Just as everyone tried to get back on with things we find ourselves in another lockdown. But what does it mean if you’re trying to do big things like buying a house?
Do you put off the decision? Or maybe you’re too far down the line to turn back or for some other reason can’t wait.
Conveyancing aside, you’ve sold your house and you’re now looking for your forever home. So here’s what to do if you don’t want to let a little thing like a lockdown stop you from finding your dream home.
Arranging Property Viewings During the Coronavirus Pandemic
When it comes to buying and selling during the Covid -19 pandemic both the buyer and the vendor need to be cautious. You should also make sure the agent takes the precautions seriously too, particularly if you’re shielding or in a particular risk group.
For example these estate agents in southend ask if anyone in the home currently has Covid-19 symptoms, or if anyone visiting has symptoms. They will also ask if anyone who has symptoms has been isolating for the required amount of time.
If there is someone in a vulnerable category in the house the agent should ask if they can be removed for the period of the viewing, for their safety.
In this circumstance it may be worth trying to find someone who can take their place. For example if it’s just a matter of a person being at the property while the agent shows people round, perhaps a homeowner could be helped by a trusted family member.
The same questions apply to the agent. If you have any concerns or you feel the estate agents aren’t taking the precautions seriously you should not feel obligated to continue until you are happy that the right precautions are being taken.
When You go to View a Property
If you’ve bought a house before you will know the form. You view many and nothing is quite what you’re after for a long time, until you eventually find the one.
With that in mind technology means you can probably cut down contact with others by making the viewings virtual. Many estate agents are now offering virtual tours, which can give an idea if you’re going to like a house in the first place.
If you’re unsure you can always arrange a viewing in person, but it can really help to weed out those ones that really aren’t you.
As well as the safety aspect you’ll probably find a virtual viewing saves you a lot of time. Imagine viewing a house from the comfort of your office. You won’t need to take time off work, or arrange childcare (these can be issues when you’re trying to find your perfect home).
You should sanitise your hands before entering and leaving the property and ideally it should involve as few people as possible. That means you should try to leave the children at home if possible. If the adults viewing are from different households, it’s advised they book separate viewings.
And during the viewing, the vendor, agent and viewers should maintain a distance of at least 1m, but 2m where possible. You should not touch any surfaces.
If the vendor is in a high-risk or vulnerable group, you may be asked to wear a face mask during your visit.
Keeping Visit Times to a Minimum
It’s good practise to keep the viewing time to a minimum. Obviously larger houses will take longer to look round, as might second viewings. However you should aim for a 15-minute viewing time where possible.
Any feedback or questions can be discussed outside the house after the viewing. This will give you longer inside the house and reduce the risks of exposed contact time, especially if any of the parties are in a high risk group.
Small things like being on time can help, alongside letting the agent know if you are delayed for any reason. This again helps reduce contact time with other people. It’s also advised to arrange viewings at a time when there’s less commuter traffic, if you are using public transport to get there.
With just a little extra planning, buying and selling a house doesn’t need to involve any extra risks.