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Business As Usual

Following the announcement from Boris Johnson on Saturday 31st October 2020, we have made the decision that our high street office will be closed from Thursday, although we will still continue to work from home as usual. 

We have not yet received updated guidance on the new second lockdown, but according to the current guidance Estate Agencies are still allowed to operate with modified working habits. We are waiting for updates from both surveyors and conveyancers but currently the advice is as follows.  

You are free to move home and at this stage the property market remains open.

“The process of searching for and moving into a new home is different because property agents, conveyancers and other professionals have modified how they work to reduce the risk from COVID-19. These changes include doing more online, such as offering virtual viewings; current owners vacating the current property 15 minutes before and during viewings; and ensuring the property is thoroughly cleaned before someone else moves in.”

  • Agents will ask whether any party is showing symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate before going ahead with any physical viewing or property visits.

  • Agents will operate using an appointment system only when conducting viewings.

  • Our office will close – but we will continue to work from home. 

  • Agents will strongly encourage clients to view properties using online video and photographs in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in.

  • No unaccompanied viewings. 

  • Limited parties of two can view a property and should wash their hands with soap and water (or hand sanitiser) immediately after entering the properties, with internal doors opened and surfaces having been wiped down before they enter. 

  • Agents will promote flexibility when arranging move dates.

  • Agents should work with their clients and other agents to broker a new date to move where sales are due to complete and one of the parties falls ill with coronavirus or has to self-isolate.

  • Agents should ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover.

  • If clients have returned from a country on the quarantine list, agents can continue to progress their home move virtually until a quarantine period is over.

  • With PPE and taking care to social distance or telephone video calls we can still value property and place it on the market. 

It is essential all agents continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus through following all relevant guidance. Agents must operate in accordance with government guidelines, to keep the market moving through these uncertain times. Lettings properties will still be required to be maintained as per tenancy agreement, with contractors allowed to enter for repairs. 

When we set up our agency, Coast To Castle, it was important to us to enable ourselves to work from home and using the latest technologies, offer clients a bespoke out of hours service.

It is for that reason that all of our systems use high tech “cloud based” software that allows us to take the office home by simply picking up the laptop. We take care to produce high quality realistic video and photographs to show your property that are available to view online 24/7, and our office phones can always divert to our mobiles if necessary.

With that in mind, our service will be disrupted as little as possible.

During the last lockdown, solicitors worked from home, but restricted property sales to exchange and complete on the same day, allowing the market to continue. We use an online service for conveyancing that allows the client to see exactly where the sale is and how it is progressing. This means that you can progress the sale, 24/7 and always be in contact with the conveyancer. 

One of the fortunate things about the previous lockdown was that it gave people time to “shop” online. This meant that the property portals were at their busiest. As soon as lockdown restrictions were lifted, estate agents across the country became busy immediately, with many mainlanders looking to retreat to the country and island locations. 

So, although there was a pause in the market, the government opened it as quickly as possible. We are hopeful that we will see a similar increase in market movement during December and January with homes being “snapped up” in the months to follow. Along with property completions being carried out in a timely fashion. 

That being said, rest assured we are here as always to chase the sale, refresh marketing and sell your home, and also have a close eye on the government announcements along with the property industry news feeds. If there are any updates we will be in touch quickly to keep you informed.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss anything at all, our office number 01983 200007 will divert to us at home.

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