I Am The Blog

The latest property news from your online estate agent.

The Property Market is now OPEN!

We hope this message finds you and your family healthy and well.

The government has now lifted restrictions on the property market for England, following two months of lockdown.

As of Tuesday 12th May landlords, vendors and agents, will be able to undertake the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of residential property: 

  • visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes
  • viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent
  • preparing a residential property to move in
  • moving home
  • visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property
  • Here is the update from the Public Health, England

Here are some tips if you’re a buyer or renter going on viewings:

You’ve no-doubt been keenly waiting for weeks to go and view that property you’ve had your eye on... and now you can.

Follow our simple guidance to ensure your viewing goes as smoothly and as safely as possible:

  • Protecting yourself and those in the property you’re viewing
  • Whether it’s on your way to a viewing, or once you get there, remember these three key pieces of advice from the government:
  • Maintain a 2m distance from anyone you aren’t living with – we know this can be tough at times, but it’s possible. If you ever forget what 2m looks like, imagine taking two long strides, or visualising the height of your front door!
  • Wash your hands regularly (and thoroughly) and avoid touching your face – we’ve all got the dry hands to prove it, but this remains one of the most important pieces of guidance right now to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Minimise contact with surfaces outside of your home – this can be hard as we touch so many things throughout the day, often without thinking about it. Common things include door handles, lift buttons and ‘stop’ buttons on the bus.
  • Why not start with an online viewing, if available?
  • You’ll still need to view the property in person, before being able to proceed with an offer, but it’s a great place to start. Particularly helpful if you’re not entirely sure whether it’s suitable for you, it’s also one less journey you’ll need to make. If you’d still like the view the property, the agent will be pleased to know you’re serious.

Before the viewing:

In line with government guidance, anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms should be staying at home, to help prevent further spread of the disease. This is a requirement and health and safety are paramount. You must stay at home. To give confidence to all parties present those marketing properties and those at the viewing including existing tenants that the government guidance is being followed, and to help manage the viewing in the most efficient way possible, you should ask a handful of questions before your viewing such as:

  • Has anyone in your household had COVID-19?
  • Has anyone in your household displayed COVID-19 symptoms or not yet completed a required period of household self-isolation?
  • Are you in the high-risk category?
  • All parties should have been asked these questions.

Travelling to and from viewings:

We want you to be more excited than stressed right now, so follow our top travel tips for a smooth, and safe, journey:

  • Wherever possible, use your own transport (i.e car, motorcycle or bicycle) or, if it’s a walkable distance, consider this as an option
  • If you’re planning to drive to a viewing, think in advance about parking. Let the agent know in advance so they can advise you on where’s best to park as it’s not always obvious, especially if you don’t know the area.
  • Public transport is still essential for many of us, especially those in big cities. When booking the viewing, let the agent know so that they can help you book a viewing time outside of peak travel hours (06:30 – 09:30 and 16:00 – 19:00)
  • Show up on time. This is to help minimise the number of people gathering near the property.

 At the viewing:

  • For the duration of the viewing, you will need to be mindful that this is someone’s home (if occupied) and follow the social distancing guidelines.
  • Being armed with all the questions you still need to ask on the viewing will be more important than ever to ensure you’re getting the most out of the viewing.

Create your own ‘viewing kit’ to get the most out of your viewings:

  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser or a small bar of soap in a resealable bag and some paper hand towels or a small towel. This will ensure you can clean your hands both before and after the viewing
  • A face mask – not an essential but we highly recommend it. It will show politeness to the agent and current owner that you have considered them. Especially useful if you’re currently suffering from Hay Fever, and therefore prone too sneezing, or travelling by public transport. The government have released details on how to make your own here.
  • Disposable gloves – not an essential, but a good idea if you’re worried about touching anything accidentally (especially if you’ve had to travel by public transport).
  • Viewing Checklist – Print-out or save a copy of Rightmove's renter viewing checklist or buyer viewing checklist – they contain all the key questions you’ll need to ask. 
  • Something to write with – be it a pen, pencil or your phone, you’ll want to jot down the answers to your questions and make notes. It's not the time to be sharing or borrowing pens etc. 
  • Your phone – not only so you can contact the agent if you need to, but also so you can take photos or make notes
  • A bottle of water – In case you get thirsty, and always advisable in warmer months. You won’t be able to accept, or ask for, one on a viewing so useful to have in your bag

If you’re a seller or landlord letting people into your home for viewings:

Over the coming weeks, you will be busy booking in prospective buyers and tenants who’ve asked to view your property.

