Last week we reported on what the road out of lockdown could look like for the East Central Scotland property market.
The First Minister announced yesterday that there would be a relaxation of house moves in Phase 2, to commence on Monday 29th June 2020.
The current Government guidelines are unfortunately vague and we do not yet have full guidance. However, from the information currently available to us, in this article we aim to answer your FAQs in direct relation to what Phase 2 for the property market looks like and give tips on how to implement these changes in the world of property.
What does ‘Phase 2’ mean for the East Central Scotland property market?
Phase 2 will relax the previous restrictions on house moves on Monday 29th June 2020. Previously, only “reasonably necessary” house moves were permitted to take place.
Can I move home?
Yes, people will now be able to move home from 29th June.
The message will no longer be that it is best to delay unless the move is “reasonably necessary” however, the process of finding and moving into a new home is going to be different moving forward.
All of us involved in the process of moving home will need to adapt to practices and measures to ensure that the risk of the spread of Covid-19 is reduced as much as possible. It is worth bearing in mind that although people can move home under Phase 2 there will still be cases of unavoidable delays, for example if the seller or buyer is self-isolating or develops Covid-19 symptoms.
How do I physically view a property from 29th June?
It’s important to speak to your solicitor about buying your new home.
In relation to viewings, the selling agents will confirm what the viewing options are for a particular property. There is an emphasis on virtually viewing a property in the first instance, and confirming you have a mortgage agreement in principle (‘MAIP’).
Restrictions on individual properties will differ depending on that particular property and its owners’ circumstances. Viewings will be by appointment only and will take place with relevant safeguards in place. It is important to remember the following when you attend a viewing:
- Take your face covering, hand sanitiser, gloves and shoe coverings if required.
- Have a notepad and pen handy.
- Always keep a safe distance – the 2m rule (many owners will wait outside the property).
- Do not touch any surfaces inside.
- Do not attend any viewing appointments if you or someone you live with has Coronavirus symptoms or must self-isolate for whatever reason. Advise the selling agent of this as soon as possible.
- Minimise the number of those viewing – only 1 household (2 adults max) at a time.
Can I arrange a physical Pre-Sale Valuation?
During the period of lockdown EPPG firms have been offering virtual valuations, desktop reports and video calls. We will continue offer virtual valuations, and it may be the preferred method for most. Moving forward, as we progress into Phase 2, physical valuations will be possible in person, providing appropriate PPE is worn and social distancing maintained.
What will happen at the future survey or photography shoot?
The surveyor and photographer will work in the same way as the Valuer in that they will have the relevant PPE and will suggest that you wait outside the property whilst the visits take place.
For the photography, the property must be photo-shoot ready as photographers will not stage or move personal belongings.
The surveyor will advise you in advance of your home report survey what is required as they will need all windows, attic latches, electrical boxes etc to be open at the time of the visit.
Will all Solicitor Estate Agents offices re-open soon?
During Phase 2, remote working remains the default position. Our offices will not be open to the public but EPPG firms are all working well from home and on hand to assist you.
Consultations will take place via email, telephone call or video calling initially however there may be occasions a meeting is required and we will do our best to facilitate this request, in line with government regulations. You should of course advise us at any time as soon as you become aware of anyone suffering from COVID-19 symptoms in your household or if anyone in your household is advised to self-isolate for whatever reason as any appointments or visits will of course require to be postponed for health and safety.