After nearly three months of strict guidelines we can all breath a sigh of relief following today’s government announcement further reducing restrictions. Good news for our communities and good news for our economy!
We saw the government make changes to their coronavirus guidelines in May 2020, effectively re-starting the housing market in England, and in doing so making it clear that people who wish to move home can do so. This meant that people in England were allowed to travel to visit estate agents and view properties and that surveyors, valuers and conveyancers returned to work.
Whilst it is great to see conditions improving this doesn’t represent a return to normality. We still need to continue to be careful, and vigilant, to ensure that these gains are banked.
The process of finding and moving into a new home will continue to be different. The government has issued detailed guidance outlining how viewings and sales can go ahead whilst ensuring social distancing requirements, relaxed but still in place, are adhered to.
Virtual viewings – initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible. Property agents should be able to help you with this.
Appointment only physical viewings – physical viewings should be by appointment only, be limited to members of the same household and should only take place where buyers are seriously considering making an offer on a property.
Open House viewings – Where an open house viewing is conducted these should be by appointment only and managed to ensure appointments do not overlap and sufficient time is available to clean in between appointments.
If you are going to receive visitors to view your property you should …
Before the viewing:
Agents are likely to accompany viewers however where viewings are unaccompanied agents should brief viewers and homeowners on expected conduct.
During the viewing:
After the viewing:
Be aware that the new guidance could change quickly. The government guidance states: “It may also become necessary to pause all home moves for a short period of time to manage the spread of the coronavirus.” This current information is dependent on the outbreak staying under control.
We are pleased to say that we are are still valuing property during lockdown. To enable this, and to ensure the protection of all parties involved, we have brought in some checks.
From now, before an appointment, we will call the occupant to discuss COVID guidelines, going through a set of questions to check the safety of all involved.
Pending the answers to these questions we will then advise on how to proceed with the valuation.