The ongoing pandemic has disrupted various aspects of our everyday lives, including the way we buy and sell properties. With lockdowns, social distancing measures, and economic uncertainties, navigating the property market during a pandemic can be challenging. However, it is still possible to find your dream home or sell your property with careful planning and practical tips. Here are some essential things to keep in mind when navigating the property market during a pandemic.
1. Stay Up-to-date with Government Guidance
Government guidelines regarding the property market might change frequently, so make sure to stay up-to-date with the latest announcements. Restrictions and measures may vary depending on the area you are in and the situation of the pandemic. Check the guidelines of your local authority and stay in touch with your estate agents or solicitors to get informed on any changes that may affect your property-buying or selling intentions.
2. Take Advantage of Virtual Viewings
Nowadays, most estate agents offer virtual property viewings to reduce physical interaction and promote social distancing. A virtual tour of the property can give you an idea of the home’s layout, size, and condition without visiting it physically. You can also ask your estate agent to provide additional videos, photos, virtual floor plans, or measurements, so you can have a comprehensive understanding of the property’s features. However, keep in mind that virtual viewings cannot replace in-person inspections. You might want to schedule a physical viewing after conducting a virtual tour to ensure that the property meets your expectations.
3. Arrange a Safe In-person Viewing
If you want to visit the property in person, ask your estate agents to arrange a safe viewing. Your estate agents should follow government guidance to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Wear a face mask and sanitize your hands before entering the property. Try not to touch any surfaces or furniture, and maintain a safe distance from other people during the viewing. If possible, avoid sharing any items such as pens or devices.
4. Be Prepared for Delays
The pandemic has increased the demand for properties and created a backlog of pending transactions. Expect some delays in the buying/selling process due to the limited availability of surveyors, valuers, and solicitors. Also, some mortgage providers might take longer to process applications due to increased demand or a reduced workforce. You might want to consider extending your moving timeline or having a contingency plan in case things do not go as planned.
5. Seek Professional Advice
Navigating the property market during a pandemic can be complex, and it is advisable to seek professional advice from experts. You might want to talk to your estate agents, solicitors, or mortgage advisers to guide you through the process. Ask them about their COVID-19 procedures, fees, and charges, and clarify any doubts you have before making any commitments.
In conclusion, navigating the property market during a pandemic requires flexibility, patience, and caution. Staying up-to-date with the government guidelines, taking advantage of virtual viewings, arranging safe in-person viewings, being prepared for delays, and seeking professional advice can make the experience less stressful and increase your chances of finding your dream home or selling your property.