COVID-19 Guidance - England only
As a result of the Government Announcement released on 12th May, estate agents can now reopen following strict safety guidelines. We are delighted to be able to help people with all of their property needs and get people moving again!
Our offices have been busy making changes in order to comply with government guidelines and to ensure they keep you safe whilst looking after your property needs. We are proud to be able to say we comply with the governments Staying Covid-19 Secure in 2020 campaign. All of our offices have been given the following certificate and have actioned the five steps.
As you know all of our franchised offices are run by independent business owners, any questions please do contact your local Northwood office for specific advice and guidance.
You will see below some general FAQ’s; we have put these together to help you navigate these changes:
Are estate agents open for visiting?
All of our offices are open for business, some of our offices are open by appointment only so we have better control of the office environment to ensure the safety of you and our staff. If you would like to arrange an appointment, please call or email your local office to discuss this. We ask that you only attend your appointment if you are feeling well and not showing any of the key COVID symptoms. We have put various social distancing measures in place which you will notice when you arrive for your appointment. The extent of these safety measures will depend on the layout of the specific office you are visiting. If you are concerned about the measures we have in place, please discuss with us when booking your appointment so we can hopefully put your mind at ease.
Can estate agents do viewings?
The answer is yes, we can! We are favouring virtual viewings wherever possible for first viewings which involves viewing a property via a video call or using a pre-filmed video tour. If, however you wish to see that property in person, we can now arrange in-person viewings. To help keep you safe, we will discuss with you the specific requirements with regards to the viewing process. Our offices may ask you to fill out a health questionnaire prior to the viewing (for both the viewer and the current owner). To minimise contact, we will ask the owner of the property to not be present to keep both you and the owners safe. We will also be limiting the number of people who can attend the viewings.
Can I put my property up for sale?
We can offer a free market appraisal if you would like to sell your property, this will help you understand what your property could sell for, we will also explain the process and our service offering. Our market appraisals are now contactless wherever possible, this will involve a video call so we can see the property and we will also use the various tools at our disposal to conduct the research necessary to be able to give you accurate information. If it is required to conduct a market appraisal in person, if this is acceptable to you, we will call to discuss how we will do so in a safe manner, following social distancing guidelines. We will advertise your property as normal and viewings will be conducted virtually wherever possible and potentially in-person once the sale starts to progress, if this is acceptable to you. Again in-person viewings will be conducted in accordance with government guidance and we will discuss the process with you to make sure you are comfortable.
Can I sell my house if I am shielding?
If you are shielding, we can conduct a contactless market appraisal via video call and carry out virtual viewings to not put your safety at risk.
I am looking to sell or let my house; how can I be sure that viewings will be conducted safely?
We will be favouring virtual viewings wherever possible to limit the number of people coming into contact with your property. When an in-person viewing is necessary, we will be following strict safety guidance which we will discuss with you beforehand to make sure you are comfortable with the process and accommodate any additional wishes wherever possible.
Is it now possible to actually move house?
Following the recent Government announcement, yes, it is now possible to move house. However, as expected the process will be slightly different. We should note that anyone who is shielding is advised to very carefully consider the personal circumstances involved in their move and potentially seek medical advice in order to decide whether to go ahead. If you are in this group, or are generally nervous, speak to your agent and removal firm etc because things may be able to be adjusted to minimise your risk.
When moving house, ensure you stay 2 meters away from anyone who is not part of your household and wash your hands regularly. It is also advised that you pack your belongings yourself wherever possible, although beware this may affect the removal companies’ insurance cover on breakages.
Would it be ok for me to bring my own safety equipment?
Yes of course, please feel free to wear a mask or bring our own hand sanitiser etc.
Is anyone actually wanting to buy houses right now?
While the current landscape is unpredictable, people’s reasons to want to move still exist so we are confident that your property has as good a chance to sell as ever. We don’t forsee a big issue in the sale progressing either, as Mortgage finance is readily available. If anything, closing estate agents during lockdown has caused a lull in sales progressing which may mean that we see a spike in the coming weeks to make up for the lost time.
I have tenants in my property but I’m not with an agent, how do I navigate the new safety regulations by myself?
Clear guidance has been released by the government with regards to key issues such as maintenance, rent arrears and safety which we would advise that you read. Alternatively, you can contact us and we would be happy to help and offer advice, or can discuss managing your property for you.
Will I still be able to get a mortgage if I have been furloughed?
Unfortunately, we can’t really answer this as it is likely to depend on your lender. However, our mortgage advisors would be more than happy to advice you further on this matter, so contact us and we will be able to put you in touch with them.
Do I need to come into the office to get mortgage advice?
No, we can ask our mortgage advisors to get in touch with you via the phone. You will receive the same level of advice and have access to the same deals but from the safety of your own home.