Follow this simple guide to ensure each viewing goes as smoothly as possible. Protecting your household and those on viewings...

Always remember to follow this simple government guidance:

  • Maintain a 2m distance from those on the viewing – we know this may be challenging, especially in smaller properties, but speak to your agent and together work out a route that makes the most sense for viewings to follow. If you ever forget what 2m looks like, imagine taking two long strides, or visualising the height of your front door!
  • Wash your hands regularly (and thoroughly) and avoid touching your face – we’ve all got the dry hands to prove it, but this remains one of the most important pieces of guidance right now to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and we’d recommend doing this both before and after each viewing.
  • Regularly clean items that are likely to be touched on viewings – Particularly door handles, doorbells, and window latches/locks.

Preparing your property for the viewing:

  • Most of us will give our homes a good deep clean before opening the doors to prospective buyers, as part of wanting it to look its best and attract a buyer. Now is no different, so use it as an opportunity to give everything a good clean before viewings start.
  • As much as you’ll not want the strangers in your home touching door handles etc, they will feel the same. If you or your tenant is doing the viewing on your behalf, they should be opening all doors, cupboards etc for those on the viewing. If you’re doing the viewing, we advise you take the same approach as it will help you keep track of what you’ll need to clean afterwards.
  • To help minimise the number of people in your home at any one time, it may be required for you and your household to leave while the viewing is taking place.
  • We would recommend discussing this with your tenants before any viewings so that, together, you can work out a sensible plan that works for everyone

When preparing for a viewing, follow our checklist to help it go smoothly:

  • Clean items and/or areas that are likely to be touched (i.e door handles, doorbells) with an antibacterial cleaner both before and after the viewing has taken place.
  • Open windows to boost ventilation prior to the viewing taking place
  • Open internal doors, loft hatches, and anything else you think may be of interest, ahead of the viewing to minimise any unnecessary contact
  • If possible, provide hand sanitiser by your front door so that the agent and viewers can clean their hands when they enter and leave your home.
  • Have a plan of where you can go while the viewing is taking place if you need to.

After the viewing

  • Once the viewing has finished, you may want to spend a couple of extra minutes going through any feedback or comments. We do advise to do this on the phone to stop congregations and potential health risks. However, if you have an outdoor space that allows you to distance yourselves more easily, feel free to take the conversation outside, or ideally minimise physical meetings and book a follow-up video call.
  • You may have potentially found a buyer or tenant, but don’t be tempted to shake hands!
  • Once the viewing has ended and all parties left, you’ll want to wipe down any door handles, cupboard doors etc that were touched on the viewing, with an antibacterial wipe or spray, and wash your hands.

For more information, visit the government’s website.

It's now time to get moving

Over the last couple of weeks, we've noticed a steady increase in activity from new property listings to buyer and tenant enquiries. We believe the market will be moving quickly but please always put your health and safety first.

How can we help our landlords?

We are open for business as usual offering the full letting experience from marketing,  digital tenancy signing, comprehensive referencing and rental insurance to assist you during this uncertain time.

We will also be offering full property management and rental protection. If you require assistance during a tenancy to switch managing agent, please drop us a line: info@iamtheagent.com.
How can we help vendors?

I Am The Agent are driven by technology and you can start to market your property £99 without leaving your property, we can also supply assisted viewings and virtual valuations. We can get you on the market and save you thousands during this difficult time.

Please use our free valuation tool to assist you with pricing: Valuation tool.

How can we help those searching? 

We are here to help with 24 hours enquiry lines. Easy to set up notifications and lot's of guidance. We have a fully digitalised mortgage approval system with L&C here, so you can be buyer ready. 

In the meantime, we are happy we can service your property needs and please stay safe. 

Thank you for your continued support. 

I Am The Agent 

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