It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, which no one could have ever predicted, and from Thursday 5th November, our nation faces its second lockdown until 2nd December. However, things are a little different this time. It has been confirmed that the housing market is to remain open. This is great news for the property industry, but we understand that our vendors and clients may have a number of concerns about how we are able to market their property, carry out viewings and complete on sales safely during this uneasy time. So, we’ve put together some answers to just some of the questions you may have.
Why have estates agents remained open during a national lockdown?
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has stated, “The housing market will remain open throughout this period. Everyone should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance.”. After the first lockdown, the property industry played a huge part in boosting the economy. We believe this boom will continue into 2021, with property sales being a massive and much-needed cog in keeping the economy moving forward. This is aided by mortgage holidays set to be extended and the current stamp duty holiday continuing, which we personally hope will be extended beyond March 31st next year.
Can I still visit your office?
Yes, of course! We are here to help and to make moving house during this time as easy as possible, so our doors remain open to you. We’d still love to have a chat about your property needs in our offices, but we may need to provide a date and meeting time in some of our smaller offices to avoid potential over-crowding. All we ask is that you wear a face mask, sanitize your hands with the gel provided and use our check-in system as you enter, keeping to the government’s advised social distancing measures during your visit.
How are you able to carry out viewings of my property safely?
Our aim is to keep you, your viewer and our members of staff safe at all times. We advise that during any physical viewing of your property no more than two households are inside the property at any one time (anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household). This includes any agent accompanying either party. This means you will need to leave your property for the duration of any viewing if you would prefer one of our members of staff to carry out the viewing for you. If you wish to do the viewing yourself, that’s ok, but we will not be able to accompany you for this and we ask that you follow the government safety guidelines. If you choose for one of our agents to carry out your viewings, please rest-assured we will always use hand sanitiser, face masks and ask that internal doors are left open so there are minimal handles and surfaces touched. We will also ask your viewer to do the same and to not touch anything within your property.
What if I don’t want viewings on my property during lockdown?
If you do not wish to have viewings take place inside your property throughout lockdown, this is entirely your decision and we will not put any pressure on you to do so. However, if you wish to continue marketing your property for sale during this time, you should ideally have a virtual tour available for your property or alternatively, allow us to carry out livestreamed viewings of your property. If you do not currently have a virtual tour set up for your property and wish to cease physical viewings while staying on the market, please call us to arrange this as soon as possible.
I’m not on the market yet, should I hold off until lockdown is over?
There is no necessary need to hold off, the government has deemed it safe to proceed with the sale of properties, so long as Covid-19 safety measures are in place. The property market is currently very strong, so now is an ideal time to start marketing your home for sale. We hope that other answers provided here will also ease your mind, that when you sell your property with Arden Estates, your safety is always at the forefront.
Will lockdown affect how long my sale takes?
Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure how lockdown may affect some sales. However, we can promise you that our dedicated sales progression teams are available to help support and guide you through what may be a difficult or frustrating time. Solicitors will remain working throughout lockdown, but due to the recent surge in property sales, conveyancing is taking a little longer than usual to complete on all properties.
My house is due to complete its sale within the lockdown timeframe, can I still move?
Yes! Both homeowners and renters are permitted to move house during lockdown. Removal firms have also been given the go-ahead to work as usual, so long as all ensure Covid-19 safety measures are taken at all times.
What if our household or our purchaser’s household becomes ill with Covid-19?
We will encourage all parties involved in any of our house sales to be as flexible as possible, for example if one person involved in a sale tests positive with Covid-19 symptoms during the moving process and must self-isolate, it may be necessary to pause the house move for a short period of time to manage the spread of the virus. But, we will let you know as soon as possible if this needs to happen.
We hope these answers have eased your mind when it comes to selling your home with Arden through Covid-19 and the impending lockdown. However, if you still have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly team at your local Arden Estates office.