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Government releases guidance on accompanied viewings for estate agents

Ministry of Housing confirms viewings can take place but warns that open houses and driving clients to viewings are still prohibited.

Nigel Lewis

The government has this morning published more detailed guidance on the health and safety aspects of the property market re-opening today, which it says will not be a ‘return to normality’.

“The process of finding and moving into a new home will need to be different given those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible,” the guidance says.

It has also been confirmed that virtual viewings are to be encouraged as a key way for buyers to find their ideal home to rent or buy prior to nailing down a final list to view.

The government wants agents to request that members of the public conduct virtual viewings as much as possible and that open house events are still not permitted.

Agents are to be allowed to accompany viewings as per normal but must observe strict two-metre social distancing procedures where possible, ensure all doors in the property are opened, windows are opened too and that wash basins are made available for hand cleaning.

But agents should not drive clients to viewings and are urged to offer clean paper towels for vendors, buyers and tenants to use during viewings to wash their hands. Keys must also be washed in between viewings.

The guidance also reveals that all ancillary activities within the property rental and sales process may resume including surveys, EPC assessments, removals, conveyancing, and the preparation of homes for sale – including the use of tradespeople to complete this – as well as visits to future homes to measure up or have building work done prior to moving in.

Read the guidance in full.


May 13, 2020

One comment

  1. Fantastic that the government are actually encouraging tech in agency, which is not just a temporary gimmick but an efficiency and great tool for agents to sharpen up their processes.

    Imagine reducing failed viewings that result in no revenue by just 10% a year how much time and money would that save? What would you team be able to do with that time, and the consumers view more of what they want, and the health and safety issues of Covid-19 are minimised.

    For me the ‘Proptech = more profit in your business’ and means less human interaction by having automated systems and solutions, which increases health and safety for clients and the sales teams is an obvious solution.

    Alternative – be a financially wounded dinosaur like Countrywide – which is about as agile as a 12m long 700kg prehistoric animal can be in the 21st century – Tyrannosaurus anyone ‘tyrant lizard’.

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