11th May 2020

Normal Practices for Buying and Selling Property have Changed for the Foreseeable Future

The Scottish Government has announced the introduction of another three-week lockdown effective from Thursday 7 May but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel as they also release their suggestions on what could happen at the next phase of the pandemic lockdown. In terms of Property Services we will await the suggestions but can predict that some areas of what was normal practice will have to change, perhaps for the foreseeable future.

The two main areas of change for estate agency will be both viewing and valuation procedures. We have adapted and will develop further this protocol as matters progress and will be ready to go as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

Undoubtedly one of the growth areas will be walk through virtual tours and enhanced use of videography. We have already sold properties using this technology during the lockdown and we can see virtual or 3D tours playing a large part in purchasers weeding out what properties are suitable for a physical viewing and which are not. We use this technology already and are well placed to continue to do so, especially with schematic and drone visuals. The last 6 weeks, even in lockdown, has shown us that there is still an appetite for house sales and purchase and whilst it is not business as usual, we are open and here to help with clients who wish to sell or buy. We are speaking to sellers on a daily basis usual virtual valuation or talking through the current market conditions. If you are thinking of selling you can use our online property valuation tool, or you can contact us either by phone or e-mail.

It should be noted that the current crisis is very different from the recession that started in 2008/2009. This was caused by an underlying credit issue that squeezed available finance resulting in a devaluation of the market and property stocks. After a steep initial drop the market was stagnant for a prolonged period and it wasn’t until 2014 that we started to see some real signs of recovery. The Corona Virus crisis is totally different. Finance is readily available and at historically low levels. This is one of the key factors that will help stimulate a recovery.

Many sellers ask us what can be done to enhance the chances of selling. Kerb appeal has never been more important. This is the ideal time to tidy up the garden, repaint the front door and de clutter. The first 30 seconds is vital during a viewing, make it count and make sure the initial approach to the house is as inviting as possible.

Martin Paterson,
Director of Property Services
Estate Agency
Blackadders LLP




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