Below we have answered some of the most common questions that we have received with regards to the current situation.
Q. How is Seymours making the process of buying and selling property safe?
All viewings are being undertaken with the strictest focus on the health and safety of all participants. Virtual meetings are encouraged where possible, and all essential face-to-face meetings take place under social-distancing guidelines. All Seymours staff will be wearing PPE, including gloves and a face mask and hand sanitiser will also be available. To carry out a virtual valuation, click here.
Q. How do you undertake a viewing in a socially distant way?
All discussions regarding the property will take place outside it or virtually online. Sellers must vacate the confines of their property when viewings are taking place, and all internal doors will be open and all surfaces disinfected. Prospective buyers are encouraged to spend as little time as possible inside of the property and to only bring along essential decision-makers with them.
Q. Can workers, architects, surveyors, removal companies and other professionals carry out their work unabated?
Yes, as long as they follow proper social distancing rules, including keeping a distance of 2 metres and wearing PPE where appropriate. In the case of removals, you are encouraged by the government to pack your belongings yourself where possible and to make sure that surfaces are clean before crews arrive. Unfortunately providing tea and biscuits is off-limits for now!
Q. What happens if a signatory of a contract must self-isolate during a move?
We encourage you to make sure that the contracts you enter into are flexible enough to make allowances for such delays. Your legal advisor should be able to help you with this so that it is fair for both parties.
Q. Is there still government assistance available for renters and mortgage payers?
The FCA recently extended the deadline for mortgage holiday applications until 31st October 2020 and until 30th September 2020 landlords will be unable to start procession proceedings on their tenants unless three month’s notice has been given.
Q. What’s the situation with mortgages?
The number of mortgage deals on the table has halved since lockdown began, but this isn’t expected to last, especially now that in-person valuations are permitted and the bulk of mortgage holiday applications have been processed (this is one reason that it’s been so hard to get a deal worked out). We should soon see deals start to return and let’s hope so because the average mortgage rate is at its lowest point since 2007!
Q. And the big one: Has Coronavirus affected property prices?
It’s too early to tell the full impact of Coronavirus, but so far it hasn’t had as significant an impact as you may fear. Industry forecasts place the damage to sellers as being between a 1-5% decrease in house prices; however, with the market now open again and buyer-interest increasing again it shouldn’t be long before we have a clearer picture.
If you have any question that hasn’t been answered or want further information, then don’t hesitate to contact your local Seymours branch.