Viewings and House Moves During Lockdown
The current lockdown has posed challenges for everyone with people from all walks of life feeling the strain of restrictions and being necessarily distanced from friends and family.
Some important aspects of life must, of course, continue – exercising in the park, shopping for essentials, caring for vulnerable relatives and volunteering in your local community. It’s also essential that people who are currently in the middle of a house purchase/sale/rental, or who are in the initial stages of starting the process, can progress these moves, with careful regard to the current COVID home-moving guidance.
Can house viewings still go ahead?
The Government has allowed the housing market to remain open. Such viewings of properties (either to buy or to rent) are permitted, whilst undertaking all precautions necessary to protect the homeowner(s), those undertaking the viewings, and of course the agency teams.
At Grosvenor Billinghurst, we are rigorously vetting the small numbers of people deemed appropriate to view to ensure that we do not needlessly put anyone at risk. Where our sellers/occupants are reticent to accommodate physical ‘in person’ viewings, for example, where they are shielding, we can offer virtual viewings of properties. If you would like to know more about what we are doing to protect clients and what to expect on viewing, you can read more about it here.
Can my house sale or purchase still go ahead?
All professional advisers involved in the sale, purchase and rental of houses are still working and able to support clients through this process. Although you should be aware that the nature of working remotely for some professions might cause a slight delay in the usual operations and so extra time should be allowed for.
Many firms have bought in electronic means of doing identity checks and signing important documents, meaning that the transaction can, in most instances, be undertaken “online” – other than the handing over of keys of course!
What is going to happen in the future?
There has recently been a large amount of press coverage about the housing market, with stories of people travelling hundreds of miles to undertake viewings and a lack of social distancing during these viewings. One`of our Directors, Roly Matthews, commented for the BBC on this subject. The government is being asked to review the guidelines currently in place to ensure a safe process during viewings.
We fully support the government in reviewing current practices to ensure that all estate agents follow current guidelines, instigating and maintaining checks to ensure they do not needlessly put their clients, their team and the broader public at risk.
We will continue to follow the guidelines closely, take all relevant precautions, and ensure that we do our utmost to protect our clients, our team and our local communities whilst supporting our clients in progressing their journey on the property ladder. If you need advice or help with your property search in Surrey, why not contact us for completely safe viewings?