Since the government re-opened the property market in April, buyers and tenants have been queuing up to view properties at a rate we have never experienced before. Now is a brilliant time to move with low interest rates and plenty of choice out there, but we still need to do it safely and responsibly to make sure we do not put ourselves or others at risk.
Here are 10 things you need to know about viewing properties safely:
- Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever this is possible and property agents should help you to do this: Our team have been busy preparing video walk throughs on all of our properties wherever possible, this is also a great way to ensure you do not waste your time viewing properties that aren’t suited to your needs.
- All physical viewings should be limited to members of the same household and open house viewings should not take place: Hopefully this is an obvious one! If an agent invites you to an open house, you will find it nearly impossible to maintain a safe social distance so you should be viewing on your own with the agent or homeowner, and ideally for a maximum of 15 minutes per viewing.
- When physically viewing properties, where possible, you should avoid touching surfaces, wash your hands regularly, and bring your own hand sanitiser. The number of people on a viewing should be minimised to those from your household that absolutely have to be there. If you need to be accompanied by small children, you should try to keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly.
- Clean surfaces and open all doors: If people are being shown around your current home, you should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing with standard household cleaning products. You should also try to open windows to air out the property at least 30 minutes before the viewing takes place.
- Vacate for viewings: We recommend this anyway to allow potential buyers or tenants to view and provide honest feedback without the risk of offending the current owner/occupier. At present we recommend that you vacate your property whilst viewings are taking place in order to minimise your contact with those not in your household.
- Anyone involved in any aspect of the home moving process should practice social distancing in line with public health advice. This includes; viewers, surveyors, agents, removals, cleaners, inventory clerks, contractors and anyone else that wants to have access to your home!
- When moving between properties, you and those in your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. Where this is not possible, you should speak to removal firms in advance.
- If you are particularly worried about the risk of infection, then speak to the professionals involved: your landlord, estate agent or removers may be able to put in place extra measures to accommodate your needs.