The United Kingdom is in lockdown 2.0.  Yet brilliantly, as things stand, estate agents in England are still operating – with a few added guidelines.  The government has allowed the housing market to continue and delightfully, we can partake in property viewings during what is hopefully our last lockdown.

Nevertheless, although we can go to homes for viewings, we still need to be cautious. We must follow government guidance, look after our health and the health of other homeowners. There is quite a lot to think about before attending a viewing, so, today, the team at Houso would like to offer you some tips for your upcoming viewings.

Firstly, we want to suggest a new way of property viewings – online viewings. Why not start with an online viewing, if available?  If you are not entirely sure about a home, you can save an unnecessary journey by having a quick look at it online. Afterwards, if you liked the home, you could then do a physical viewing. Either way, an online viewing won’t do you any harm and it could save your time, the seller’s time, and the agent’s time.

If you do decide to go to a physical viewing, then there a few things you must consider before attending. For instance, the less time you spend at a viewing, the safer it will be. Much of the time spent during a viewing is taken up by asking questions. Maybe ask any questions before your viewing or plan them before so that you know exactly what questions to ask. Also, remember that your estate agent may only allow one person at a home viewing at a time. Find out before your viewing – you don’t want your partner/friend left outside in the cold!

Your agent will ask you a few questions before a viewing, such as:

– Does anybody in your household have COVID-19?
– Has anybody in your household had COVD-19?
– Does anybody in your household have COVID-19 symptoms?
– Are you ‘high-risk’?

The same questions will be given to the homeowner, if you are interested in their answers then you may ask your agent. Your agent should not be continuing with viewings if any people involved have shown any symptoms, but we still suggest that you ask.  If you or anyone in your house have symptoms, then do not leave your home!

When travelling to-and-from home viewings, make sure that you turn up on time.  There may be other viewers throughout the day and having a queue outside a home is not ideal.  It is also courteous and the safest option to travel using your vehicle or to walk/cycle (if possible). These options are safest for both you and the homeowners. If you drive, it would be sensible to check the parking situation before you leave. If you have no choice but to travel on public transport, consider travelling at off-peak (quietest) times of the day.

When you arrive at your viewing, be mindful that other people may be more afraid of COVID-19 than you are. Ensure that you understand their requirements before you upset anybody. Always maintain a 2-metre distance wherever possible and where a face covering at all times. We suggest that you carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands regularly, if not you could take disposable gloves. Finally, take a drink, you are not supposed to accept, or ask for drinks on viewings, so bring one with you!

It is a confusing time for many industries, but with a little planning, you should be able to enjoy your upcoming home viewings. Or ask for virtual viewing – many of our home sellers on Houso have been offering these to potential buyers during lockdown!

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