Even if you want to, the current coronavirus situation cannot be escaped right now. Across the world countries are on lockdown, with the UK tightening measures day by day to keep everyone as safe as possible. As we try to look for positives wherever we can it’s important to remember we are all in this together, and we can wholeheartedly come out from the other side as a more resilient and compassionate world, as long as we all take preventative measures.
We know that for various reasons people still need to move during this time. Don’t worry, we are here, prepared and ready to help you, whether that be in sales, lettings or expert property advice. Understandably there will be many questions about what this means for the property market in the next few months, so we’ve put together some Q&As below to answer some pressing questions. This is obviously not an exhaustive list so if you think of anything that we have missed then feel free to contact us via email, phone, social media or website live chat!
Insights from JOHNS&CO on Coronavirus:
- Q: I have a scheduled viewing to see a property. Should I still attend?
A: Given the changing nature of the situation, we advise all clients to continue to follow the advice and guidelines as set out by the Government and Public Health England.
The health and safety of our staff and customers remains our number one priority and, whilst we are continuing to conduct viewings, we have brought in a number of new measures in an effort to minimise the risks involved. These include stringent checks on all clients’ recent travel history and current health status of individuals and households. If you are planning to view a property with JOHNS&CO you can rest assured that the necessary checks have taken place prior to your visit.
We would like to reassure clients that the JOHNS&CO team is operating with vigilance and the health and wellbeing of customers remains at the forefront. That said, viewings and appointments remain open to all and we would be delighted to speak with you regarding your property needs.
- Q: Are estate agents still conducting viewings, what measures are they taking to ensure clients are protected?
A: Yes, we are continuing to facilitate viewings with the introduction of additional stringent measures and background checks being adopted in order to minimise risk to all concerned. The entire team has been fully briefed on these measures as well as additional hygiene routines that are being deployed across the business. We are also offering clients the option of viewing properties by video which is proving popular.
- Q: I am in the process of selling my home. I have strangers coming in and out of my house for viewings. Is this safe? What reassurances can I get from estate agents that I will not get coronavirus from someone viewing my home?
A: Additional measures have been brought in place to protect all parties concerned during a home viewing such as background checks on recent travel and health status. Alternatively, if you would feel more comfortable, you can consider marketing your property via a video tour which our agents would be more than happy to discuss with you. This is a great way to showcase the property without physical viewings and is already proving popular with clients – we have already agreed a number of lettings using this technology.
- Q: I am planning to buy a house. Shall I wait before buying? Will prices come down?
A: Given the relatively short-term timescales involved, it is unlikely to impact pricing. Compared to the prolonged Brexit situation since 2016, we didn’t see a meaningful drop in prices in our core areas. Buyer demand has been strong and very consistent, with a significant number of people keen to move home this year after many had put plans on hold during the prolonged Brexit climate. If buyers do hold back on doing their business through the spring, with plans to return in the summer or autumn, then we predict rising market conditions later in the year. For example, a property worth £500,000 now could well be worth £550.000 by the end of the year.
- Q: I am scheduled to move into a rented accommodation next week. How can I be sure the apartment will be free of coronavirus?
A: We operate a vigilant cleansing process for all properties and this has been stepped up even more in the last few months. Every rental property we manage is deep cleaned before a new tenant arrives, however, we have also introduced further anti-bacterial cleansing routines across all properties to alleviate risks involved. We are also screening all of our Property Management contractors with the same rigour as customers.
- Q: I have to move within 6 weeks. If the situation becomes worse and in-person viewings are not an option, can you conduct online viewings?
A: Yes, we can utilise our staff’s smart phones and conduct video tours (FaceTime, WhatsApp. Zoom etc). We have already been trialling this and have successfully agreed several lettings using this technology.
Please keep safe, stay sensible and do let us know if you have recently been into one of our offices and you have since been diagnosed with coronavirus. Please also let us know if you have recently travelled to a Category 1 or Category 2 country. We look forward to hearing from you soon.