Posted on

COVID-19 SAFE UPDATE 3rd November 2020

Following the governments announcement that there will be a second England-wide lockdown beginning on the 5th of November 2020 the following sets out our Covid-19 Safe operational procedures…

Having only been in business now for 3 months, the prospect of entering a National lockdown is worrying for business. That said, we must also appreciate that the government have a difficult job to do, tough decisions to make and that something now needs to be done fairly urgently to stop the spread of this virus.

Sadly another lockdown means that many businesses will have to close their doors at a time when they are just getting back on their feet following the first lockdown. In a tweet from the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick he stated that the property market is to remain open and that we can continue to operate under the strict guidelines that we and our industry have been working with for many months now.

The safety of our clients, our associates and of course ourselves and our family are of the upmost importance to us so we are following strict protocols before, during and after any physical appointments. Wherever possible we recommend a virtual appointment in the first instance to ensure that we are a good fit for you if you are a potential seller or that the property is a good fit for you if you are a potential buyer. We can conduct virtual appointments via apps such as Zoom, Facetime or Skype etc which really works well and is becoming the new norm for us.

The property market has been busy since the first lockdown came to an end and there is a backlog of transactions pending the conveyancing process. Fortunately these transactions will be able to continue as planned as solicitors, search providers and many businesses and professionals associated with the conveyancing process will be able to continue to function without interruption. So, if your transaction is progressing well then your move should still be able to go ahead when you get to that point in the process.

However, due to the volume of transactions in the system there are delays in the conveyancing process so we strongly recommend that buyers and sellers alike are prepared early by instructing a solicitor early and having all your paperwork ready for vendors and making sure your finances and paperwork are in place for buyers before listing a property for sale or commencing with viewings.

If you want to sell your property then we can still do what we need to do to give you an accurate appraisal/ valuation, take photographs, measurements, floorplans etc in a safe way following the guidelines. We can do virtual and/or physical appointments to suit your situation and your property and can get the ball rolling for you by arranging a brief walk around/ measure up at the property followed by a video or telephone appointment to keep the risks to a minimum.

If you want to buy and you’re at the start of your home moving journey then a virtual tour and guided virtual viewing is a good place to start. Nothing beats being shown around by someone who knows the property and having the ability to ask questions as they come to you. So call us at any reasonable hour, 7 days a week to arrange a virtual tour. If you like the property from a virtual viewing, your finances are in place and you are in a proceedable position then following the Covid Safe guidelines we may still be able to arrange a physical viewing so you can make a final decision.

You can read the full government guidelines here which we have summarised below for physical appointments with comments on how we intend to operate within these guidelines…

PHYSICAL PROPERTY VISITS –

  • We may ask potential buyers/ vendors to attend a virtual viewing/ appraisal via video link in the first instance
  • For physical appointments an appropriate face covering must be worn by visitors to a property and attendees must be willing to wash their hands on arrival at the property or to use hand sanitiser
  • Physical viewing appointments are restricted to a maximum of two attendees with an accompanying agent and the viewers must be from the same household
  • We will seek to maintain a minimum of 2 meters distance at all times
  • We may ask vendors to vacate the property during the viewing appointment
  • We will aim to keep time inside the property to a maximum of 15 minutes per viewing, 30 minutes per appraisal/ measure up visit and to limit the number of visits to a property in a single day
  • The evening before or morning of any physical appointment we will call both the buyer and/or vendor to confirm that no-one in the household are showing any symptoms or having to isolate
  • We will ask vendors to open any internal doors etc during or before the appointment to reduce/ eliminate the need to touch door handles/ surfaces etc inside the property

I hope that covers most eventualities. As ever, if you have any comments, questions or concerns then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will remain open 7 days a week and you can call us on 01843 269188 at any reasonable hour for a chat.

Above all, stay safe, be kind, look after yourselves, your loved ones and look out for your neighbours/ those in your community who may need help in these challenging times. Some of us (and I point the finger at myself when I say this) can find it difficult asking for help. If you happen to be reading this and you need help in any way not related to moving home then please don’t be afraid to reach out or just give us a call for a friendly chat.

Best wishes,

Posted on

COVID-19 Update | Lockdown Part 2

So, following the announcement from no.10 this evening lockdown part 2 is upon us from Thursday. We are awaiting further guidance from the housing minister about what this means specifically for our industry.

As much as I understand the need to protect lives and the NHS I’m feeling a little bit gutted to have to hit the pause button only 3 months into having setup our business as we are just getting going and really hitting our stride now. Gutted for all the other businesses that are also affected and I appreciate many are affected worse than us! Still, if we all pull together and support each other we will endure this!

Looking ahead at the coming week…

Planned appointments tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be going ahead as planned with the normal precautions still in place of ‘hands, face, space’.

