It is essential to stay abreast of the current Government and official advice. It is vital that everyone observes the measures that are in place to limit the spread of the virus.
On 13 May, the Government announced that it will be easing restrictions for the property market in England. People who wish to move home can do so, but the advice does not represent a return to normal. Estate agents can now visit your home in order to take photos and videos, prospective buyers are able to view your property.
However, the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved is the most important issue, and although there is now more freedom to move home, public health and Government guidance should always come first. In all instances, it is important to adhere to social distancing measures and any physical appointments should be postponed immediately if anyone is self-isolating or showing symptoms of coronavirus.
All parties are encouraged to adapt and be flexible, altering their usual practices and, agreeing to alternative dates to move if necessary.
The guidance states that anyone with symptoms, self-isolating, or shielding from the virus should follow medical advice which will mean not moving for the time being, if at all possible.
Vulnerable and shielded individuals must be careful and consider their personal situation and may wish to seek medical advice before decided whether to move. It is important to take a more patient approach if you are in a chain with someone who is vulnerable, allowing them time to safely conduct a move.
Much of the anxiety around house moves comes from the contractual terms and the Government has tried to ease this pressure through:
You can put your home on the market and start to look for properties you want to move to. Agents can list new properties and are able to visit your property to take photos and videos while fully adhering to public health guidance. If any member of the household is showing symptoms or self-isolating then estate agents should not visit the property.
Get in touch with us to find out what we are offering and how we are working and follow the advice that is put forward. We will be able to explain our own procedures and how we are managing the safety of our staff and clients.
As of 29 June, Government guidance for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland allows for physically distanced viewings that carefully adhere to public health guidance. It is vital that safety comes first, with the guidance reflecting that with several measures that need to be followed to conduct viewings safely:
Before the viewing, we will confirm with you in writing that you have appropriate protective equipment. If you do not confirm prior to the viewing, we can offer to give the appropriate protective equipment. We are working to the best practice guidance which outlines the equipment all parties involved should use during viewings, including gloves and face coverings.
This guidance is designed to protect everyone involved with property viewings. It is important that you work with us and use the appropriate PPE to ensure everyone’s safety.
You can find the full Government guidance on property viewings here.
Offers continue to be made and accepted on properties, many of which were already on the market and conveyancers are carrying out desk-based valuations.
Prospective buyers who have agreed a sale may wish to visit a property again now restrictions have been lifted. They are now able to do so as long as they follow the same advice for viewings, for example, viewings by appointment only, maintaining social distancing, and following all hygiene guidance.
Purchasers can also now arrange for a tradesperson to carry out inspections. This should again be carried out by appointment and only one person at a time where possible. No tradespeople should enter a property where a member of the household is showing signs of coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating.