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ABODA FINE HOMES

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FINE HOMES

Welcome to my blog

 

Here you can read all my advice, tips and property market knowledge about buying and selling a high value home in the Wisbech Town & Village area

By Alex at Aboda, May 12 2020 07:10PM

Property market set to reopen??? - We'll know more tomorrow according to Housing Minister


Amendments to current lock down of the property market being presented to parliament tomorrow at 9.30am by Matt Hancock, with powers granted to immediately being in the newly amended legislation without needing to be ratified by both houses of parliament


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/…/5…/pdfs/uksi_20200500_en.pdf


Allows travel/visits to homes to buy/rent and agent to conduct viewings and valuations from Wednesday 13th May


AS soon as this is confirmed by the housing minister, and guidelines for safe procedures for conducting valuations and viewings, we will update you further


By Alex at Aboda, May 10 2020 10:06PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Announcement: “So, is everything back to normal now, or not?”


Hi


I'll try to keep this as short and sweet as possible and answer the big questions you might have after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement tonight.


“So, is everything back to normal now, or not?”


The quick answer is simply:


Nope...not yet.


“So, what has changed then?”


Very little - other than your individual household having more freedom during the continued lock down to enjoy public open spaces for exercise and mental health well-being, but only while still maintaining the existing social distancing and personal hygiene measures already in place.


So, my personal advice is to still keep 2m away from other households, regularly wash your hands, avoid touching your face, cough/sneeze into a tissue or the corner of your elbow, and isolate your entire household if you have any symptoms until you are all symptom-free for at least 14 days.


So, enjoy your local open spaces outside, sensibly and safely, while the lock down remains in place.


“But, am I supposed to go back to work, or not?”


Based on the words in the PM's speech, if you work outside or can't do your work from home, you can work and are 'encouraged' to work – but not 'expected' to work.


So, my personal stance and advice on this is:


You should probably only work if you feel safe to do so and your employer has sufficient safety measures in place – or if you work for yourself, that you and your clients feel there's sufficient safety measures in place.


“OK, but what about selling my home?”


Well, until the government guidance changes about people from one household entering other peoples households, other than for essential care/repairs/maintenance/legal reasons; estate agents should still not be entering households that are lived in - even if the members of the household momentarily vacate the home while the estate agent visits your home, and even if the agent wears any amount of PPE.


So, while legally required gas safety inspections or EPC inspections may still be able to take place; estate agents physically going to households to conduct market appraisals, or take photos or videos etc., would still not be allowed under the current guidance.


“OK, but what if I'm currently selling a vacant home that's not lived in, or want to view a home that's not lived in?”


Totally get that point, but...the current government guidance for us all on allowed reasons for travel remain restricted to buy food, go to work, exercise or care for someone – not physically drive to view a home you might want to buy or rent.


So viewing a home, even if it's empty, would still not be allowed physically just yet, under the current government guidelines.


“OK, but what if I want to start marketing an empty home?”


Based on the current guidance, and the PM's speech: estate agents would be 'encouraged' but not 'expected' to visit an empty home that is not lived in; in order to appraise it's market value, take photos/videos/flooplans/EPC's etc.


So, you could start marketing an empty home to start attracting buyers and register their interest.


“What about if I want to make an offer on a home, or I'm currently sold STC/under offer?”


Surveyors for mortgage companies or individual buyers are still able to conduct physical surveys under the current guidelines on empty homes, and removal companies can still move individual households into an empty home.


Some mortgage companies are allowing virtual/desktop valuation surveys on homes depending on their individual buyers loan to value ratio, without the need for a physical survey.


Most solicitors, mortgage brokers, local authorities and search companies are still able to continue provision of service for the legal process of buying/selling a home.


So, you can still make an offer on a home, and continue the legal process of buying and selling a home.


“OK, but can I, or should I, exchange and complete my sale/purchase/move?”


Still a tricky and nuanced one that depends entirely on the sentiment of every buyer/seller/agent/solicitor in the chain and the availability of removals etc.


While the government guidelines still currently state to hold off an exchange/completion/move where possible, many home moves across the country have successfully concluded safely and legally within the guidelines with all parties in the chain cooperating.


So, if you want to buy/sell/move, you are still able to if you wish.


“So, when can we start doing physical viewings and home valuation appraisals again?”


Only when we know the physical process will be as safe as possible for the people in the household, the buyers viewing, and myself to do so when the government guidelines change at the website link below:


https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak


In the meantime, our full virtual viewing marketing of our clients homes remain available for all interested buyers online to view, express interest and make offers on our clients lovely homes.


“OK, but what's going to happen to the local property market after the lock down is lifted?”


Happy to chat about that if you want, but that's more likely a more fluid and longer conversation than possible here, so...


If you want to discuss further, drop me a message/email/text and we can arrange a convenient time to talk!


Hope the above Q&A was helpful and useful.


Stay safe


Much love


Alex Doggett – Owner

ABODA Fine Homes


By Alex at Aboda, May 3 2020 05:19PM

Pleased to see the safety measures we planned to introduce to safely sell homes once lock down is lifted are closely aligned with the measures the Government are potentially introducing in a few weeks time.


A blueprint to revive house sales under strict social distancing rules is being formulated by Ministers and property industry officials in talks this week - https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-8280845/Blueprint-revive-house-sales-Sellers-wait-gardens.html


The social distancing plans being discussed will be sent to Public Health England for approval and are said to be expected to be finalised 'within two weeks'.


So, it's possible viewings may be able to commence again, safely, in a couple of weeks time.


Proposals under consideration include asking sellers to stay in their gardens during viewings and requiring potential buyers to wear masks and gloves. In addition, viewings of each property could be limited each day.


The preliminary discussions held last week focused on a set of standards for 'socially distanced' viewings and legal transactions. Sources said home-sellers will be expected to open all their internal doors and turn on their lights so that potential buyers will not have to touch any surfaces.


Vendors will be asked to temporarily vacate their property during each viewing – perhaps staying in their garden or going to the supermarket or for a walk – in order to avoid physical contact with visitors.


Property viewers look certain to be required to wear gloves and masks and will be expected to avoid touching anything within the property boundaries.


The number of viewers allowed at each visit is likely to be limited. There is also expected to be a ban on the booking of back-to-back viewings.


Estate agents will have to check that no one at the property has Covid-19 symptoms. If any occupant appears to be showing signs of infection all viewings will be called off.


Sellers will be expected to clean their homes before and after every viewing.


In addition to these measures being considered by the government, we planned on also requiring our clients 'air' their homes for 30 mins before the viewing by opening windows and doors so fresh air can pass through the home.


We would also conduct weekly 'tracking and tracing' buyers and sellers for 14 days after a viewing to check if they remain symptom free.


And only allowing viewings if everyone in the buyers or sellers household has had no symptoms for at least 14 days.


We believe our measures should ensure viewings are as safe as possible for buyers and sellers.


We would also undertake similar safety measures for visiting clients to discuss the marketing of their homes, photo/video shoots of their homes, and also ensure other necessary visits to the home remain similary safe (EPC's, floor plans, mortgage surveys etc).

Additionally, from our monitoring of leading indicators on market sentiment (online daily views of homes, new buyer enquiries, etc) there is evidence of there being a release of pent-up demand for moving home as the average online daily views over the last week have been higher than the same week last year, and we've had many new buyers register that were potentially planning a move to the area in a couple of years time bring forward those plans.


So, we are looking forward to being able to re-start the housing market and helping people with their dreams of moving home.


Hope to see you again soon!


Stay safe


Much love


Alex Doggett – Owner

ABODA Fine Homes

By Alex at Aboda, Apr 2 2020 04:43PM

HI


Hope you are all well and staying safe.


Just trying to be helpful while we are in lock down.


If you're following us on Facebook you may have noticed over the last week we have switched focus to finding and sharing useful information for where to get support if you need help with food shopping or medical supplies, and useful resources if you are home schooling and/or just trying to stay sane while staying safe and staying home.


If you're on Facebook and not yet following us, hop on over as we will continue to be posting as much useful information in the coming weeks.


