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US realtors return to work with masks and gloves as UK waits its turn

Regulations around physical viewings to be introduced in the UK when our industry restarts, go much further than in the US, The Negotiator can reveal.

Nigel Lewis

Estate agents in some parts of the USA are beginning to reopen for business in a phased plan and have restarted physical viewings, offering their UK counterparts a taste of what will happen when the lockdown eases.

NAEA Propertymark has revealed that it’s been in talks with the National Association of Realtors, its equivalent in the US, to share information on best practice.

And many of the details revealed by NAEA Chief Executive Mark Hayward about the likely measures to be introduced here come from those meetings.

But it would appear the UK is going further than many states in the US.

For example, one of the first regions to allow agents to restart their businesses is the Bay Area of Northern California which includes San Francisco and San Jose.

Estate agents have been given the green light to conduct viewings but only the realtor and two other adults are allowed in a property at the same time.

Also, the vendor must step out of the property during the viewing, everyone involved must wear masks and gloves and vendors must sign a release form.

In the UK, according to Hayward’s briefing yesterday which included many of the measures mentioned above, surfaces within properties must also be disinfected and viewings last no more than 15 minutes.

“While virtual tours are becoming more and more popular and they’re absolutely being used, part of it is how can we responsibly interact inside homes because that is such a big part of it,” Skylar Olsen, a senior economist with Zillow, said.

Zillow, which is a portal similar to Rightmove in the US, says home sales have slowed by up to 50% since a lockdown was introduced across all US states following the arrival of Coronavirus.


May 6, 2020

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