With the second Lockdown now in full affect, you may be wondering how this development is going to affect the UK housing market moving forward.
That is why the team here at White Horse Surveyors have put together the following article, outlining the restrictions and how they will potentially affect your move.
Can I Move During This Lockdown?
Yes – it was confirmed by housing secretary Robert Jenrick that moving home is still permitted under the new restrictions.
However, it was also specified that this should only be conducted if all parties adhere to government guidance. This includes the wearing of PPE (masks and gloves), ensuring that as few people as possible are inside the home at any one time and maintain the recommended social distance apart.
Furthermore, if any participant involved in the move begins to develop symptoms that are consistent with COVID 19 (or even tests positive) then all participants should be notified and the move should be delayed until it is safe to resume.
To learn more about the official Government guidance, simply click here.
Will Estate Agents Remain Open?
Yes – Estate Agents will remain open during this second Lockdown. Again, official guidance states that you may leave your home to visit these branches but only on the condition that you follow the COVID safe guidelines.
However, if you do not feel comfortable visiting the branch in person or your agent has made the choice to work from home, you can still contact them via email, telephone and (in some cases) video conferencing software.
Can I Attend a Property Viewing?
Yes – you can still visit a property in-person before committing to a purchase. Nevertheless, much like visiting an Estate Agents, these viewings are only permitted under a specific set of circumstances.
Firstly, these viewings must only be arranged via an appointment and accompanied by an Estate Agent. The previously mentioned COVID precautions should also be taken (i.e. mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing) and visitors should avoid touching any surfaces. No more than two households should be inside the property at any one time.
It is also advised that any initial viewings are conducted virtually (using video conferencing software) to reduce the amount of unnecessary contact that yourself and the Agents are exposing themselves to.
Can I Put My Home on The Market?
Yes – the current guidelines state that you can still put your property on the market for sale. This means that Estate Agents can still visit your property to complete all the necessary processes, including:
• Take photos of the property
• Secure a Valuation
• Drawing up floor plans
• Conducting an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
Of course, these will also have to completed in accordance with the government’s COVID guidance.
Will Surveyors Continue to Operate?
Yes – under new guidance Surveyors will be able to continue their inspections.
The team here at White Horse Surveyors have carefully monitored the situation regarding COVID-19, as well as following advice from the government and World Health Organizations to ensure the safety of our clients and surveyors.
It is for this reason that we have introduced a strict Risk Assessment guide that will act as our code of conduct during these inspections. For your peace of mind, we have included some of the key considerations below:
• Any Surveyors showing symptoms of Covid-19 will NOT attend a survey for a period of at least 14 days after symptoms end.
• All Surveyors will maintain good standards of hygiene and avoid residents where possible.
• Our Office staff will gather additional information on the status of residents in relation to Covid-19 and brief them fully on any necessary safety arrangements/ requirements at the Booking stage.
• If anyone is showing symptoms of Covid-19 on arrival, the surveyor will NOT enter the property and reschedule the survey for a later date.
• Surveyors will wash their hands (or use appropriate hand sanitizer) on arrival, during and on departure before entering/exiting their vehicles.
• Surveyors will wear disposable gloves and face coverings for the duration of the inspection.
• Surveyors will NOT make any physical contact (including hand shaking) as well as maintaining 2m from the residents or any pets for the duration of the inspection.
• Surveyors will only touch surfaces when necessary.
• Surveyors will clearly communicate where they will be in a property and when it will be safe for the residents to move rooms.
For the full details of all the measures we will be taking, feel free to ask our staff about our comprehensive Risk Assessment document.
If you are planning on moving home during this second lockdown, our team can provide expert and impartial advice on your best course of action. Feel free to call us on 01249 444465 or via email at email@example.com.
Alternatively, if you found this blog on the second Lockdown useful, and would like to learn more about the surveying process, simply check out our list of related articles below:
• White Horse Surveyors – Coronavirus Statement
• Update on Physical Property Inspections
• What Are Remote Valuations?
• What Are Desktop Extension Valuations?
• A Few Things to Consider if You are Buying or Selling