How to view property safely

How to view property safely

We’ve created a set of simple guidelines, based on official government guidance, to reassure you when going on property viewings or allowing others into your home for viewings.

To help you find the most relevant information, click on the following options to jump straight to the corresponding section:

 

I'm a buyer or renter going on a viewing
I'm a seller hosting viewings in my home

 

 

If you’re a buyer or renter going on viewings:

You can still go and view properties that you’ve had your eye on, but you must follow our simple guidance to ensure your viewing goes as smoothly and as safely as possible:

Protecting yourself and those in the property you’re viewing

Whether it’s on your way to a viewing, or once you get there, remember these three key pieces of advice from the government:

Maintain a 2m distance
Maintain a 2m distance from anyone you aren’t living with wherever possible.
Wash your hands regularly
Wash your hands regularly (and thoroughly) and avoid touching your face – this remains one of the most effective ways to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Clean surfaces regularly
Clean surfaces regularly – and minimise contact with those outside of your home, such as door handles.

 

Why not start with an online viewing, if available?

You’ll still need to view the property in person before being able to proceed with an offer, but it’s a great place to start. Particularly helpful if you’re not entirely sure whether it’s suitable for you, it’s also one less journey you’ll need to make. If you’d still like to view the property, the agent will be pleased to know you’re serious.

 

Before the viewing

In line with government guidance, anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms should be staying at home, to help prevent further spread of the disease.

To give confidence to all parties present at the viewing that this guidance is being followed, and to help the agent manage the viewing in the most efficient way possible, you should be asked to complete a handful of questions before your viewing such as:

  • Has anyone in your household had COVID-19?
  • Has anyone in your household displayed COVID-19 symptoms or not yet completed a required period of household self-isolation?
  • Are you in the high-risk category?

The current owner, or tenants, of the property you’re going to view will have also completed these questions, as will the agent if they’ll be present on the viewing, so don’t be afraid to check with the agent on this if it’s a concern.

We would also recommend asking the agent as many questions as possible before the viewing, to help save time on the viewing itself.

 

Travelling to and from viewings

We want you to be more excited than stressed right now, so follow our top travel tips for a smooth, and safe, journey:

  • Wherever possible, use your own transport (i.e car, motorcycle or bicycle) or, if it’s a walkable distance, consider this as an option
  • If you’re planning to drive to a viewing, think in advance about parking. Let the agent know in advance so they can advise you on where’s best to park as it’s not always obvious, especially if you don’t know the area.
  • Public transport is still essential for many of us, especially those in big cities. When booking the viewing, let the agent know so that they can help you book a viewing time outside of peak travel hours (06:30 – 09:30 and 16:00 – 19:00)
  • Show up on time. Agents will need you to arrive at your viewing at the time you’ve agreed, not earlier and not later. This is to help minimise the number of people gathering near the property.

 

At the viewing

For the duration of the viewing, you will need to be mindful that this is someone’s home (if occupied) and follow the social distancing guidelines.

Being armed with all the questions you still need to ask on the viewing will be more important than ever to ensure you’re getting the most out of the viewing.

Create your ownviewing kit to get the most out of your viewings:

  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser or a small bar of soap in a resealable bag and some paper hand towels or a small towel. This will ensure you can clean your hands both before and after the viewing
  • A face mask wearing a face mask is an essential requirement if you’re going on a viewing.
  • Disposable glovesnot an essential, but a good idea if you’re worried about touching anything accidentally (especially if you’ve had to travel by public transport).
  • Viewing ChecklistPrint-out or save a copy of our renter viewing checklist or buyer viewing checklist they contain all the key questions you’ll need to ask
  • Something to write withbe it a pen, pencil or your phone, you’ll want to jot down the answers to your questions and make notes.
  • Your phonenot only so you can contact the agent if you need to, but also so you can take photos or make notes
  • A bottle of water In case you get thirsty, and always advisable in warmer months. You won’t be able to accept, or ask for, one on a viewing so useful to have in your bag

 

Remember:

Three things to remember

 

 

If you’re a seller letting people into your home for viewings:

Over the coming weeks, your agent will be busy booking in prospective buyers who’ve asked to view your property.

