The housing market is open: Everything you need to know
After weeks of discussion with other industry leaders and government, we’re thrilled to share the good news that lockdown measures have now been officially relaxed, for those wishing, or needing, to move in England.
For the thousands of home-movers stuck in limbo, unable to complete on their pre-lockdown purchases and sales, your moves will now be able to progress as estate agents, surveyors, removal firms, and others have all been given the green light to reopen their offices and commence home visits, including viewings, as long as they can be done so safely.
Here are the key things you need to know about this announcement:
Currently, this only applies to England
While good news for those of you in England, the property market in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland remains ‘closed’ right now. This means, for now, viewings and all non-essential moves should still not be happening in those areas. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear otherwise on this.
Staying safe is still key
A crucial point here: staying safe and preventing the spread of disease remains everyone’s top priority right now. This means that viewings will be slightly different than before to ensure the health and safety of both those going on viewings and those letting others into their homes. Measures include maintaining the recommended 2m distance wherever possible, guidance on the number of people present in a property and a health questionnaire prior to all visits.
Properties already on the market are the priority
Many estate agents have been closed or working with a skeleton staff for the duration of lockdown and, while they can reopen for business from Wednesday, their immediate priorities will be progressing the sales and tenancies already in process. This means reconnecting with conveyancers to get progress reports on sales and following up on all the viewing requests they’ve been unable to fully action until now, so do bear with them.
If you’re thinking about selling, do get in contact with agents to kick-start the conversation but be aware there may be a delay in them being able to market your property right now.
Some processes may change
To help prevent money laundering, you’ll always be asked to meet with your estate agent and conveyancer, in person, when buying or selling property so that they can perform ID checks.
To help minimise the amount of physical contact at this time some processes, like contracts and identity checks, may be moved online wherever possible. Your estate agent and conveyancer will be able to guide you through this and ensure the process is as smooth as possible.