Beyond next week…

We have the technology to conduct virtual viewings and appraisals/ valuations so although there may be restrictions on face to face meetings and appointments for a few weeks, we can still be effective in helping anyone with their future move.

If you have any questions, concerns or would like to discuss how we can still be effective in helping you with your move in view of all that’s going on then don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01843 269188!

Please all stay safe out there! Big love from Zoie and myself, the kids and Marley xx

#update #supportsmallbusiness #supportlocalbusiness

Posted on

England and Northern Ireland: Latest Coronavirus Update from Alexander Russell Estate Agents

As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues, we understand that it may be confusing for home movers and landlords, whether buying, selling or renting.

New measures are being introduced regularly, including the new three-tier system currently being rolled out in an attempt to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

These measures are based on a system aimed at simplifying restrictions and to enable local lockdowns to be put in place depending on Coronavirus infections per region.

New advice released by the Government allows Alexander Russell Estate Agents to remain open and property viewings to take place. However, we encourage virtual viewings, and we have strict bookings, viewings and social distancing guidelines in place for physical viewings, along with the stringent requirement for PPE to be worn to minimise health risks and to ensure the safety of our clients and staff at all times.

At the time of writing, our area of Thanet is currently in Tier 1.

How do the three tiers apply to you if you are moving home?

Tier 1: Medium Alert

  • Property viewings can continue as long as Covid-19 safety measures are in place, and there are no more than six people in a property at any one time.
  • Safety measures include wearing face coverings, hand washing, opening doors and windows for adequate ventilation during viewings.
  • Only two prospective buyers from the same household may enter the property at a time.
  • Open house viewings are not allowed.

If any member of either the household being viewed or the household viewing, displays symptoms of Coronavirus or is self-isolating, then an in-person viewing should not go ahead.

Tier 2: High Alert

Tier Two rules are the same as Tier One, with the following additional rule:

  • Those living in Tier two areas must not meet with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, including their home or in a public location.

It’s important to note that in-person property viewings can still go ahead, with the appropriate precautions in place.

Tier 3: Very High Alert

Tier Three is for areas where the transmission rates of Covid-19 are very concerning.

  • People living in these areas are not allowed to meet anybody outside their household or support bubble in an indoor or outdoor setting, apart from open public spaces, where the rule of six will still apply.
  • Travel in and out of these areas is not advised, other than for work, education, youth services or caring responsibilities.

Government guidelines have not banned property viewings in Tier Three regions. However, we completely understand and fully support any home buyers who may choose not to view properties and vendors who may choose not to allow physical viewings while restrictions are in place.

Here at Alexander Russell Estate Agents we have virtual viewing tours available for all of our properties. We will be strictly adhering to all Government guidelines relevant to Thanet and the safety of our clients and staff is paramount. This means that you can still place your property on the market or for sale with us and look for properties you want to move to.

Viewings, Valuations, Inspections, Surveys and Removals

  • If you are comfortable, we can visit your home to take photos, videos and prospective buyers can view your property.
  • We will always adhere to social distancing measures, and we ask that you notify us and postpone any physical viewing appointments if anyone in your household are self-isolating or showing symptoms of Coronavirus.
  • Tradespeople and surveyors can carry out inspections and surveys by appointment, and only one person will be in the property at a time where possible.
  • No tradespeople will enter a property where a member of the household is showing signs of coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating.
  • Removal firms can operate to Government guidelines.

As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve, our foremost concern is to keep clients and staff safe.

Please talk to us on 01843 269188 or email mail@alexander-russell.co.uk if you have any questions or concerns about our operating practices.

We are here to help and support all our clients, and we hope you, your friends and family remain safe and healthy for the duration of COVID-19.

Thank you for your patience, support and understanding during this challenging time.

If you want to check the rules that apply in your area, you can use the Government’s postcode checker or check through the NHS Covid-19 app.

You can access the postcode checker here – it confirms the local authority of your address and clarifies that your “Local Covid Alert Level: Medium/High/Very High” as applicable.

Posted on

New Listing – 5 bed terraced family home in Westwood, Margate

Gordon Road, WESTWOOD, MARGATE –

If you are looking for an immaculate and tastefully decorated modern family home, that’s ready to move into then look no further.

