14th May 2020
On the 12th of May, Public Health England issued revised Regulations which permit activities associated with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of residential property to resume. As a result of the guidance, new properties can be marketed for sale and transactions under offer can now proceed to completion. Where valuations, surveys, viewings and home moves do take place, they must be conducted in accordance with government guidelines on working in other people’s homes and social distancing.
If you are selling, or thinking of selling your property, you will naturally have questions about what to expect when people visit your home. Here are our answers to some of the important questions that you might have:
Is your office now open?
Answer – We are currently providing a full suite of services to clients and our office will be open again from Monday 18th May, however all in person meetings will be conducted in accordance with strict social distancing and public health advice. The safety of staff, clients and the general public remains paramount.
Have you trained all of your staff on the required safety measures for viewings and face to face meetings?
Answer – Yes, each team member has been briefed on the current health requirements and procedures for undertaking viewings.
I have been waiting to put my home on the market – am I now able to proceed?
Answer – Yes, you can now place your home on the market. Please contact us and we will go through with you the safest way to undertake a valuation, obtain photos etc. Please note, that if you have a vulnerable person living at your property, we will not be able to visit your home to undertake a valuation or for viewings until advised otherwise by the Government.
Someone living at our property has symptoms of the virus, will you be able to visit our home?
Answer – No, if anyone at your home has symptoms, we will not be able to visit the property for 14 days.
What happens if we have somebody classified as a 'vulnerable person' living at our home?
Answer – We will not be able to attend your property if there is a vulnerable person residing there. This will continue to be the case until the Government advises otherwise.
Will you be checking to see if anyone visiting our home has symptoms of the virus?
Answer – Yes, we will be asking anyone attending a viewing to confirm that they do not have symptoms and have not been in contact with anyone who had symptoms for the last 14 days.
Will you be wearing protective clothing when you attend our property?
Answer – Yes, we will wear a face mask and gloves.
What about social distancing?
Answer – We will be arranging all property visits and face to face meetings in accordance with social distancing and other health advisories. Ahead of any visit, we will coordinate with you to determine how the visit can be safely undertaken in accordance Government guidelines.
How many people will be allowed to visit my home at any one time?
Answer – We will be limiting the number of people that can attend your home to ensure that we can adhere to social distancing and other health advice. Ahead of a visit we will contact you to understand whether you will be present for the viewing. We will agree with you the safest way to conduct a viewing to safeguard the health of all involved. It might be the case that we will need to show viewers from the same family around separately which means that viewings could take longer than normal. You should plan for this accordingly.
Am I allowed to be present during a viewing of my home?
Answer – To help achieve effective social distancing, it would be better if you vacated the property or waited in the garden of your home. If you cannot leave the property you should wait in the largest room while we undertake the viewing.
What can I do to prepare?
Answer – Make sure that your home is fully accessible and that visitors minimise what they have to touch. For example, leave doors open between rooms and to large storage areas. We will be asking anyone viewing your property to minimise what they touch. If the weather allows, open windows to increase ventilation. Once the viewing has finished, you should ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned and towels disposed of safely or washed as appropriate.
Will you be able to conduct an ‘open house’ for my property?
Answer – At this stage, we are unable to offer and would not recommend an open house. Instead all viewings will need to be by appointment and carefully managed.
Can you still offer virtual valuations and viewings?
Answer – Yes, we can still offer these services and will indeed continue to do so especially where buyers or sellers have ongoing concerns about in person meetings and viewings.
Are property surveys taking place
Answer – Yes, property surveys are being undertaken, but subject to social distancing and health advisories.
My house is under contract and we are ready to complete – can we proceed?
Answer – Yes, you can now complete the transaction. Conveyancing and removal firms have been given a green light by the Government to resume activity.