Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Announcement: “So, is everything back to normal now, or not?”
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:
“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:
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.
Alex Doggett – Owner
ABODA Fine Homes