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FAQs – Before Exchange

  1. 17 April 2020
  2. By Andi Michael

You've been in the process of buying but you haven't reached the exchange part yet - what should you be doing during this time?

We know that this is a difficult time to be mid-move, and you're probably eager to move on as soon as possible. We've collated your questions and had them answered by property industry experts. If you have more questions, feel free to add them in the comments, or share them in our forum.


We’re stuck in our rental property but need to move out – can we push our conveyancer to proceed? 

Bear in mind your landlord or estate agent should be understanding during these times – they will be unable to rent the property to anyone else immediately and hopefully they will be okay with you creating a rolling contract, especially as the property may have sat empty.

However, if you have reached the end of a rental contract and the owner is insisting you move, talk to your conveyancer. They can at least give you an update on what the next stages are and how likely it is that you can proceed. In the mean time, you may need to move to short term rental accommodation.  

What about buying a new build? Can I still move in? 

If you have already bought your newbuild, then moving shouldn’t be an issue as it is a vacant property. Talk to your conveyancing solicitor about how far in the process you are. They’ll be able to advise you. Bear in mind your move should be considered ‘essential’ in order to proceed. 

If you were at the beginning of considering buying a new build, most of the sites have closed, but staff may still be able to discuss options with you over the phone and send over more information.  

Are there short term lets available if we need to move out of our rental accommodation? 

There should be plenty of short term lets available as not only have many people cancelled their stay, but Airbnb has offered a cancellation policy meaning people are getting their money back and properties are empty. For NHS workers, free accommodation is being offered, especially as some need to self-isolate or are staying away from their families for fear or spreading the virus.  

Remember, if you plan to use short term accommodation, move responsibly, keeping your distance from others. 

How do we arrange storage for our items? 

Some storage units may still be providing a service, but if you can’t move home, it’s better to stay put with your items. You can still box up and clear out things you don’t need.

If you have managed to move into your new home, but can’t access your unit, talk to your storage company. They may be able to help you get access to a few key items, even if you can’t get everything, in a safe way. 

Someone in the chain is a critical worker – what does that mean for the move? 

Everyone is being asked to delay the move where possible, especially if anyone in the chain is having to self-isolate or has Coronavirus.  

However, if a key worker is part of the chain and needs to move, and others are able to facilitate that, the government says you can ‘move house where reasonably necessary.’ 

Are searches still happening? 

Searches are still going ahead, however the Land Registry advise that there may be disruptions and/or delays. Check with your conveyancer if searches can still be secured to help progress your sale, but bear in mind they have a shelf life of six months. 

Are conveyancing solicitors working from home? 

Conveyancing solicitors are still working remotely and although some may have a smaller team at the moment, they are doing what they can to progress sales from the paperwork side.  


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