How To View Property Safely During COVID-1930th June 2020
The property market has been back up and moving since the government gave us the green light back in May. Restrictions were eased, allowing those in the middle of moves and those who wish to do so to move under certain guidelines. Here at JonSimon Estate Agents, we have had our doors reopened for a while now, but we understand safety concerns are at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
While estate agents can now visit properties in order to take photos and videos, and prospective buyers are able to visit different properties for viewing, it is absolutely essential that we all put health and safety first. It’s of paramount importance to the team here at JonSimon that we do our part to keep everyone we work with safe, healthy and protected.
The first thing that everybody involved with viewing property and moving house should do is to stay up to date with all the relevant government advice and guidelines. We all have a responsibility towards one another in these times, and keeping up to date with advice and sticking to the measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus is incredibly important.
We understand that these health and wellbeing concerns are stopping a lot of people from having the confidence to complete their move and look for a new home. From social distancing measures and ensuring that you are safe to visit another person’s home, safety measures must be taken.
Here at JonSimon, we have opened our doors and put into place our own safety protocols to ensure that everyone we work with has their wellbeing protected. When you choose to work with us, we’ll guide you through the process and give you the confidence you need to complete your move. Here are some of ways in which property viewing can be made safer during COVID-19.
1. Staying up to date with the government guidelines
While the government has eased restrictions, it is absolutely vital that we all remain vigilant and alert in order to contain the virus and keep one another safe and healthy. A big part of this means staying up to date with the government’s advice on the matter. After all, we are living in a fast moving and unpredictable time, and changes should be expected and prepared for.
First on the list might seem obvious, but it also the most important piece of advice. Those who have coronavirus or who are self isolating with a family member should not leave their home to undertake property viewings. Next to this is those who are clinically vulnerable. Government advice is to suspend and delay moving house if you are considered to be ‘at risk’, but if there is a pressing need to move then they should carefully consider their options.
Here at JonSimon we are committed to protecting the people we work with as best we can. If you feel the need to continue property viewings and the process of moving house, but are a vulnerable person, please let us know. If necessary, we can help to take extra precautionary measures to help you stay safe and healthy.
2. Ensuring that the property is safe to visit
When planning a property viewing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage all of our customers to do as much research as possible online before requesting a physical viewing. This, potentially, can keep the number of viewings down while also shortening individual property viewings.
Of course, when the day comes to the physically view a property, you will want to feel confident that you are going to be safe to do so. With this in mind, the team here at JonSimon is committed to working with both the host and the prospective buyer to ensure that there are safe conditions in place:
- If possible, we will have the occupants of the home to be absent during your viewing. This limits physical interaction and ensures that we are maintaining social distancing procedures. If this isn’t possible, we will try to have the occupants stay in the garden while you view the home.
- We always try to make sure that all internal doors are left open in preparation for a property viewing. This, quite simply, means that the viewers won’t need to touch any door handles or knobs when viewing the property as they won’t have to open any doors.
- When it comes to side gates and back doors, we ask that these are left unbolted or with the key in them so that we can more easily view the entire property.
- As much as we would like this not to be the case, the fact is that it is very likely that some hard surfaces and handles will be touched during the property viewing. As such, we always request that the host wipes down as many handles and surfaces as possible before a viewing for your safety, and wipes them down afterwards for their own safety.
3. Using the right personal protective equipment (PPE)
Before your viewing, we’ll always get in touch with you to discuss precautions regarding personal protective equipment. We’ll ask to confirm what PPE you have and whether you’re going to bring it, as well as providing some guidance and advice about what we think is suitable in the given circumstances. We work with both the hosts and those viewing the property to ensure that everyone is happy with the PPE involved.
It’s important to work together when it comes to PPE, not just for everyone’s safety but also for everyone’s comfort and ease of mind. Best practice outlining what equipment to use can vary, but things like face coverings and gloves are always a great option for that added protection.
4. Advice for those booking a viewing
Searching for your dream property is an incredibly exciting time, but it can also be very frustrating and time consuming – only made all the more so by the current COVID-19 pandemic. But, while eagerness and excitement are fantastic (we love nothing more than making the home buying experience as enjoyable as possible here at JonSimon), caution is absolutely paramount. As such, to make viewing a property safer during this time, we often ask that:
- You only request a physical viewing when you have already extensively researched the property online. As mentioned above, this is a great way of ensuring that viewings are only held if there’s a genuine interest in putting in an offer and reduces the number of property viewings necessary. It also means that the viewing itself can be shorter.
- If you, someone you live with, or someone you have been in contact with has been unwell within the last 14 days, we will ask to postpone the viewing. This can be frustrating, but the risks of not taking these precautions are too high.
- You maintain proper social distancing while visiting the property. This is still a distance of 2 meters according to government advice. This means remaining socially distanced from your estate agent as much as possible during your viewing, as well as remaining distanced from the home’s occupants too. As mentioned above, we will try to make sure that the occupants are not in the building when you visit.
- Try not to touch anything in the property and wash your hands or use sanitiser as much as possible. The doors will likely be left open for you so that touching things can be avoided, but nonetheless remain vigilant and careful.
- Bring no more than two applicants to the viewing, including yourself. This includes children, and is done to help limit the number of people potentially coming into contact with one another. It also means that fewer people are likely to touch things in the house – important for both your own safety and that of the home’s occupants.
Get In Touch
Want to find out more about how we are helping to conduct safer property viewings here at JonSimon? Get in touch with us today to discover what we do. It’s a difficult period for all of us at the moment, and we are incredibly thankful of all our clients for their patience and vigilance – we’re here to help try and keep everybody as safe as possible.