Details of the protocols that estate agents may have to follow if the property market is to be allowed to reopen have been revealed following discussions between the sales industry and housing minister Christopher Pincher about property viewings.
He is reported to have already discussed how to get the property market back on its feet with conveyancers and lenders, but is due to speak to NAEA Propertymark this week to discuss the nitty gritty of how the sales process can restart, and in particular how viewings can be completed.
As The Negotiator report recently, arguments about how to interpret the current guidance is leading to some local disputes.
But more precise advice is expected to be issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on how to safely conduct property viewings.
- Vendors will have to wait outside while viewings are completed, or in different parts of a house if it’s large enough.
- Potential buyers will not be allowed to touch surfaces including doorknobs and agents will have to have to carry wipes and disinfectant.
- Those completing viewings including agents will have to wear masks and gloves and must not present any COVID-19 symptoms including a cough.
- Only two people will be able to attend viewings – children and other members of a family will not be able to come.
Commenting on the expected relaxation of lockdown rules and a restart of the market, NAEA Propertymark Mark Hayward (left) says: “There will be a spike in property completions coming out of lockdown. This will be a difficulty because the removal people have all put all of their staff on furlough – but everyone is going to want to move on the Friday after the end of lockdown.”