Today, the government issued guidelines to get the housing market back on its feet.
It states - people are free to move home, however the process of finding and moving into a new home is likely to be different, as those involved in the process will need to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible.
The key elements are:
Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever this is possible and property agents should help you to do this.
All physical viewings should be limited to members of the same household and open house viewings should not take place.
When physically viewing properties, where possible, you should avoid touching surfaces, wash your hands regularly, and bring your own hand sanitiser. The number of people on a viewing should be minimised to those from your household that absolutely have to be there. If you need to be accompanied by small children, you should try to keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly.
If people are being shown around your current home, you should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing with standard household cleaning products.
As most people choose to, we recommend that you vacate your property whilst viewings are taking place in order to minimise your contact with those not in your household.
Anyone involved in any aspect of the home moving process should practice social distancing in line with public health advice.
When moving between properties, you and those in your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. Where this is not possible, you should speak to removal firms in advance. There is further advice about this below.
If you are particularly worried about the risk of infection, then speak to the professionals involved, your landlord, estate agent or removers as they may be able to put in place extra measures.
Everyone involved in the moving process must follow social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.
If you're Selling
You can begin to market your home and estate agents are able to visit in order to take photos/videos of the property.
To help prevent the spread of infection, we encourage people to do the majority of their property searching online; for example only physically viewing those properties which you believe you are most likely to want to move into.
If you wish to buy a new build property you should make contact with the developer in the usual way. You should be able to view the show home or visit the particular plot you are interested in purchasing, although there will be appointment systems in place.
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 coronavirus or is self-isolating, then a physical viewing should be delayed. All viewings should take place by appointment and only involve members of a single household.
We encourage people to do their property searching online wherever possible. Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever this is possible and physical viewings should only be conducted where buyers are seriously considering making an offer on a property.
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, you should open all the internal doors prior to the viewing, and allow access to handwashing facilities and ideally separate towels/paper towels.
As most people choose to do, we encourage that you vacate your property whilst viewings are taking place in order to minimise your contact with those not in your household.
When viewing a property, all parties should wash their hands and avoid touching surfaces where possible. Agents will ask you to restrict the number of people who accompany you on a viewing so that social distancing can be practised, and only those in your immediate household should be there.
We expect agents to accompany clients on a viewing but follow social distancing rules wherever possible. Where viewings are unaccompanied, agents should make sure viewers and homeowners understand how they should conduct themselves.
Once the viewing has taken place, the homeowner should ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned with standard household cleaning products and towels disposed of safely or washed as appropriate.
Further details on the government's guidelines are available here.
Our Virtual Directed Staging Service
If you're thinking of selling or want to reinvigorate your existing marketing and you're not yet comfortable to let visitors into your home, we can help with our #VirtualDirectedStaging service.
From the comfort and safety of your home, we'll follow this simple process:
1. we will arrange a suitable date and time to have a video call with you.
2. you'll send us photos of key rooms ahead of our video call.
3. during the video call, we will direct you to make changes to enhance key rooms so they present at their best, using what you have already.
Once we're done, please immediately take photos and a video. You can use these to jog your memory on how to stage each room. You can also give these to your estate agent for marketing purposes.