House Viewing – what does this look like following lockdown?
11 May 2020

Boris Johnson has announced his measures for releasing lockdown, but how can an industry built on personal house viewings move through this phased back-to-normality process?  

Phased Approach

The Government’s phased approach to releasing lockdown does not allow for a strong release of measures currently restricting the sale of, or showing of, homes for new movers. But, that doesn’t mean that people can’t move. On the contrary, people who are already in plans to move house (“Exchanged” already, for example) may move or those who need to do so in the renting sector may do, but social distancing and a gap between last occupiers and new occupiers should be considered where possible.

Now that we have new guidelines allowing people to meet and, crucially, for some sectors to start working in offices and other locations again – what does that mean for the Housing sector?  

 

Changes won’t be imminent

Initial changes will likely take place, yes, but this does not mean the whole sector is back showing houses and arranging moves immediately. Instead, the sector will slowly move through, in the same way other sectors are, the phased approach to release and find their own way.

Virtual viewings and videos will still be the norm for a while with some new considerations for the future.

How might viewings be done from Phase 2?

As the lockdown releases and things start getting back to some normality, social distancing will still need to be maintained, so how is this possible for in-person house viewings, where virtual viewings or videos won’t suffice? Here are some initial thoughts on how this might look, with further guidance being released all the time:

For Homeowners/Vendors selling their property –

  • Confirm no Coronavirus symptoms for any member of the household prior to visit and no one shielding in the home
  • A place for the Agent and Viewers to wash their hands should be provided
  • Households to exit home with plenty of time before agent arrives – possibly may be able to stay in other parts of the home if the property is large enough
  • Vendors should disinfect all door handles and accessible surfaces, where appropriate, following the house viewing

   

For Viewers –

  • No touching of surfaces or doors and shoes to be taken off outside before the house viewing
  • A maximum of two people for any viewings and no children or other members of family/friends visiting
  • Gloves may be provided by the Agent for Viewers to wear
  • Maintain a minimum of 2 meters from Agents and/or Vendors
  • Masks or facial coverings may need to be worn at all times during the visit inside the home/property
  • Hands should be washed immediately following leaving the property
  • To avoid any personal items touching surfaces in the property, Viewers should leave personal belongings in their own car/at home where possible

 

 

For Agents –

  • On entry for house viewings, hands must be washed for 20 seconds as per government guidelines (and you might need to bring your own soap!)
  • Masks or facial coverings should be worn at all times during the visit inside the property
  • Maintain a minimum of 2 meters from Viewers or Vendors
  • Agents may need to carry disinfectant wipes and spray, to be used following handling of any doors, surfaces or items in the property
  • Disposable gloves may be worn if put on following entry to the property and fully disposed of after the house viewing. Washing hands frequently and fully is still the best method of protection, however, as most people don't use PPE gloves correctly.
  • Shorter house viewings may be the norm, ideally less than 15 minutes at a time, with a follow up video call to discuss particulars later.

These are initial thoughts and considerations following the Government’s recent announcements. New guidelines and measures will be, of course, released as changes come into force and we will be keeping you updated as they do.

Worried about how you’re managing your property portfolio during the Coronavirus Crisis? Get in touch with our expert team for friendly advice and support here.



Sign-up for Newsletter

×

LOOKING FOR ANOTHER SERVICE?

Why not get in touch with us to discuss your business requirements by using the form below? For all partnership enquiries, please use the partners form on the right.

General Enquiries

Partner with us