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.