Propertymark has admitted that many estate agents are asking buyers with existing homes to either have their property on the market or in some cases be proceeding to exchange before they can do viewings.
Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive of Propertymark, made the comments during an interview by BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme.
It investigated the ongoing problems caused by the government’s Covid guidance issued last year which urged agents to only allow viewings to those who are serious and ‘likely to make an offer’.
Despite the relaxation of the national lockdown at the moment, many buyers with properties are being told by some agents that this guidance still applies and that to prove they are ‘proceedable’ must have their home on the market or be near to a sale.
“The market still contains a lot of vendors who are older, particularly in the bungalow market, and remain nervous about the risks of catching Covid,” he told the programme.
Its presenter Winifred Robinson (pictured) said many vendors and buyers were caught in a strange position of not being able to do viewings until they had sold their existing home, leaving them to find and secure a home between offer and completion.
Emerson said the longer lead times faced by those buying and selling properties would help alleviate this program and that “most people accept that there needs to be a degree of latitude in transactions at the moment, and that some people sell and then move into temporary accommodation until they can buy their next home as a solution.
“We have a lot of that happening at the moment,” he says. “Everyone is facing a perfect storm of a super-hot market created by low interest rates, the stamp duty holiday and people’s reactions to the lockdowns.”
This is not the first time the ‘proceedable’ rules have made it into the public domain. Last May TV star Kirstie Allsopp tweeted her frustration at the rules.
The current guidance still says to house hunters: “To help prevent the spread of infection, we recommend that you carry out initial property searches online, and only visit a property in person when you are seriously considering making an offer on it.”