IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR ALL EXISTING AND NEW CLIENTS
On Wednesday the 13th of May, the Government allowed the housing market to effectively reopen and for Estate Agents to begin working again following Government Guidelines and Social Distancing Measures. In light of this, we wanted to advise you of the measures we are taking and what this may mean for you.
Firstly, let us assure you that we will be proceeding with EXTREME CAUTION and the utmost respect for all the guidance and regulation out there in relation to COVID-19.
Since reopening on the 1st June, we have introduced a lot of changes and measures put into place compared to how we operated prior to the COVID crisis because we feel an immense sense of responsibility towards every one of our customer. As always, your safety remains our number one priority;
We have a stringent screening process in place for all enquiries and prior to the arrangement of any visits/viewings. We will be making sure that no member of the household to be visited is vulnerable or shielding and that nobody is displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough or fever. Market appraisals, viewings or any similar appointments will not go ahead if any of these conditions are met. Please bear with us if you are required to answer the screening questions more than once as this is necessary in order for us to ensure the highest level of safety.
- Please do not visit the office unless it is absolutely necessary. You can call us on 01302 391302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org at anytime and we will respond as soon as possible. If you do need to come into the office we would prefer this to be by appointment only. Due to the staffing restrictions we are experiencing at the moment there may be times that we will have to close the office so it is even more imperative that you call prior to visiting us.
- We are able to prepare ‘desktop’ valuations and market appraisals of properties where a visit is not possible/appropriate so please feel free to continue to send enquiries or ask for advice/guidance on selling your property!
- All keys will be cleaned thoroughly with effective cleaning solutions prior to being handed over to any other part
Please find all specific details in relation to Vendors, Buyers, Tenants and Home Movers below;
Viewings (both sales and letting properties)
Whilst we are now able to arrange viewings on properties, we will be applying the following guidelines to anyone viewing a property:
- Where there is more than one person attending a viewing, these people must be from the same household and we will be limiting the amount of people able to attend a viewing to a maximum of two in order to reduce the risk to both the viewer as well as the vendor/tenant etc. Please only bring children to viewings if it is absolutely necessary and ensure that they do not touch any surfaces during the viewing.
- Do not touch any surfaces during the viewing.
- Please bring hand sanitiser to your appointment and wash your hands both before entering the property and once you have left.
- Maintain social distancing at all times
- Where possible and where the agent is present at the viewing we will be able to offer viewers the use of hand sanitiser but all other optional PPE equipment is at the viewers discretion.
- If you have washed your hands please dry them with paper towels or similar and dispose of appropriately
We will be asking all of our vendors to apply the following recommendations when conducting their own viewings:
- Please open all internal doors in order to minimise the risk of viewers having to touch door handles. You may also want to consider opening windows where appropriate.
- If possible, vacate the property during the viewing
- Clean all surfaces with effective household cleaning products before a viewing, and then again after the viewing.
During this phase of the COVID response we will be putting additional requirements on buyers as below:
- We will require you to have a virtual viewing prior to arranging a physical visit to any property that you are interested in. We are working hard to make sure that all of our sales properties have a virtual viewing available.
- Prior to arranging a physical viewing we will be financially qualifying your buying position to make sure that any viewings are not carried out unnecessarily and that you are in a genuine position to proceed should you be interested in putting an offer on a property.
- We would ask you to be aware of the possibility of delays occurring during the buying process and encourage a flexible approach to be adopted. For example, if anyone in the buying process needs to self-isolate due to experiencing COVID symptoms, this may delay the process.
We take our responsibility to tenants as well as our obligation to landlords very seriously and during the lockdown so far we have not visited any properties and only sent tradespeople out in the case of emergencies. However, we now have to make sure that we are meeting our contractual commitments to landlords and our legal and safety obligations to our tenants such as gas safety inspections and property inspections. We will be commencing the following activities:
- Visits by tradespeople for repairs, gas safety certificates, EPC’s or similar (unless a member of the household is displaying symptoms, subject to our screening process)
- Visits will always be by appointment only in prior agreement of the tenant(s)
- We would ask that our tenants work together with us to make sure that we are able to maintain your safety by allowing appointments wherever possible
- The agent visiting you will be wearing a PPE mask and will use hand sanitiser and respect all social distancing regulations at all times.
- Only visits that are essential will be arranged with tenants
- Tradespeople visiting your property are not employed by us but are responsible for following the safe working practices guidance
Removals / Moving House
Moving your belongings to another property and leaving your house for another household does present some difficulties but it is possible to do this safely if you follow the recommendations below:
- Do as much packing of your belongings yourself
- Clean all your belongings
- Clean all surfaces before you leave your property and as soon as you enter another
- Maintain social distancing with any third parties such as removal company staff
- Provide handwashing facilities to removal staff but not refreshments!
- Wear PPE if possible
- Clean any keys thoroughly before you hand them over to the estate agent or your buyer
We hope that we have been able to answer any queries that you may have had about the property industry re-opening and demonstrated that we are highly committed to maintaining rigorous safety standards. However, if you have any comments or concerns we would be more than happy to hear them and to implement additional measures if you see fit.
Whilst we have remained contactable throughout this period of lockdown, we are very much looking forward to working with you again in slightly better circumstances and thank you for your continued support.
The Welcome Homes Team