Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2020
We’re slowly adjusting to a new way of living as the UK continues to battle coronavirus. Wearing a mask has become the norm for many, along with working from home, enhanced hygiene protocols and social distancing measures.
This is also the case for the property world, where physical viewings now have certain stipulations in place following the reopening of the housing market in May.
However, with buyers still looking to purchase before the stamp duty holiday ends in March 2021, and people eager to relocate before the Christmas period, now presents an ideal time to sell a home.
Below, we explain how property sellers can safely conduct in-person viewings in the new normal.
According to the government’s guidelines on moving home during the pandemic, initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible, and all physical viewings should be limited to members of the same household.
Despite this, many prospective buyers may still prefer to view the property in person before committing to an offer.
When physically viewing properties, buyers should avoid touching surfaces and wash their hands regularly. This also applies to any small children that may accompany them.
As a seller, it’s important to make provisions for a hand-washing station, or provide hand gel to visitors at the start and end of each viewing. It’s also good practice to wear gloves and masks/face coverings during viewings as a further safeguard against the virus.
Ventilation and social distancing
During viewings, and even beforehand, you should ensure your home is well-ventilated by opening all internal doors and windows, as the virus survives for less time outdoors and when fresh air is circulating.
All viewings must also be on an appointment-only basis, which means you shouldn’t accept someone turning up at your property off-the-cuff expecting to be let inside, and open house viewings should not occur in any circumstances at the moment.
In addition, all parties of the home moving process should practice social distancing, in line with the general public health information on limiting the spread of the virus. If you’re troubled about the risk of infection on a viewing, you should speak to your agent as they may be able to put extra measures in place.
How to keep your home safe
If prospective buyers feel confident that you are adhering to safety measures, they will be more likely to focus on the home rather than worry about their infection risk. Therefore, it’s crucial that viewings are carried out in a safe and compliant way.
This means cleaning all surfaces in line with government advice before and after each viewing. For extra assurance, though, you may wish to hire a professional cleaner to do a thorough job.
While you might feel like multiple viewings a day can improve your chances of selling your property, this could make it harder for you and your agent to keep the home safe. Consider spacing out viewings – no more than one a day, for instance – to allow more time to clean your property thoroughly.
What’s more, the government expects agents to accompany clients on a viewing, following social distancing rules wherever possible. This can be made easier by setting up your property to make a one-way system feasible.
If viewings are unaccompanied, your agent should make sure that all parties understand how they should conduct themselves. Lastly, once the viewing is over, towels should be disposed of safely or washed as appropriate.
Here at Keys & Lee, we can help you to carry out viewings in a Covid-compliant way, improving your chances of finding suitable buyers and selling quickly. For more information on our services for buyers, please contact us today.
To find out how much your home could be worth on the current market, you can use our free and instant online valuation tool here.