Moving House: How Have Things Changed?

The last few months have prompted seismic shifts in the way we live our lives. For those who suddenly found themselves unable to move forward with the purchase or sale of a property, it has been a particularly stressful and uncertain time. The good news is that things are starting to move again. You can now put your home up for sale, move house or view properties for sale. Estate agents and surveyors can also visit your home to carry out their duties.

While the government’s easing of restrictions on the property market has been welcomed by those trapped in Coronavirus limbo, the sector is inevitably having to adapt to comply with new safety guidelines. So, what do you need to know about buying or selling your home in the era of social distancing?

  1. Do as much as you can remotely

We’re lucky that we live in an age where we have technology that enables us to do things from afar. As physical visits to view a property inevitably invite more risk than the virtual kind, it’s recommended that people try and do as much research and viewing as they can from a distance. For example, Googling the neighbourhood and checking out the property thoroughly on estate agency websites. Many agencies also offer 360° virtual tours which can be a great way to get a feel for a home. Some sellers may even be amenable to getting together for a live online tour with the opportunity to ask/answer any questions. It’s always worth finding out what’s on offer in terms of virtual resources.

When it comes to handling the formalities, most estate agents and conveyancing professionals now have procedures in place to allow clients to interact with them via online platforms like Zoom and Skype, as well as communicating via emails and telephone. In short, use whatever technology is available to help reduce your exposure to others.

  1. Make viewings and meetings as safe as possible

Obviously, once you’ve whittled down the possibilities online, there will come a time when you want to see the properties you’ve got your eye on for yourself. However, gone are the days of open house viewings or visiting homes that you’re perhaps not too serious about. Viewings are by appointment with social distancing and hygiene guidelines being adhered to, as far as possible. It’s also recommended to view the property without the current home-owners present, if practicable. Your estate agent should inform you of their current viewing safety policies and protocols.

Some estate agents and conveyancing professionals may also begin to offer consultations in person if they are able to do so in compliance with current workplace safety regulations. Again, they should advise you of the social distancing and hygiene policies they have put in place.

  1. Seek advice from property experts

Moving house can be challenging enough under normal circumstances, let alone amid the ever-shifting backdrop of a pandemic. In such an uncertain time, where guidelines can change from week to week, it’s important to have support from property experts who are up to speed with the latest developments. An experienced conveyancing team can help you avoid further delays, ensuring the process is as expeditious, stress-free and safe as possible.

At Rowberry Morris, we understand that it’s a difficult time to be buying or selling your home. If you need guidance, our friendly and experienced property team are on hand to deliver up to date, plain-speaking, forward-thinking advice on all your residential property matters. We’re constantly monitoring and reviewing guidelines to give you the very best legal services while keeping our staff and clients as well-protected as possible.

If you’d like to talk to one of our solicitors about buying or selling your home during the Covid-19 outbreak, please get in touch with your nearest Rowberry Morris office in Reading, Tadley, Staines or Richmond.

Click here to review the government’s latest guidance and information regarding moving house during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.