We compiled a list of local businesses that offer home delivery of fresh food and cooked meals, and list of suppliers for home delivery of hygiene and medical supplies, but as this list constantly changed over the last week, there's a new Facebook group set up with the latest list of suppliers here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1243185939218546


And there's a Facebook group for Coronavirus Support here https://www.facebook.com/groups/wisbechcoronavirussupport/


If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), register to get coronavirus support here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable


You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.


You can also find out about what support is available on the county council and district council websites below:


https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus

https://www.fenland.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.sholland.gov.uk/COVID19


Great information on those sites for getting help with food delivery if you're self-isolating/shielding, what help is available to you if your business has been affected by the outbreak or you are an employee of one, and also information on scams to watch out for during the coronavirus outbreak.


Here's where some FAQ's can be answered - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do


And, finally, the two main sources of information for everything and anything about Coronavirus from the Government and the NHS are here:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


Hope that's all of help!


Stay safe.


Alex Doggett – Owner

ABODA Fine Homes

07904540958


By Alex at Aboda, Mar 22 2020 11:33PM

Had many clients and local home sellers on the market right now asking me questions about selling during the Corona Virus outbreak


For those of you who asked about reducing marketing price, now is not the time.


From my conversations with buyers and sellers with agreed sales over the last 10 days, they all appear to continue to be committed to moving.


From my research this week, most estate agents, solicitors, mortgage brokers, mortgage underwriters, buildings insurance companies, and search providers all still appear to be able to provide partial or full service remotely in the event of self-isolation or lock-down.


But, in the event of a lock-down it remains unclear which particular physical service elements of the home sale and move processes here in the UK will remain viable and available – being the the buyers viewing, the sellers making their homes available to view, the estate agents able to show buyers/photograph/video a home, the surveyors able to survey a home, and the removals companies able to move people – and, ultimately, the banks/mortgage co's able to arrange transfer of funds for exchange and completion


I will continue to research and monitor this in the coming days/weeks and update accordingly


Price reductions currently are not the answer to selling your home quicker, nor will they likely be in the coming days/weeks/months until clarity on the corona virus pans out – and any post-lock-down market appears - while also monitoring the post-lock-down property market of other countries in the world, particularly China, Italy, Spain, etc.


Again, I will continue to research and monitor this, and update accordingly.


For those of you pondering the thought of seeking additional agents to market your home – I understand, but... this will unlikely yield any increased chance of you agreeing or completing your sale – after all, in addition to the above, multi listed homes generally take longer to sell, achieve a lower agreed sale price compared to marketing price, and have a higher rate of aborted sale than homes listed with a single agent due to rival agents simply pushing you to agree ANY sale to ANY buyer, rather than your trusted sole agent working to find the RIGHT buyer that WILL continue to buy your home and the BEST PRICE.


So, If you are sale agreed/sold stc, keep going.


If you are on the market and not yet sold, keep marketing and don't drop your price


If any lock down is enforced such as in China/Italy/Spain - only essential travel would be allowed - to buy food/medicine/hygiene supplies and fuel for your vehicle to do this - viewing a home you wish to buy, or a mortgage surveyor surveying the home you wish to buy, or the removal company you wish to help you move home, or you actually being able to move home, would unlikely be considered essential, unless maybe a key worker was involved in your chain that had to move for work


This is all speculation at the moment, but, if everyone cannot move home, then reducing your marketing price would not have any effect whatsoever on the speed or success of your home sale or move in the event of a lock-down like in China/Spain/Italy - if you can't sell and move, and buyers can't buy and move, reducing your marketing price will have no effect at all


If you consent to viewings on your home, you should check my previous posts about safe viewing practices and procedures that I introduced 10 days ago.


If you would like me to send them to you, please let me know.


However, you should immediately not consent or allow viewings on your home if you are in the 'at-risk' list - elderly, have underlying health problems (heart and lung conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, undergoing cancer treatments, pregnant, or any immunodeficiency at all), presenting any symptoms of the virus in the last 16 days (high temperature, or new and prolonged dry cough), and if the latter, only allow viewings once everyone in the home is symptom-free for at least 7 days.


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