trading during the covid-19 pandemic

Estate agents have been entrusted with keeping the property market moving safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though we are in Tier 5, we can continue to help with both selling and buying. Whilst, this is good news, its very important that companies put it places measures to protect both their staff and the public.

viewings

The Government have stated “in-person viewings should only take place when buyers are seriously considering a property.” Whilst this is a grey area and open to interpretation, we have taken this to mean buyers who are in an immediate position to proceed and have conducted reasonable research on the property before contacting us to book a viewing.

Examples of reasonable research include; inspecting the property particulars fully, driving past the property beforehand (where practical), looking at satellite imagery or street view, looking into local schools and transport links. Please do not contact us for an internal viewing of property until you are satisfied that it meets your criteria.

All viewings carry a risk and therefore we must do the fewest number possible. Even if a property is empty, it creates exposure for our staff. Furthermore, our staff also go into the homes of our sellers who are at risk from COVID-19 due to their age or underlying health conditions.

Only the buyers will be permitted to enter the property. Additional persons such as children, friends, family members and other persons are not permitted. Exceptions can be made if essential, but strictly by prior arrangement.

In addition to the above, please note the following:

  • Viewers must inform us if there is any likeness of them having been exposed to COVID-19 and whether they are a person considered to be ‘at risk.’
  • Viewers should wait outside the property until our staff member has checked the property and confirmed the owner(s) have vacated (if applicable) and the viewers can enter.
  • Viewers showing symptoms pertaining to those of COVID-19 will be refused entry.
  • Viewers must wear face masks covering both the mouth and nose.
  • Viewers must sanitise their hands upon arrival/wear disposable gloves and not touch anything in the property unless absolutely necessary, for example a handrail whilst climbing the stairs.
  • Viewers must main social distancing from our staff member and the owner(s)/occupier(s) if present.
  • Viewers who develop any symptoms in the period of 14 days following the viewing should inform us immediately.
  • Sellers should vacate the property whilst the viewing is taking place.
  • Sellers should leave all internal doors and cupboards open, where possible.
  • Sellers should wipes down any surfaces which may have been touched. Our staff carry antibacterial wipes and will do the same, however we still recommend this as an additional precaution.

valuations

We are conducting property valuations as usual. These generally present a lower risk than viewings. We sanitise our hands on arrival/wear gloves, observe social distancing and avoid touching any surfaces at the property where possible.

Please do not book a valuation if you have reason to believe you might have COVID-19. Should you develop symptoms within 14 days of our visit, please notify us. Likewise, should our staff member develop symptoms we will notify you.

SALES PROGRESSION

Solicitors, lenders and surveyors continue to operate with each firm having it’s own set of measures and possibly their staff working remotely. This means that once you have sold/found a property to buy, you can proceed accordingly. However, it should be noted that sales are currently taking longer to exchange/complete and therefore you should expect the process to take longer than usual.