With a second national lockdown upon us, the property market remains open, however, how will the new restrictions impact if you are buying or selling your home?

From Thursday 5th November until at least the 2nd of December, England will be placed under a second lockdown with new restrictions in pace as to how we carry on with our day-to-day lives. However, what does this mean for the property market?

After the lockdown announcement was made, Robert Jenrick the housing secretary, made it clear that the housing market will remain open during the second lockdown, so home moves can continue. This means that buyers and vendors can progress with their property purchase and sale.

However, there are many aspects involved when buying or selling your home, from moving, to arranging your finances, to conveyancing and so on. Will any of these affect your move or sale? Our blog explains how the property market will operate during this second national lockdown.

Home removals, van hire and other services which relate to moving house will still operate as normal during the lockdown. However, buyers and sellers are expected to follow social distancing guidelines and best practices set out by the government to ensure moving home is as Covid-19 secure as possible.

This means wearing masks and gloves, having few people as possible inside a property at any given time and if anyone involved in the move has to self-isolate because of Covid-19, the move should then be postponed until it is safe to do so. 

Personal property viewings may be suspended, which means virtual viewings may be the way forward until the national lockdown ends. Mark Hayward, the chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, a professional body representing estate agents said:

 “We have asked for further guidance and would hope to get that early this week,” said Mark Hayward, the chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, a professional body representing estate agents.

“We hope and assume that the answer is ‘yes’ provided everyone complies with the restrictions. It may be more agents work from home but many are used to doing that from the previous experience of lockdown. The legislation needs to be passed through parliament so may be subject to some further finessing this week.”

Either way, you can still arrange virtual viewings for any of our properties which are for SALE and LET.

Virtual viewings are a digital house tour of the property you are interested in. You can still ask questions as you would normally ask, however, it may be difficult to gauge true space of a property if this tour is done quickly.

A virtual viewing has to be done as a walkthrough and to ensure that every aspect of the property is covered, you should view each room from different sides of the room, as you normally would. This will not only allow you to see gauge the space in each room, but it will allow you to see how natural light is reflected in each room or how cosy the room is if the property tour is done in the evening. Depending if the property is occupied, the tour may be done by the current homeowner, however, if the property is empty, one of our property experts will carry out the virtual viewing for you.

You can still market your property during the lockdown. However, there are several things that need to happen, including a property valuation, photographs for marketing purposes and drawing up of floor plans and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). If all of these can be obtained during the lockdown, then your property can be marketed.

Conveyancers will continue to support the sale of properties during the lockdown. They will also help sellers and buyers who wish to exchange their completion and moving dates until after the lockdown. Most of what the conveyancers need to complete can be done remotely.

Mortgage applications can still be carried out with mortgage brokers and banks. Most of the information can be collated digitally and some banks are now accepting digital signatures too, meaning that all of it can be completed digitally. So you can still apply for a new mortgage.

If you are due to exchange and/or complete during the lockdown, you can go ahead providing you can not push back the timing of your exchange and/or completion. The government has advised that efforts should be made for a completion and or/exchange to take place after the lockdown where possible.

The property market is continuing to operate as normal, whether you are looking to buy, sell or let a property, speak with one of our property experts today by calling us on 0116 275 8888.