Your COVID-19 Property Questions Answered
There’s no question that we live in exceptionally uncertain times right now. As the lockdown is lifted, we are faced by more blurred lines and uncertainty over what we can do and what we can’t, and what measures we need to be taking to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe and healthy. Here at Jordan & Halstead estate agents, we know that as the property market gets back up and running, you probably have a lot of questions.
We are facing an unprecedented situation here in the UK. As such, the team here at J&H decided that we would create this blog in order to quickly answer some of your most common questions about moving home, buying property, selling your home, renting and letting and more.
It is important to note that the situation is quickly changing. Government advice has been altered over the last few months and is likely to change between now and the end of the year, so it’s important to keep informed as to the latest official guidance.
Is the pandemic going to reduce the value of my home if I try to sell it now?
Contrary to some predictions, buyer activity during the lockdown on the online property market was higher than expected. In fact, back in May it peaked incredibly high as more and more people began to look for new homes. Now that government restrictions are being lifted and socially distanced physical viewings are being permitted, the demand is actually incredibly high.
The backlog of demand can see property sales potentially move a little more slowly than expected, but at the same time the demand actually creates a positive situation for anyone planning on selling your home. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to sell your home at a reasonable price. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about this then we always recommend that you get in touch with us here at Jordan & Halstead for more advice.
Is it possible to hold a property viewing?
It is indeed possible to hold property viewings at the moment. As the country came out of lockdown, the government gave the green light for responsible and socially distanced physical viewings to go ahead. However, property viewings are very far from being back to normal.
In fact, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to perform a virtual viewing initially before setting up a physical viewing. The use of video can make it so that prospective buyers can have a virtual showround of a property before ever needing to step foot inside – a very useful research process.
Hygiene measures and social distancing are also a very important part of holding property viewings at the moment. Hosts are expected to clean surfaces, leaving doors and windows open, and potentially vacate the property during the viewing, while viewers will need to refrain from touching surfaces and bring PPE such as face masks and gloves with them.
It sounds like prices are going to fall – should I wait to buy?
Throughout the lockdown, online buyer activity actually remained incredibly high. Now that the government’s restrictions are being lifted with viewings taking place, the market is beginning to rebalance itself very quickly.
This, alongside the low interest rates and government support for employment and housing such as the stamp duty holiday, it’s predicted that the housing market will remain stable with prices holding out. As such, we generally recommend that if you want to move and have found a home you would like to put in an offer for, there is no reason not to go through with the purchase.
I’m renting and I have been put on furlough/made redundant – do I still need to pay rent?
Essentially, yes. If you are in a position that you believe will make it difficult for you to pay your rent, then you should get in touch with your estate agent and your landlord about it as quickly as possible. Some landlords are able to arrange for a Mortgage Payment Deferral, in which case they might agree with you to not pay your rent in full for a limited time. Bear in mind, however, that a deferral is just that – you will still need to pay back your rent in full.
Have more questions? Speak to the Jordan & Halstead team today
We know that you probably have all sorts of question about the current housing market climate. It’s important to keep yourself informed and up to date. Fortunately, the team here at Jordan & Halstead is always on hand for a chat – just get in touch today. If you have any concerns, hesitations, problems or questions, we’ll provide the advice and assistance that you need.