The property market is back open
As you have probably seen in the news, as of Wednesday 13th May 2020 the property market is back open. When lockdown was announced we all had to get used to a different way of working so I have no doubt that there will be a similar transition for the property market. It is though a positive change and one that will be significant for getting the economy moving in the right direction.
So what does it mean?
In terms of our experience as lawyers throughout the crisis we have still been seeing transactions get to the completion stage, but the longer lockdown went on naturally these numbers reduced. However in the first few days of the market reopening officially we have seen promising numbers of ‘stuck’ transactions getting to agreeing completion dates. I sense that whilst there will be new sales and purchases coming through it may take a little while to build up trust in the process and make sure everything is safe. The focus initially is to help get all stuck transactions progressing to completion which will get the market moving.
Going forward estate agents are back operating so therefore house/flat viewings can start to take place. There will no doubt be a new process for this to remain safe. Things like limiting the number of people entering a property to view, if an agent is doing the viewing make sure the property is empty, answering a health questionnaire, gloves may be an option, hand sanitiser before entering or maybe even face masks.
Can I move house now then?
Yes. The main thing you need to think about is the process and safety factors.
For houses you are looking to view, spend a bit more time doing your research before going to view. This would eliminate any wasted journeys. Maybe look to see if there is a virtual tour available. This would give a different perspective to photos on popular sites like Rightmove and Zoopla. Research the area, where is the nearest school, shops, station and even pub (hopefully open when you move). Is there any busy roads that may be noisy? You could also speak with you mortgage adviser in advance and secure a mortgage in principal so you are ready to proceed but also so that you know you financial limits.
If you are selling a property make sure the property is clean and well ventilated. If you can leave some doors and windows open for viewings. If you can get them maybe leave a bottle of hand sanitiser by the front door. Also a packet of anti-bacterial wipes could be good. Viewers may use them to open doors or even wipe down after opening. If you are leaving the property for an agent to conduct the viewings then at least upon returning you will be able to sanitise and clean properly.
These are my early findings and will no doubt change as the whole situation seems to be quite fluid. Remember the key thing is to be safe and feel safe. If you are uncomfortable with anything then simply don’t do it.
As always if you have any questions related to residential property please get in touch by calling 01256 320555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head of Residential property