Leeds-based independent estate agent Adair Paxton has welcomed the news that the Government is allowing the housing market to re-start and plans to phase a re-opening of its offices from Monday 18th May 2020.
Director, Nicola Thompson from Adair Paxton, said: “It’s excellent news. We have all been eagerly anticipating this move and of course welcome it.
“For all of those people who were already in the process of moving, it’s a relief and its full steam ahead for them. Mortgages are being processed and banks are booking surveys and valuations. Those people who were all packed up and ready to move can now book their removal firms and the whole sales process is able to get moving again.
“Our priority is to ensure that we operate safely and within the new guidelines issued by the Government on home moving during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which details everything from how to carry out viewings and valuations to the logistics of hand washing and social distancing. We are undertaking health and safety assessments and will follow Government and industry guidelines to ensure our staff and clients remain safe.”
The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) has just released new guidelines backed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) that set out step by step how home moves can take place whilst fully complying with social distancing measures and Public Health guidance.
Nicola added: “We will continue to provide virtual viewings and valuations, which have proved very popular, and have introduced new systems that will help us to operate safely. We will carry out ID checks, and ask customers to make appointments to visit our branches. We will also check the COVID-19 status of occupants and run through a number of other checks with buyers and sellers. In accordance with Public Health guidance, it is advised that anyone in high risk categories may not be present during valuations or take part in viewings.
“Only one agent will carry out physical viewing with a maximum of two people and we will also be making sure our agents have hand sanitiser and other appropriate hygiene products. Doors and windows will be opened at properties, keys regularly cleaned and hand washing facilities, soap and paper towels provided.”
With much speculation about the impact of Covid-19 on the property market, Adair Paxton remain cautiously optimistic. Nicola added: “In terms of the future of the market, it’s clear from the number of calls we have taken since the news broke about estate agents being able to operate again that valuations are a real priority for a lot of people. All the online portals are reporting increased levels of activity too. We are seeing a marked increase in instructions on empty properties, as well as instructions from people who have made the decision to live separately and also from those wanting to move to properties with good sized gardens or in new locations.
“A major priority for nearly every buyer we have spoken to is broadband speeds. Never before have we been asked so much about what the internet levels are, and this of course relates to the need to work from home. Moving forward this will be a top priority for house builders and developers and good broadband will add value to a property.”