst the buying and selling process can continue during this period, it is worth noting that the process is likely to take longer than normal.

Please note, due to the pace at which the impact of the present Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic is evolving, this article only offers guidance and you should seek advice from your solicitor or estate agent.

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