×

Restrictions have been lifted and potential buyers or renters are now able to view properties once again.

 

You may find that some professionals that you deal with are working remotely, rather than from their usual high-street offices. However, property transactions are once again on the move after coming to a halt at the end of March 2020.

 

We take a look at what has changed, things you need to be aware of when viewing properties and how to make the most of a viewing given the current restrictions.

 

For the latest guidance please visit the .gov website by clicking here.

 

Quick Guide to Viewing Properties Now

 

Viewing a property is not going to be the same as pre-lockdown. There are some guidelines in place, but ultimately the rules may vary slightly depending on the property that you are viewing, the owner or the estate agent’s discretion.

 

It is important that you comply with self-distancing rules and adhere to any restrictions given to you by the estate agent or owner.

 
  • Viewings will be by appointment only. This was usually the case before lockdown, however some new developments were able to be looked at without a prior appointment. Open houses are likely to stop in favour of pre-booked slots.
 
  • The owner may vacate the property before you look round.
 
  • No hand-shaking rule. This is something that we will all have to get used to but do not feel un-welcomed if an owner, broker, estate agent or solicitor doesn’t offer you their hand when you meet.
 
  • You may be restricted on who you can bring with you. Depending on the agent or at the owner’s discretion they may state that only one or two people can visit at one time. Check before your appointment before bringing along children or other family members.
 
  • Be prepared to just visit once. In order to keep safe, try and get the most out of your viewing appointment as it may be difficult to re-visit a second time. Make sure you get a good and thorough look at the property.
 
  • You are unlikely to be able to touch anything during your viewing. Be prepared to not be able to open cupboards, doors and windows during your viewing. It might be a natural reaction to feel the texture of a wall or peep into wardrobes or kitchen cupboards to check for space. However, it is vital for your own safety and the safety of the owner not to touch surfaces during your visit.
 
  • The agent may let you into the property to explore on your own rather than show you around in order to adhere to the current 2 metre distancing rules. This can be tricky to do if you have someone walking you around a house with corridors or smaller rooms.
 
  • You may be asked to wear a mask. Many people have already purchased their own masks, but if you haven’t already done so then it might be an idea to buy one or ask the agent before arriving at your appointment if one will be required.
 
  • You may be asked to wash your hands before looking around the property. Hand-washing facilities should be made available to you. It is worth using a paper towel rather than a towel belonging to the house and also use your own hand sanitiser gel.

How to Make a Lockdown Viewing Work for You

 

Given the current restrictions, here are some ideas of how you can make the most of your property viewing.

 
  • Write down or voice record questions as you walk round to ask the agent or the owner later or outside the property after your walk around.
  • With the owner not present, write an email of questions for your estate agent to pass onto the owner. These would include questions or information that the agent may not be privy to in the home spec.
  • Without being able to open cupboards or integrated furnishings, ask the agent to have doors open ahead of time or ask for photos and measurements inside.
  • Without being able to measure up, ask for a detailed floor plan if they have one or ask for specific measurements on things like windows or fireplaces.
  • Taking photos will really help you reflect on your viewing, but seek permission first.
  • Without being able to take family members along for the viewing it may be worth sharing links, photos and floor plans with extended family to gain their opinions.
  • Arrive in good time to avoid your visit being cut short because another appointment has arrived.
  • Walk around the local area to get a feel of the community.
  • Keep in mind that more people are currently at home, so car-parking may be busier than it usually would be.
 

Instructing a Solicitor

It is very much ‘business as usual’ at Lamb Brooks and we have definitely noticed a change in the air with more new property enquiries coming through from excited homeowners looking to move or those wanting to jump onto the property ladder.

 

If you are getting prepared or are ready to move and would like a competitive estimate from our dedicated Property Law Team then please get in touch. We are working as usual and you can contact our office on 01256 844888, email enquiries@lambbrooks.com or speak to our online chat assistant who is on our website 24/7.

 

Other articles you may be interested in reading:

Can I Make a Will From Home?

Property Matters: Considering Lease Extension

How to Sell Your Home: Attracting a Buyer

 

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.