Follow our simple guidance to ensure each viewing goes as smoothly as possible:

 

Protecting your household and those on viewings

Always remember to follow this simple government guidance:

Maintain a 2m distance
Maintain a 2m distance from anyone you aren’t living with wherever possible.
Wash your hands regularly
Wash your hands regularly (and thoroughly) and avoid touching your face – this remains one of the most effective ways to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Clean surfaces regularly
Clean surfaces regularly – and minimise contact with those outside of your home, such as door handles.

 

Has your agent got everything they need to do an online viewing?

While anyone serious about your property will still need to view it in person, the government has advised that, wherever possible, online viewings should happen before physical viewings.

Many agents are now successfully using ‘online viewings’ as an initial gauge of buyer and tenant interest, helping to ensure that physical viewings only go ahead with those truly serious about your property.

Check-in with your agent to make sure they have everything they need to conduct an online viewing of your property. If they require anything else from you, such as a video tour of your home, they’ll be able to guide you through this.

 

Before the viewing

In line with government guidance, anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms should be staying at home, to help prevent further spread of the disease. Viewings should not go ahead if any party is experiencing symptoms or has recently tested positive for coronavirus.

To give confidence to all parties present at the viewing that this guidance is being followed, and to help the agent manage the viewing in the most efficient way possible, you should be asked to complete a handful of questions before any viewings your agent has organised which should include:

  • Has anyone in your household had COVID-19?
  • Has anyone in your household displayed COVID-19 symptoms or not yet completed a required period of household self-isolation?
  • Is anyone in your household in the high-risk category?

 

Ahead of each viewing, each prospective buyer will have also been asked to complete these questions, as will the agent if they’ll be present on the viewing. Don’t be afraid to check with the agent that this has happened if it’s a concern.

 

Preparing for the viewing

Most of us will give our homes a good deep clean before opening the doors to prospective buyers, as part of wanting it to look its best and attract a buyer. Now is no different, so use it as an opportunity to give everything a good clean before viewings start.

 As much as you’ll not want the strangers in your home touching door handles etc, they will feel the same. If your agent is doing the viewing on your behalf, they should be opening all doors, cupboards etc for those on the viewing. If you’re doing the viewing, we advise you take the same approach as it will help you keep track of what you’ll need to clean afterwards.

 To help minimise the number of people in your home at any one time, it may be required for you and your household to leave while the viewing is taking place.

We would recommend discussing this with your agent before any viewings so that, together, you can work out a sensible plan that works for everyone.

 

 When preparing for a viewing, follow our checklist to help it go smoothly:

  • Clean items and/or areas that are likely to be touched (i.e door handles, doorbells) with an antibacterial cleaner both before and after the viewing has taken place.
  • Open windows to boost ventilation prior to the viewing taking place
  • Open internal doors, loft hatches, and anything else you think may be of interest, ahead of the viewing to minimise any unnecessary contact
  • If possible, provide hand sanitiser by your front door so that the agent and viewers can clean their hands when they enter and leave your home.
  • Have a plan of where you can go while the viewing is taking place if you need to.

 

After the viewing

Once the viewing has finished, the agent may want to spend a couple of extra minutes with you, perhaps going through any feedback or comments with you. If you have an outdoor space that allows you to distance yourselves more easily, feel free to take the conversation outside, or ideally minimise physical meetings and book a follow-up video call.

They may have just found you a buyer, but don’t be tempted to shake hands!

Once the agent has left, you’ll want to wipe down any door handles, cupboard doors etc that were touched on the viewing, with an antibacterial wipe or spray, and wash your hands.

 

Remember:

Three things to remember

 

For more information, visit the government’s website.


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