Prior to the Covid lockdown the property market was buoyant and activity levels were excellent. Properties were selling well throughout all sectors and we are anticipating a surge of new activity as soon as the current restrictions are lifted on the 29th of June. However, the government has introduced certain procedures that will change the way viewings and valuations are conducted.
During the lockdown the market still moved forward. We have had hundreds of viewing and valuations enquires which is all very positive. As mentioned in a previous blog I feel that this current crisis is different from 2008. At that time lending restrictions were tight where as mortgage providers today have a wide range of products and loans which are readily available. This will make a difference to any recovery.
There is a huge growth of online video and virtual tours and this will be the norm for some time.
The government has encouraged the use of this technology as a first stop prior to any physical viewings.
Please find the valuation and viewing’s guidelines below and please contact the property team should you have any queries.
GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES ON VIEWINGS
People should use virtual viewings before visiting properties in person where possible, in order to minimise public health risks.
If any member of either the household being viewed or the household undertaking a viewing is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or is self-isolating, then a physical viewing should be delayed.
If you are a tenant who is shielding, you should not be compelled to allow viewings and your landlord or letting agent should check this with you beforehand.
All viewings should take place by appointment and only involve members of a single household.
- we encourage people to do the majority of their property searching online. Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever this is possible. Physical viewings should only be conducted where people are seriously considering making an offer on, or renting, a property, or where a prospective tenant is being offered a rental property and a virtual viewing is not possible.
- to support this, agents may ask home occupiers to conduct virtual viewings. This will help reduce the number of properties people need to visit before finding their future home.
- viewings should be conducted by appointment only and no open house viewings should take place.
- if your property is being viewed, while you are living in it, you should open all the internal doors prior to the viewing.
- where possible, we encourage all members of the household to vacate the property whilst viewings are taking place, unless you are conducting the viewing, in order to minimise contact with those not in your household.
- before viewing a property, all parties should wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitiser) and avoid touching surfaces where possible. Access to hand washing facilities should be provided, using separate towels or paper towels if possible, which should be washed or disposed of safely. In rental properties, the landlord/seller should be responsible for providing these. We also recommend that you consider using a face covering (see above). You should restrict the number of people who accompany you on a viewing so that physical distancing can be practised. Only those in your immediate household and/or your agent should accompany you. If you need to be accompanied by young children, you should try to keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly.
- where viewings are unaccompanied by an agent, social housing or private rented sector representatives; viewers and home occupiers should comply with physical distancing and health advice.
- all surfaces, such as door handles, should be cleaned with standard household cleaning products before and after each viewing and towels disposed of safely or washed as appropriate. In rental properties, the landlord/seller should be responsible for providing the cleaning products and towels.
WHEN BOOKING A VALUATION
Please make it known if you are in the shielding / vulnerable category
Please DO NOT book a valuation should you or a member of your household be displaying any signs of Coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild.
On Day of Valuation
Should you or a member of the household be displaying any signs of Coronavirus (COVID-19) you should make arrangements to cancel the appointment
Householders are asked to:
- Stay in a separate room or to step outside for the duration of the inspection.
- Open a window in each room (where possible) to allow for ventilation.
- Leave all doors ajar/open, including outbuildings
Our Valuers will
- Not attend should they or a member of their household be displaying any signs of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Discuss work environment and practices with you in advance to confirm how the work will be carried out
- Call when outside the property
- Bring PPE Equipment including face mask, disposable gloves
- Ask you to confirm no symptoms
- Follow Government Guidelines on Hand Hygiene
- Take additional steps where householder is being shielded/vulnerable to ensure safety of the householder
- Tell you should they have come into contact with any surfaces
Martin Paterson, Director
The opinions expressed in this blog are of the author only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.
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