House hunting is stressful enough, without adding social distancing, masks and contact tracing. But, life must go on and as the country is slowly getting back onto its feet, home buyers are looking to make a move. Here’s what you need to know about house viewing.
While house viewings are now permitted, things are a little different to how they were before lockdown. The government is encouraging people to do as much of their property searching as possible online. Most estate agents are offering virtual viewings, so you can get a good idea of whether you like the house before you visit it in real life. Once you are sure that a property has definite potential for you, you can arrange an in-person viewing.
Physical viewings will be permitted following a virtual viewing and will be strictly by appointment only and the agent will ask the viewers to restrict the size of their group.
- Homeowners will be asked to open all internal doors before the viewing.
- It is preferable if the homeowners vacate the property prior to the viewing, so that as few people as possible are in the house.
- On entering the house, everyone should wash their hands.
- Social distancing rules should be observed throughout the viewing, wherever possible.
- After the viewing, the property owner should clean down all surfaces and door handles that may have been touched.
If you are self-isolating or have tested positive for coronavirus
If you have coronavirus, you must not host or go on a property viewing. The government also advises that you should change your moving date; if you have already exchanged contracts and agreed a completion date, contact your solicitor as soon as possible.
Your local removal companies will still be able to operate, although they may need to modify their procedures to meet government guidelines. Contact your local removal companies as far ahead of time as possible and do as much packing as possible by yourself to minimise contact. Ask everyone to ensure that they wash their hands regularly and advise your removal company that you won’t be able to provide refreshments. If possible, set aside a designated toilet for the use of the removal staff.
If you need to get an electric oven installed or you have home improvements that you want to start as soon as you move in, it is fine to have tradespeople in your new home. Speak to your local traders before the move and ask them what measures they are taking to ensure the safety of themselves and their customers.
It can be hard to find a local trader that you can trust, especially when you move to a new area. By following Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter, you will be joining a community of happy customers and reliable tradespeople, helping you to make your house move as stress-free as possible.