If you are looking to buy a house after lockdown, new house viewing protocols might require you to stock up on masks and gloves.
This week Housing Minister Christopher Pincher will be speaking with The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) to discuss the best way to safely get the property market moving again according to The Mail on Sunday.
Among measures being discussed will be new house viewing protocols. Nothing has been decided, but based on current proposals being discussed, this is what house viewings could look like post lockdown.
New house viewing protocols
1. Potential buyers and estate agents will wear masks and gloves
Potential buyers are expected to be required to wear masks and gloves when entering a property. It is also likely that estate agents will be allowed to refuse entry to anyone turning up with a cough.
2. Only the buyer will be allowed to view a property
After lockdown, a buyer will have to meet an agent alone to view a property. Partners might be allowed to attend, but it is unlikely that children or other family members will be able to join.
3. Potential buyers will not be allowed to touch any surfaces
Although agents will be armed with sanitisers and wipes, buyers or renters will be told not to touch any surfaces. To help avoid this, sellers will ensure all doors in the property are left open and all lights are turned on.
4. Sellers will need to wait outside during viewings
Sellers are expected to be asked to stay in separate parts of the property to maintain two metres of social distancing.
However, if the property is too small, they could potentially be asked to stand outside in the garden, or go out for a walk during viewings.
Working out how in-person housing viewings can start again after lockdown is challenging. The NAEA and housing minister will need to discuss issues such as who pays for the gloves and facemasks for viewings? What do sellers do if it’s pouring with rain? Who will be responsible for disinfecting shared corridors or entrance halls in blocks of flats?
Even with the new protocols, virtual house viewings are expected to become more common. Avoiding the need for buyers to visit a property in person.
An official series of protocols for home buyers and renters are expected to be issued by the end of next week.
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