On Saturday 31 October, the UK Government announced a four-week lockdown in England, which came into effect on Thursday 5 November. But what does this mean for home buyers and sellers?
Fortunately, there is no direct impact on the property sector and so those looking to move will be able to continue the process. While the new national restrictions do not specifically mention home moving, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has separately reported and confirmed that the home moving process is not impacted as the sector already has robust COVID-secure policies in place.
Since the pandemic began, estate agents have had to adapt to working in a new and safe manner. It's extremely important that the agent you've chosen has processes in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Luckily, The Guild has implemented a strict COVID-secure policy to ensure the safety of both customers and colleagues.
Read The Guild's Health and Safety measures.
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild, says that while people continue to move, the rising infection rate may have people concerned. No matter what stage of the home moving process you are at, it is vital that you are satisfied with the measures your estate agent is taking and that you are reassured that they are operating under Government guidance.
"I believe that many of the Guild Members that are following The Guild's six-point plan for safe working are among the safest agents in the UK. Now more than ever, it is crucial for estate and lettings agents to promote their COVID-secure-policies and display the measures they are taking to ensure the public's safety," McKenzie advises. "Given the current situation and the fact that the daily number of COVID cases are rapidly on the rise, people are going to be far more cautious with regard to the businesses they engage with. People will want to work with an agent that is following the guidelines and placing the health of their customers first."
If you're currently house hunting to make the most of the Stamp Duty Holiday, remember that your estate agent should have the available tools to conduct successful virtual viewings to minimise risk even further.
The benefit of viewing a property virtually is that you can decide whether you're seriously invested in the home before physically stepping through the door. You can even organise several viewings within a single day, all from the comfort of your home.
Read our guide to house hunting during the COVID-19 pandemic for further guidance.
If you are looking to sell your property, remember that virtual valuations offer a safe, risk-free alternative to physical market appraisals.
If you're looking to move home, our Guild Members are on hand to help you through the process. Contact your local Guild Member today for more information.