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Selling during the Covid 19 emergency

Posted: 30th March 2020

Category: General

Woodward Estate Agents are still agreeing sales during Lockdown!  Last week we negotiated the sale of this detached home on Harrow on the Hill, much to the delight of both vendor and purchaser. https://www.propertysearch.woodward.co.uk/property-search~action=detail,pid=2102

As we continue to work remotely and with success, we thought some advice on moving home during Covid-19 measures would be helpful.  Below we have summarised  the Key Points made in new government advice on this subject,  the full text of which can be found using  this Link.  Our government have already agreed with Banks that mortgage offers should be extended “where delay to completions takes place to prioritise safety” and they are working with Conveyancers to develop a standard legal process for moving completion dates.

Key Points

  • There is no reason to withdraw from a sale or purchase, but do follow Public Health guidance to stay at home and away from others.  Prioritise health and accept there are likely to be delays.
  • Where the property being moved into is vacant, you can continue whilst following guidance on home removals. 
  • Removal companies should honour existing commitments where safe to do so and are allowed to work in people’s homes provided the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms or coronavirus.  If you are part of a chain, all parties should work together and be flexible in making amicable arrangements to delay completion where possible and support anyone shielding or with symptoms.  Lockdown won’t last forever!
  • Estate agents are not allowed to conduct viewings for the time being, nor should you allow people in to your home.  However your property can remain on the market enabling your agent to gather interest for when viewings resume.  It is also fine for buyers to continue making offers, negotiate and agree sales.
  • You should not invite estate agents to your home for a market appraisal or to arrange any other visits, such as photography or for preparation of an EPC.  However we and many other agents remain open for business providing advice by email, telephone, Facetime and other video-link methods.  Time under lockdown can also be usefully spent preparing your property and associated documentation for sale.
  • Conveyancers are expected to continue working as normal, albeit remotely from home.  Given that there is no requirement for them to visit properties their work continues unimpeded.
  • Estate Agents and Conveyancers should advise clients to be patient and not exchange contracts yet, unless the contracts have explicit terms to manage the timing risks presented by the virus.
  • Surveyors should not visit occupied homes, but can carry out their work on vacant properties whilst taking necessary Public Health precautions.

Woodward Key Points for Clients

We continue to provide the fullest service possible whilst working remotely.  Our knowledge and expertise is available Monday to Friday.  We welcome the opportunity to stay connected and discuss your present and future plans.

For Sellers, we offer;

Video Market Appraisals – Please contact us to arrange an appointment for a Free Valuation.  We can meet you on Facetime , Skype or Microsoft Teams and you can show us around with a smartphone whilst we chat.  We hope to meet in this way, just until we can do so in person.

Support for Home Movers – We continue to closely supervise your move and liaise with all parties involved.  As much of our work does not require face-to-face contact, with a little flexibility on all sides we can still get you moved this year!

For Buyers, we suggest;

Virtual Viewings - With our great photography, detailed descriptions and floorplans you can learn a lot about a property from your home through our website.  Add the use of Google Street View and Google Earth to understand a property’s location and surroundings and you have virtually viewed it already!  Also type the postcode of a property that interests you in to Google, click on the resulting map and after a  second or two a small yellow person appears at the bottom right of your screen.  Click on the person , drag them to the red marker and let go.  Voila, you will be outside or at least close to the property…  Do call us if you need the exact street number and to discuss any particular questions you may have.

Register your Interest – We have a system in place to register your interest in a property.  When viewings resume in a few weeks’ time we will prioritise contacting you to book an appointment.   We are always available to discuss your plans and provide information about our area and how to move home.  We anticipate great demand later in the year, so it pays to be prepared!