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 Sellers
Start to get yourself ready by getting expert advice ensuring that you are in the best position possible. This includes:
Contacting local estate agents to get an idea of market conditions and how they are approaching viewings in lockdown.
If you are also planning on buying a house after the sale of your own 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.
Estate agents are now able to conduct valuations, most can also do this via video call if you prefer. We suggest getting more than one agent to value your home in order for you to get a good understanding of what your house is currently worth.
Consider your budget: Even before lockdown, one of the biggest mistakes sellers make is not weighing up all of the costs associated with selling and moving house
You have to consider, estate agency fees, conveyancing fees, mortgage fees, mortgage advisor fees, removal costs, all just to sell. To then go on and buy, you also have more conveyancing fees, mortgage fees, searches, surveys etc.
The key to getting your budgeting right is to get a really good handle on your finances and then assess each business you work with carefully. This doesn't necessarily mean going with the cheapest option as that can end up just costing you more time and money further down the line. Instead get quotes from two or three companies for each area that you require and then compare price against service.
Make sure you, your loved ones and the people you come into contact with are safe
You can do this by ensuring that your estate agent has a comprehensive plan in place to keep all of those attending the viewing safe and provide each person with PPE if they don't have their own.
Only allow people to view your property that have been qualified by your estate agent. This means ensuring that they are serious buyers and they have assessed what buying position the viewers are in.
Don't be present at your property when viewings are taking place, instead go into the garden or sit in your car and have your estate agent to conduct viewings as they will often be much more efficient and have a good understanding of the Health and Safety policy in order to protect everyone.
If possible have your agent record a video or virtual viewing of your home first and then only allow viewers who have seen the tour and are still keen to view. This may help you eliminate and time wasters.
Difficulties with selling in lockdown
Health concerns are of course at the forefront of everyones minds at present, so be absolutely sure you want to sell and are happy to have people visit your home.
It is difficult for buyers to get a good sense of local areas and communities at present so it might be a good idea to prepare some information for buyer about your local community, include information about, walk pubs and shops to help them get a feel of what it is like to live in your home.
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 wondering how to get your property ready to market please see our other blog articles in presenting your property and please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions.
We wish you the best of luck with the sale of your home and please don't hesiate to contact us should you require any help or further information.
Director at RF&O Properties