This advice is copied verbatim from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
This guidance applies to people buying or selling private residential homes which they intend to live in.
Published 26 March 2020
Buying and selling homes during this stay-at-home period
Given the situation in the UK with regard to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we urge parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes.
There is no need to pull out of transactions, but we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times, including the specific measures for those who are presenting symptoms, self-isolating or shielding. Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority.
Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction although you should follow the guidance in this document on home removals.
Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.
In the new emergency enforcement powers that the police have been given to respond to coronavirus, there is an exemption for critical home moves, in the event that a new date is unable to be agreed.
Recognising parties will need to alter common practice, we have sought to ease this process for all involved by:
Advice to the public
What does this mean for my property move which is scheduled whilst the stay-at-home measures to fight coronavirus (COIVD-19) apply?
What if an extension goes beyond the terms of a mortgage agreement?
UK Finance have today confirmed that, to support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion, all mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to 3 months to enable them to move at a later date.
If a customer’s circumstances change during this 3 month period or the terms of the house purchase change significantly and continuing with the mortgage would cause house buyers to face financial hardship, lenders will work with customers to help them manage their finances as a matter of urgency.
If your home is not yet on the market
Getting your home onto the market may be more challenging than usual in this period. There should be no visitors to your home.
You can speak to estate agents over the phone and they will be able to give you general advice about the local property market and handle certain matters remotely but they will not be able to start actively marketing your home in the usual manner.
If your property is already on the market, you can continue to advertise it as being for sale but you should not allow people in to view your property.
The buying and selling process can continue during this period but you should be aware that the process is likely to take longer than normal.
Once you have exchanged contracts, you have entered into a legal agreement to purchase that home.