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COVID-19: Housing Market Given The Key To Open

Following a significant update from the Government in recent days, the housing market has been given the go-ahead to reopen, but resuming business is by no means normal. Technically, estate agents are still seen as a non-essential business so we wanted to let our customers, landlords and tenants know about the measures we have put in place if there is a property you are keen to progress with. 

Our organisation of Coronavirus-friendly agents at Open House Leicester are following strict guidelines when it comes to property valuations, viewings and maintaining social distancing. We are enforcing these effective immediately and to provide clarity on any uncertainties, we’ve created this simple guide to explain it in detail, giving you peace of mind before you either list a property or see one. 

It’s not the traditional way of showing a property, whether it’s an office space or a house, but virtual viewings are taking precedence and understandably so. Despite this, face-to-face viewings can also still take place and there are some different rules we can apply depending on the circumstances of the property.

Vacant Property Viewings

If the property is completely vacant, then we will carry out single-person viewings to avoid multiple people in one space regardless of how big it is. We want to enforce this upfront so even if that means we carry out a few more viewings at different times or days, we feel more comfortable taking these steps to ensure everyone’s safety. 

In doing so, we will ensure that the agent is not in the same room as those viewing at any one time and as much of the conversation as possible will take place outside of the house or followed up with over the phone. By limiting this physical contact, but still being able to maintain a conversation with the interested parties means we are able to carry out our service as best as we can. It also gives a chance to keep the lines of communication going through follow up calls or emails.

Should an occasion arise where we need to carry out multiple viewings in one block, we only do this if there is definitely no other solution and viewings will be limited to 10 minutes per person. A representative will still accompany each viewing and maintain the social distancing measures we have in place. 

If a person shows up early for their viewing, we will politely ask them to wait outside for their turn. Obviously this is less than ideal for all involved, but we would like to emphasise that everyone’s health and safety is our top priority during this time. 

Finally, we will carry out any viewings at times of the day that avoid commuter times to help others perhaps travelling by public transport to ease their journey to the viewing. 

Occupied Property Viewings

However, if you would like to list your property on the housing market and make it available for viewings, we can assist you in carrying out a virtual viewing, which will be done by a representative of our team. We understand that you may be working from home during this time and/or not be able to vacate your property in order for us to carry out a viewing, which is why we’re fully equipped to help you set up a video tour of your property and provide guidance on how we can capture enough detail for a virtual viewing that will accompany your listing. 

In order to obtain the footage, one agent will come to your property and film the key areas while all members of the household wait in the garden space if this is possible. Another way we can do this if there is no garden space is to have members of the household either upstairs while filming takes place downstairs and vice versa. We’ll use this opportunity to collect video footage and photographs so we have everything we need in one go. 

For any communication about the property that needs to be discussed while the agent and occupiers are present, this can, of course, be done at a 2m distance. As mentioned above, any filming or photography that needs to be done will be captured outside of busy rush hours to help with social distancing in the city. 

Finally, when it comes to the actual property viewing, tenants will obviously be made of aware of this well in advance and will be kindly asked to leave all doors open and lights on so the need to touch anything within the property will be removed. We will also ask that all viewers come equipped with a mask, gloves and hand sanitiser for their own protection as well as the occupants’ protection.

Property Valuations

Our very own qualified Managing Director, Rahul Jain, will personally carry out all property valuations single-handedly to avoid any need for personal contact. Getting your property listed may be something that’s been on your mind for some time and we can help you with this. 

Rahul will take the time to get a great feel for your needs and can provide an honest and reflective price of your property. He can also answer any questions you may have about the property market and what this means post-COVID-19.

How Can Open House Leicester Help You?

We think we can all agree that every day brings new updates when it comes to Coronavirus, so it’s hard to keep up with all the changes, especially when it comes to the property and housing market. 

It may not be realised by everyone that the property industry and estate agents such as ourselves are still able to operate as normally as possible, given that we abide by the Government’s guidelines, implement social distancing rules and keep as many aspects of our roles online as possible. 

Even our photographers, EPC assessors and other third parties are still able to carry out their work so there really isn’t anything stopping us from keeping the housing market flowing.

If you have any questions as to how we’re operating during Coronavrisu or to find out more about how Open House Leicester can help you with your property needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by either emailing or calling 0116 243 7938.

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