Five Bedrooms | Terraced Family Home | Immaculate Presentation and Decoration | Smart Modern Kitchen/ Dining Room | Family Bathroom and Separate Shower Room | Sunny West/ South-Westerly Facing Garden | Centrally Located for Thanet Towns | Stone’s Throw from Westwood Cross Shopping

For further details click here

VIDEO PRESENTATION –

VIRTUAL TOUR –

Posted on

New Listing – 4 bedroom detached family home in Margate

Oakwood, Millmead Road, MARGATE –

If you’re looking to move up to a bigger property for more space this one has it all –

Four Bedrooms | Detached Family Home | En-Suite Master Bedroom | Smart Modern Kitchen | Sunny South/ South-Westerly Facing Garden | Well regarded Schools Nearby | 20 Min Walk to Sea Front | Gated Driveway Parking | Spacious Conservatory

For further details click here

VIDEO PRESENTATION –

VIRTUAL TOUR –

Posted on

About our Services

Hello everyone,

Firstly I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has liked, commented and shared our page and last video online! We’ve been blown away with the support and messages we’ve had from everyone which has been very humbling and really encouraging.

So thank you!

In the last video I shared a bit about mine and Zoie’s reasons why we’re setting up in business for ourselves. I now want to just say a bit about how.

And, since we are a new business we don’t have loads of awards or sales under our belts just yet. What I can tell you is that, over the last nearly 20 years I have worked for some of the best estate agencies and best bosses in the business so I have a lot of knowledge and a huge amount of enthusiasm and if you’ve seen the Taken films with Liam Neeson he says ‘What I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills that I have acquired over a very long career…’ you know the script. I’m kind of like the Liam Neeson of estate agency. What you get with us is me and my particular set of skills.

Also, most agents still tie in their clients on a long exclusive contract term. I believe that if we are doing a good job then people are reasonable and will stick with you so there’s no need to tie anyone in. The only person I want to be contractually tied to is my wife, Zoie 😉

So – no contracts and a relationship built on trust and great service is what we want in our business.

We do all the usual stuff – Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation, professional standard photography. I even have a Matterport Pro-2 camera so all of our listings come with a 4k high resolution 360 degree virtual tour. We even have relocating and London buyers on our books – there’s no one agent that has a monopoly on that.

Because it’s our business, its built around you and us so we don’t really have opening and closing times. There’s no time of day or day of the week that you can’t contact us, unless we’re on appointments or the school run etc.

So, I won’t go on, I could all day probably but I just wanted to say on video that if you’re thinking about moving home or if you’re frustrated with your current agent – pick up the phone, email me or message me and let’s chat.

I like a good analogy and maybe it’s not the best analogy but before lockdown we got all of our weekly shopping from the supermarket like most families. Then during lockdown we realised that we could get everything we needed at the local shops here in Westgate, Birchington or Margate.

We didn’t need the big shops and we felt good about shopping local, supporting our local community. I’m a bit like the local shops, when you think you need to go with a bigger agent, maybe you don’t and maybe what you need is me.

Thanks again, take care and speak soon x

Posted on

Please Allow me to Introduce Myself

Hello,

If you’re reading this or watching the video then it might be in response to our letter we’ve been delivering locally, so thank you for taking the time to check me out.

Like I said in the letter, I’m Russell and we’ve lived in Westgate for six years now. First and foremost I’m husband to Zoie and daddy to three little ones. We love Westgate and Thanet in general…it’s such a great place to live, spend time and bring up our family.

So the reason for this post and the letter –

I’m an Estate Agent and have been in the industry for 20 years nearly. I have worked for some of the best estate agency businesses over the years and genuinely I love it! I love being involved on the journey with clients from valuation day to moving day. It’s a real privilege to be involved in peoples journeys at such an important stage in their lives and to be trusted to help and advise along the way.

Recently we have all had the challenge of a global pandemic to deal with and the lockdown that came with it. I guess like a lot of us, being at home for 9 weeks gave Zoie and I space to work out and re-evaluate what’s important to us. I feel like I’ve already missed out on a lot of our kids early years with long work days and commuting to work either side of the day and although I was excited to get everything back to normal there was also this sadness and a desire to have a radical change of what normally is for us and for our family.

So here we are taking the decision to set up our own agency, just wife and I. We want to start small and keep it that way, to stay local and cover only a very local area that we love. To use our experience and skillsets to give clients who want to work with us a very personal estate agency experience.

Now you might be looking at this because you’re considering selling your house and are looking for a valuation which is often the first step. You might already have your property on the market without a buyer yet or you might be thinking ahead and just looking for some general advice at this stage. Also, with the recent changes to Stamp Duty, mortgage rates being at an all time low, the fact that the market is so buoyant and we are just coming out a global pandemic there’s a lot to consider right now. Maybe you’re just on here to see who put a letter through your door – whatever the reason is I just want to say a sincere thank you for looking us up and please, just call me if you have any questions whatsoever.

You can call us anytime on 01843 269188, email us at: russell@alexander-russell.co.uk or you can also call my personal mobile number 07912 365437.

Best regards,

Russell Leask