We are still receiving many phone calls asking whether viewings are still legally able to go ahead. The short answer is yes viewings are still being carried out and sales being made. Our main focus is the safety of our clients, buyers and of course the Chartsedge team.
At Chartsedge we have strict protocols to enable these viewings to happen safely and efficiently and follow government guidelines.
When discussing with our clients we ask them to vacate the house when we carry out viewings. We try and organise a block of viewings so this does not disturb our clients over many days. These are strictly timed and depending on the size of the property ½ hour or ¾ hours slots are made so individual viewers have plenty of time to view the property without being rushed and there is time between appointment so there is no unnecessary mixing of households. We arrive at the house early and open windows so that there is air flow which helps disperse any virus that may be in the house.
The majority of viewers prefer viewing without the owners being in the property and it is useful for us as we are able to find out what they truly think about the property rather than the viewers being polite.
All viewers are sent a confirmation of their appointment, that they can automatically save to their on line diary, including a Viewing Requirements During Coronavirus document that they need to read and acknowledge receipt. This document states that only 2 people from the same household can view the property, no children are allowed, and everyone (including the agents) should wear disposable gloves and a mask. It also asks if any of the party is showing signs on COVID. Whilst the vast majority of people remember to bring these items it is easy to forget and we always have a supply just in case. We have the “COVID BAG” which goes with us on all appointments which includes antiseptic wipes, gloves, masks and hand gel (we will be very glad when we can bin this!)
The Length of Appointment
Government guidelines suggest viewings should be not more than 15 minutes. However in a large property this is impractical as it takes longer to look round a 5 bedroom house than a 2 bedroom apartment. In practical terms we allow 30 mins for an appointment and if the potential purchaser wants a more details conversation about the house we encourage them to talk to us outside. In larger house we are easily able to keep a 2 metre distance between ourselves and clients/buyers.
How far can I travel to view a property?
This is a decision that each individual has to be comfortable with but there is no limit of how far you can travel to view a property. However if you are travelling a long distance it is very difficult to stay overnight as most Guest Houses, BnB’s and Hotels are shut. We have just sold a property in Cornwall to a family that travelled from London to Cornwall and back in one day. Although they were very tired from the journey they are very pleased to secure the property they wanted.
Who can view a property?
At the moment ourselves and most other agents are not showing properties to people that are not is a position to buy. So it is not advised to come and have a “recce” of an area as you will, more than likely, not be able to view properties. You need to be under offer or in a position to purchase without selling.
Some people have been stopped by the police, especially in Devon and Cornwall, and if you have proof of a viewing they are fine with this as it is within the law. However if you say you are just looking at areas to move to with no viewings booked then they will send you back home and may even fine you as much as £200.
So if you want to make an appointment on any of our properties please get in touch and we will organise a safe viewing appointment to suit you.
Miles Kevin MRICS