Can I still move or sell my home during COVID-19?
The Government has encouraged people, where possible, to delay moving to a new house to limit the spread of COVID-19 and also while a stay-indoors policy is in place.
The government said that while there “is no need to pull out of transactions”, “we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times”.
If a property is vacant, people can continue with the transaction, although they must ensure they are following guidelines with regards to home removals.
But if the house is occupied “we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move”.
Clients who are selling properties during this time of crisis may think that putting sales on hold may be the best practice over the next few months, until the situation blows over.
Many people are asking whether they should still consider putting their homes on the market in spite of the coronavirus outbreak, or whether they should wait until it has passed.
We are well aware of the fact that a global health crisis is likely to have some form of impact on the property market.
In the meantime, our Property Manager Louise Stenhouse, answers some pressing questions and what it means for you if you’re expected to move to a new house soon.
Will people still be looking to buy my property during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During a crisis like this, the number of competitors in the market are likely to drop, meaning your home could have a higher chance of being sold.
People who were looking to buy a home initially will also have more time on their hands to spend looking online for properties.
While the country remains in lockdown, the team at Watermans Legal will still be offering estate agency services remotely.
At Watermans Legal, our number one priority is the safety of our staff and clients.
Louise Stenhouse, a Property Manager at Watermans Legal, said: “We’re working hard to keep people informed of property developments and as it stands, we’re taking transactions to be dealt with on a case by case, day by day basis.
“Right now, there will be a lot of people sitting looking at the internet, potentially looking at housing options. This means that if your house remains on the market, then you will be a few weeks ahead of the game.”
“It means that by the time lockdown is over, people will be desperate to get out and have a look at the property.”
Safety measures during COVID-19
In order to protect our staff members, partners, clients and contractors, we have put a number of safety measures in place.
At present our estate agency team are working remotely with a view of looking to conduct virtual property tours in the coming weeks.
Jacquie Sandison, a leading estate agent at Watermans Legal, said: “Clients can expect to liaise with us regularly through email and phone calls. We are all thinking outside the box of ways in which we can deliver our services pro-actively from an unusual environment.
“We are in touch with our buyers and sellers on a daily basis to keep them updated with the current situation.”
Whilst our offices will be closed, our service will not stop. We anticipate our telephone enquiries will increase.
If you are looking for property advice, our expert team is here to assist you on the best approach to getting the best value in these present circumstances.
Guidance for buyers
We are providing a full service with our staff working remotely from home.
We envisage that the majority of transactions will progress towards settlement in the normal way although we will probably have to email documentation out to you to have you have it signed and witnessed and returned to us by post. If this is not possible then we will post the documents out to you.
For those of you who are looking to buy a home, there is no doubt that these are challenging times for everyone. The most important thing is to stay safe and obviously this means that you cannot now safely view properties so the property market landscape has changed temporarily.
What you can achieve at the moment is to effectively do your homework on affordability.
Guidance for sellers
As part of UK Government guidelines on social distancing, face to face viewings are temporarily being put on hold. I am sure you can appreciate why with the latest measures have been implemented.
We will continue to collate buyers’ interest and note them on our system so that we can revert back to them when such measures are lifted.
We will of course still continue to promote your property online during this period and we will be working hard to notify our clients of any updates.
For anyone who hasn’t put their house on the market yet, you can still proceed to market if you wish to be seen by buyers online during this period. We believe that with many people at home, interest in property on the market will hold up, if not increase considerably, even though physical viewing will not be possible at this time.
Other Services we offer
Instructions for Wills and Powers of Attorney can be taken over the phone as required, along with any other enquiries.
Please contact the person in charge of your transaction for more information if required. If your enquiry is new, please email [email protected] for more information.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our clients. We appreciate know these are difficult and unsettling times and we look forward to continuing to support you over the coming weeks and times ahead.
I am sure you can understand and appreciate why we have had to temporarily close our offices and implement social distancing measures, but we are doing all we can to ensure that full services are maintained.
Thank you and stay safe.
Find out more about our services here