The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the UK property market, with the number of new property sales agreed in the UK falling by 70% since the start of the government's restrictions.
Luckily, estate agents have reopened and restrictions on property viewings are easing. So, with the property market beginning to move again, here are 4 tips for you to remember if you're planning on selling your house right now.
1. Keep your home on the market
If your home was listed before the pandemic, there is no reason to withdraw it. Although it may seem like a good idea to put everything on hold, with people furloughed and unable to afford to buy right now, that may not be the case. With many people forced to work from home during the lockdown, there was a huge influx of people visiting property websites to look for new homes.
2. Complete existing transactions
If you were close to exchanging and had to pause because of lockdown, you can now move forward to the completion stage and set a date for the move. You are still required to follow government guidelines. So if you or anyone in your household has shown symptoms, you need to be self-isolating for 14 days. Once those two weeks are up, a deep clean of the house you are moving into or out of needs to take place before you can continue.
3. Abide by all COVID-19 regulations
Although Estate agents are mainly operating via phone or video calls, they are still able to advise on how much to list your property for, subject to a physical viewing of the property of course.
With lockdown restrictions easing, agents needing to take photographs of property and or measurements can do so, however, they need to adhere to the following:
They must ensure windows and doors are open prior to the appointment.
If possible, the house needs to be unoccupied so that the agent can move around freely.
Everyone involved must wash their hands before and after entering the property.
Once completed, the homeowner must ensure all door handles etc. are cleaned.
Once a price has been agreed and the house has been listed, it's likely that estate agents will be having the same sorts of conversations with potential buyers prior to viewing. This means they can line up interested parties, who will be ready for when you are happy for viewings to take place. The bullet points above are the same for viewings, along with the following:
Viewings can be done by appointment only (no open house).
Only serious buyers are allowed to physically view a property after an initial viewing online or virtually.
Estate agents will restrict the number of people present during a viewing in order to follow social distancing rules.
4. Stick to your asking price
If you receive an offer that you are happy with, then there is no reason why you can't move forward with it. However, there will be people who deliberately put in a low offer, based on a potential recession off the back of COVID-19. There have been many headlines warning of this happening, but it's important to know that it is all speculation at this stage. Unless you have to accept a lower offer, the general advice from estate agents is to reject any low offers outright.
As you know, the government's advice on the pandemic is changing almost daily, so we will be updating this post regularly as new information comes through.
Want to stay up-to-date?
Normette Homes specialise in property investment and tenant sourcing.