With the whole of England at the start of a 4-week lockdown, people are asking questions about how this will affect the housing market.
The biggest and most urgent question is this. Can I still move home? The answer to this is yes, the government has confirmed that as long as the guidelines are adhered to, you can still move during the lockdown which is due to last until 2nd December.
Moving Home During Lockdown
The housing market is due to stay open during this lockdown which is great news, both for sellers and potential buyers who are looking to move at this time. This will be subject to adhering to government advice on moving home safely.
Buyers can still go on property viewings and estate/letting agents and removals firms can continue to operate during this lockdown. Surveys and valuations are still permitted and show homes and sales suites can remain open.
Are Estate Agents open?
All good estate agents should be open and operating during the lockdown. Visits to estate agents are allowed under lockdown rules, although you should contact your agent beforehand to see if they are operating an appointment system to minimise contact.
Government guidance specifies that you can leave your home to
undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or the rental of a residential property:
- visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes
- viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or to rent
- preparing a residential property to move in
- moving house
- visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or
- sale of that property
Viewing a property
Under the new government guidelines, property viewings are allowed. Our advice would be to contact the agents and see if you can do a virtual viewing. This will allow you to see around the property without actually visiting the premises before you choose to view the property in person.
If and when you do decide to view the property, you should adhere to usual social contact precautions such as wearing a facemask, washing your hands, and using hand sanitiser.
As a homeowner, if you are currently allowing viewings, you should ensure your surfaces and handles are properly disinfected after every viewing. Opening all of the doors in your property is also a great idea to minimise contact with the door handles.
Putting a new property on the market
The new government regulations allow homeowners to put their properties on the market. Estate agents will be able to visit to take photos, videos and conduct virtual viewings.
Of course, all restrictions and guidelines should be followed to minimise the spread of infection
If you are looking for a property to purchase or rent, all initial searches should be conducted online, and virtual viewings are highly recommended. We would only recommend viewing a property when you have a genuine interest in making an offer or renting the property.
Read the Rightmove guide on how to view property safely.