The Government have unlocked the housing market allowing us agents to get back to work and our wonderful customers to get moving.
Viewings, Valuations and Home Moves are all back on the table as acceptable reasons to travel.
Unfortunately, as has been the case with much advice on Covid-19, up until 3pm yesterday we were still seeing newly published news reports that our industry was being advised by the Housing Secretary that the earliest we could reopen would be 1st June. At 6pm yesterday, it appeared this was totally reversed when news broke that the housing market would be fully reopened from today.
Whilst we welcome this move for the economy, our customers with a pressing need to move and the industry as a whole, the U-turn has given us almost no time to arrange appropriate PPE for our team. We haven’t sourced any before now, as it is needed for frontline NHS, Care Home and Key workers. Likewise, no time to get our premises prepared or train our team for a new way of working, or ask our client’s what level of marketing is best for them in their own personal circumstances.
Our priority is the safety of our team, customers, families and the people of the wonderful county we live in. Due to this we will still be working predominantly from home until further notice.
That being said, we will very shortly be in a position to allow some physical appointments to be conducted where safe to do so and where a virtual appointment is inappropriate or unavailable.
These will be operated under strict social distancing rules:
- We will ask whether any party is showing symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate before going ahead with any viewing, or visits to offices.
- We will operate using an appointment only system for visits to our offices and when conducting viewings.
- We will not carry out any open house events.
- We will strongly encourage clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in.
- If accompanying a physical viewing, we will seek to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance from others wherever possible. Where social distancing is not possible and the visit is within an enclosed space, we will ask all parties to wear a face covering in line with government guidance.
- Where we do not accompany a visit, we will make sure that both buyers and sellers clearly understand how the viewing should be conducted safely.
- We can no longer drive clients to appointments.
- All parties viewing a property should wash their hands with soap and water (or hand sanitiser if not available) immediately after entering the properties, with internal doors opened and surfaces having been wiped down before they enter. Separate towels or paper towels should be used if possible and washed or disposed of safely after use.
- We will promote flexibility when arranging move dates, for example advising clients to ensure contracts have explicit terms to manage the timing risks presented by coronavirus.
- We will work with our clients and other agents to broker a new date to move where sales are due to complete and one of the parties falls ill with coronavirus or has to self-isolate.
- We will ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover.
For more information please see full guidance here.
Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon.