Our top tips on how to buy property now that the housing market has reopened!
On the 13th May 2020 thousands of estate agents began to reopen their offices to the public as the UK property market began to spring back into action after weeks of lying dormant.
However for the rest of the country not working in estate agency, life hasn't yet had the same kick start.
So what do you do if you want to begin buying and selling your home whilst lockdown restrictions remain?
Advice for Buyers
Start to get yourself ready by getting expert advice ensuring that you are in the best position possible to make an offer. This includes:
Contacting local estate agents to get an idea of market conditions and how they are approaching viewings in the lockdown.
Speak to financial advisors and mortgage advisors who are offering telephone or video meetings to help you to get a handle on your financial situation. Once you have an understanding of this you can then begin to review the properties in your price range.
The market is at present still very apprehensive and it is likely that vendors will only be interested in opening their homes to serious buyers. Therefore it is imperative that you are serious about buying and you are as ready to go as possible.
What are your priorities when looking for a new house?
Speak to all members of your family and make a must have list. It is likely these things will have changed throughout the course of lockdown, you may now need an office space in order to work more efficiently from home or you may want a bigger garden for entertaining in when the restrictions are lifted.
If you’ve found lockdown bearable, then the chances are you’re in the right kind of property already and your must have list will be fairly small. So now it is key to think about location. Try and narrow your search to just one or two places to begin with in order to filter your list efficiently and this again helps to lessen the number of viewings you will need to undertake.
Make sure you, your loved ones and the people you come into contact with are safe
You can do this by ensuring that the estate agent you are going to view the property with has a comprehensive plan in place to keep all of those attending the viewing safe and provide you with PPE if you don't have your own.
Only go and see properties you are REALLY interested in.
Try and take as many notes about the property as possible on your first visit in order to limit the number of viewings you need.
Difficulties with buying in lockdown
Traditional ways of finding out about a locality and its community will be harder to access. Visiting an area, and the locals at the pub or cafe are no longer possible. Therefore you may need to do more online research, to see what communities were like prior to Covid-19 and also you may find out how local communities have come together and supported each other, virtually, during the crisis.
Walking is the new everything, and socially-distanced chats on walks is generally acceptable and welcomed by many locals. However ensure you that approach this with care.
Be careful about what you’re NOT seeing and hearing. Noise levels everywhere are dramatically lower than before lockdown, so it’s difficult to assess road-noise and any possible flight paths. Ask locals (socially distancing of course), estate agents, and look carefully at local maps to see what is near to the property and what may impact that property once lockdown is fully lifted.
It is likely that the market will gradually become busier in the weeks ahead as there is already pent-up demand from buyers who have been waiting and have spent a long period of lockdown in what they are now sure is the wrong house – they will be anxious to move on to a new home.
If you are a first time buyer please see our first time buyer guide for more top tips!
We wish you the best of luck in your search for a new home and please don't hesiate to contact us should you require any help or further information
Director RF&O Properties