Following the changes to restrictions on 19th July, we have received questions about viewing and showing properties. Although many restrictions considering contact with others are no longer in place, the government urges people to exercise “caution and restraint” as we completely come out of lockdown.
“We urge everyone involved in the home buying and selling process to continue to follow good hygiene practices, including regular hand-washing, sanitising, and cleaning,” states the advice on gov.uk.
So, how do you go about viewing and showing properties as we get back to normality in life? We answer your frequently asked questions on viewing a property post lockdown.
“Can I view the property in person?”
The guidance continues to recommend virtual viewings when possible, however unless you’re self-isolating you can absolutely go and view the property in person.
“Do I wear a face mask during my viewing?”
Although the latest guidance states that face masks are not legally required, it does suggest you should consider wearing a face mask when viewing a property, this is at the discretion of the homeowner and you must respect their wishes should they ask you to wear a mask.
“Can I ask potential buyers to wear a face mask during a viewing?”
It is completely up to you whether you would like visitors to wear a face mask whilst viewing your property. Make sure you let your viewers know before their visit, or if working with an estate agent relay this information to them.
“Are tradespeople allowed in my house?”
Tradespeople can come into your home as long as no one in your house, or none of the trades team, are self-isolating. You can also keep doors and windows open to allow a flow of air, and use a cleaning company before you move in to give the place a good clean if you’ve had multiple people in and out.
“I’ve tested positive for Covid-19 right before completion date – what do I do?”
Although not an ideal scenario, it’s not the end of the world. Most estate agents and individuals understand that this is the reality of the current situation and need to be prepared to have some level of flexibility.
Speak to your solicitor when drafting the contract to ensure there is a clause to manage risks and implications of delay due to Covid-19.
The advice states that “you should not expect to immediately be able to move into any home where people have Covid-19 or are self-isolating. There is a greater risk that home moves may need to be delayed if someone in the transaction shows symptoms of Covid-19 or is self-isolating.”
To summarise – most restrictions in England have been lifted and eased, but you are urged to practice safety, distancing, and good levels of hygiene when viewing or showing a property. Wash your hands, have a face mask handy, don’t touch surfaces as you walk around, and most importantly be respectful of others.