We have some good news! Providing that you follow strict safety guidelines, you can still buy, sell, let and rent properties. If you are worried about guidelines – you have come to the right place! Today, the team at Houso want to break the guidelines up for you in a simple manner. Before you carry on reading, we just want to stress that your safety, and the safety of others comes before anything else – keep to the guidelines, and stay safe.
Firstly, we need to cover the broad differences across the British Isles. We will start with England and Northern Ireland, where the rules are most relaxed. If you are already in the process of moving in or out of these nations, you can as you please. The only restriction is that you cannot gain help from people outside of your household or support bubble during your move (this applies throughout the UK). If you do require some outside help, say, for example, if you need assistance with mobility and handling, we suggest that you contact your local brand Citizen’s Advice who will be able to advise and arrange help.
For those of you moving to or from Wales, the government would prefer that you wait until Tier 4 restrictions are lifted (if you can). Removals, surveyors and all other necessary companies are still operational; however, high street agencies are closed to the public. We appreciate that being told to only move ‘if you have to’ is a bit vague. However, feel assured that you won’t get into any trouble by moving. Finally, to Scotland, where rules appear the strictest. Again, you are allowed to move, nevertheless, the government have ‘strongly’ advised that you postpone if possible. In a nutshell, all of you can continue with your moves, but those of you in Wales and Scotland are asked to delay your move if you can.
The property market is currently very busy, there are many great properties available and for those looking to sell, there is good money to be made. So, if you are wondering, ‘Can/should I put my property on the market?’, the answer is yes, definitely! If you want photographs of your property, most estate agents are still visiting homes, but, if you can take them yourself then even better – and you will save some money! We have created a guide to help you with this: How To Prepare Your Property For Photography
We highly suggest you offer property viewings online. Not only because this is a safer way, but because online viewings widen your scope to potential buyers. We have created two guides on the topic of virtual viewings as we believe this is a great way to show off your home:
If someone has fallen in love with your property and asks for a physical viewing, only allow it if the buyer, you, and your entire household have no symptoms or are not self-isolating. During viewings, all involved must wear a face mask, maintain a 2-metre distance, avoid touching surfaces and wash hands before and after. It is a nice touch to allow the buyers into the house alone and leave all doors open so that they do not need to touch any door handles.
If you are in the middle of buying a home, you may have a better understanding of the rules. Be aware though, that all estate agents will have varied rules/procedures/guidelines, so please contact them if you are uncertain about anything. If you do not receive an immediate response from your agent, it may be because they are working with limited staff and are also very busy – so please do be patient. Also, conveyancing processes are slower than usual, and the property market is bustling so things may take longer than usual.
Remember that rules are changing on a daily basis – if you’re unsure, contact your estate agent, or simply have a google on Gov guidelines! Keep safe and good luck.