Compare-Agents.con compare the performance of all estate agents in the UK to provide you with a list of the best estate agents that cover your area and how they perform against each other. With the best online and high street estate agents at our fingertips, we have all the info you need when it comes to selling your home. Here is our advice on viewing properties during a pandemic.

Can Property Viewings Take Place During The Pandemic?

People currently tied up in the process of selling a property and moving to a new home have been left wondering how the process might go ahead under the current  Government guidelines surrounding Covid-19

First things first, current guidance states that people who wish to move home can do so as long as all safety measures are followed. Estate agents are able to visit your home in order to take photos and videos, prospective buyers are able to come and view your property and removals companies are able to facilitate moves.

Paramount though, is the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved. Although there is currently more freedom to move home, public health and Government guidance must always come first. Social distancing measures must be observed and any physical appointments should be postponed immediately if anyone is self-isolating or showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Adapting Viewing Arrangements

It is important to remember at this time that parties may need to adapt at short notice and be flexible, altering their usual practices. This might go as far as agreeing alternative dates to move even.

Guidance states that anyone with symptoms, self-isolating, or shielding from the virus should follow medical advice which will mean not moving for the time being, if at all possible. Clinically vulnerable and shielding individuals must carefully consider their personal situation and may wish to seek medical advice before deciding whether to move. All involved must take a patient approach if you are in a chain with vulnerable parties, allowing them time to safely conduct a move.t

There is already a degree of angst surrounding a home move, especially concerning contractual terms. The Government has tried to ease this pressure through:

·       Laying down sector specific guidelines;

·       Asking banks and building societies to extend the period prior to the expiry of a mortgage offer;

·       Working with conveyancers to develop a standard legal process for delaying moving completion dates.

Selling Your Home

You are free to move home. However, we advise you to compare estate agents as the process of searching for and moving into a new home is different.  The best estate agents, conveyancers and other professionals will have modified how they work to accommodate the rules to accommodate the pandemic.

Agents can visit your property to take photos and videos while fully adhering to public health guidance. However, If any member of the household is showing symptoms or self-isolating, estate agents should not physically visit the property.

When you compare estate agents, find out what they are offering and how they are working to follow advice. They should be able to explain their procedures and how they are managing the safety of their staff and clients. The best estate agents, conveyancers and other professionals will have modified how they work to accommodate the rules surrounding the pandemic.

Viewings During Covid-19

Government guidance allows for physically distanced viewings that carefully adhere to public health guidance. Safety always comes first and there are several measures that need to be followed:

·       Viewings for serious buyers only.

·       Initial viewings to be done online as virtual viewings.

·       Physical viewings to be done by appointment only.

·       Open houses are not permitted.

·       During viewings open all windows and doors prior and if possible, leave the property for the duration of the viewing.

·       Everyone must wash their hands prior to the viewing. Handwashing facilities to be made available with separate paper towels if possible.

·       Estate agents should restrict the number of people present.

·       After the viewing, the homeowner should sanitise surfaces.

·       Wales only: physical viewings should only take place if the property has been deep cleaned or unoccupied for at least 72 hours.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Before the viewing, your estate agent will confirm in writing that you have appropriate PPE. If you do not confirm prior to the viewing, your estate agent may cancel the appointment.

Offers

Offers may continue to be made and accepted on properties. Desk-based valuations and searches using local authority online systems are to be made wherever possible.

Prospective buyers who have agreed a sale may wish to visit a property again now restrictions have been lifted. They can do so as long as they follow the same advice for viewings.

Purchasers can also arrange for a tradesperson to carry out inspections. Again, only to be carried out by appointment and only one person at a time. No tradespeople should enter a property where a member of the household is showing signs of coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating.

Removals

Removal firms can operate but again, must adhere to Government guidance which states how and when work can be carried out in people’s homes.

Estate agent fees for the best online estate agents are sometimes cheaper than conventional high street estate agents. Compare Estate Agents Here.

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