COVID Guidance - England only
As a result of the Government Announcement released on 12th May, our offices are now beginning to open, following the strict safety guidance that we have been given. We are delighted to be able to serve our customers needs more and help people with all of their property needs.
In order to comply with government guidance our offices have been busy making changes to ensure that they are working within government guidelines to help keep you safe whilst looking after your property needs. We are proud to be able to say we comply with the governments Staying Covid-19 Secure in 2020 campaign. All of our offices have been given the following certificate and have actioned the five steps.
As you know all of our franchised offices are run by independent business owners, any questions please do contact the individual office for specific information.
We have put these general FAQ’s together to help you navigate these changes:
Can I come into your office?
All of our offices are open for business, many offices you can attend by appointment only so we can better control the office environment to ensure the safety of you and our staff. Please call or email your nearest office to discuss making an appointment. We ask that you only attend your appointment if you are well and not showing any of the key COVID symptoms. When you arrive at the office for your appointment, you will notice that we have put various social distancing measures in place which could include screens, floor markings, safety communications and masks and gloves. The extent of these safety measures will depend on the layout of the specific office you are visiting. If you are concerned about the measures we have in place, please discuss with us when booking your appointment so we can hopefully put your mind at ease.
Can I view a property?
The answer is yes you can! We are favouring virtual viewings wherever possible for first viewings which involves viewing a property via a video chat or using a pre-filmed video tour. If however you wish to see that property in person, we can now facilitate that. We will discuss with you the specific requirements to keep the viewing process safe. This may involve you filling out a health questionnaire prior to the viewing (for both the viewer and the current owner). We will ask the owner of the property to not be present and we will do everything we can to minimise any physical contact with doors and cupboards etc to keep both you and the owners safe. We will be limiting the number of people who can attend the viewings.
Can I put my property up for sale?
If you want to sell your property, we can offer a free market appraisal to help you understand what your property could sell for, explain the process and our service offering. We will now be conducting the appraisals contactless wherever possible which involves a video call so we can see the property. We will also use the various tools at our disposal to conduct the research necessary to be able to give you accurate information. If it is required to conduct a market appraisal in person, if this is acceptable to you, we will call to discuss how we will do so in a safe manner, following social distancing guidelines. We will advertise your property as normal and viewings will be conducted virtually wherever possible and potentially in-person once the sale starts to progress, if this is acceptable to you. Again in-person viewings will be conducted in accordance with government guidance and we will discuss the process with you to make sure you are comfortable.
Can I sell my house if I am shielding?
If you are shielding, we can conduct your market appraisal via video call and all viewings virtually to not put you’re safety at risk.
I want to sell or let my house, how can I be sure that viewings will be conducted safely?
We will try and offer virtual viewings wherever possible to limit the number of people entering your property. When an in-person viewing is necessary, we will be following strict safety guidance which includes;
· Limiting the number of people in attendance to two
· We will ask you to not be present to minimize your risk
· We will wear gloves and ask you to open all doors and cupboards etc to minimize contact by us and the viewers
· We will have anti-bacterial wipes with us to clean door handles etc
· We will keep the viewing as short as possible
· We will ask you and the viewers to fill out a health questionnaire to ensure all involved are well prior to the viewing
· We will follow social distancing guidance
We will discuss this with you before hand to make sure you are comfortable with the process and accommodate any additional wishes wherever possible.
Is it now possible to actually move house?
Yes it is now possible to move house following the recent Government announcement. However the process will look different. We should note that those who are shielding are advised to very carefully consider the personal circumstances involved in their move and potentially seek medical advice in order to decide whether to go ahead. If you are in this group, or are generally nervous, speak to your agent and removal firm etc because things may be able to be adjusted to minimise your risk.
When moving house, ensure you stay 2 meters away from anyone who is not part of your household and wash your hands regularly. It is also advised that you pack your belongings yourself wherever possible, although beware this may affect the removal companies insurance cover on breakages.
Would it be ok for me to bring my own safety equipment?
Yes of course you can. If you wish to wear a mask or bring your own hand sanitiser etc then feel free.
Is anyone actually wanting to buy houses right now?
While this is an unprecedented situation for all of us, all of the reasons why people need or want to move house still exist so we are confident that your property has as good a chance to sell as ever. Mortgage finance is readily available so we don’t foresee a big issue in the property processes either. The fact that lockdown caused a lull in sales progressing also means that we may well see a spike in the coming weeks to make up for the lost time.
I have tenants in my property but I’m not with an agent, how do I navigate the new safety regulations by myself?
The government have now released clear guidance covering key issues such as maintenance, rent arrears and safety which we would advise that you read. Alternatively, you can contact us and we would be happy to just offer advice, or to manage your property for you.
Will I still be able to get a mortgage if I have been furloughed?
This is a hard question to answer because it is likely to depend on your lender. Contact us and we will put you in contact with our mortgage advisors who will be able to advise you further.
Do I need to come into the office to get mortgage advice?
No, we can ask our mortgage advisors to contact you on the phone. You will receive the same level of advice and have access to the same deals but from the safety of your own home.