The Scottish Government’s Route Map will see restrictions on moving home eased as of the 29th June 2020. Recent figures from ESPC indicate there may be pent up demand for property, which will only increase as lockdown restrictions are eased. But things aren’t the way they were, so as the property market moves into the “new normal” phase, what will it mean for buyers and sellers in Scotland’s property market?
What has changed?
Quite simply, from 29th June 2020, unless you are shielding, you will be able to have your property surveyed, valued and viewed in order to facilitate a sale. Provided you take sensible precautions, of course.
This might seem daunting at first. For the past few months the restrictions on movement have been severe. The idea of having strangers in your property may seem like a huge hurdle considering you haven’t been able to have family or friends round for tea and cake since March!
There are a number of guidelines in place to ensure the safety of all those involved in the buying and selling process. The advice and guidance is evolving, but the property team at Gibson Kerr is here to help guide you through the process as seamlessly as possible.
Safe as houses
Our key focus is to ensure the safety of everyone involved when bringing your property to market. Our surveyors and our marketing consultant will visit separately and at pre-arranged times in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Ideally you should vacate your property while the survey or photography is taking place. If you are unable to completely vacate your property, please try to ensure as few members of your household as possible are present.
In addition, you should take some sensible precautions:
- Everyone present should wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser as necessary.
- All surfaces should be cleaned before and after visits.
- Walk through your property prior to a visit and ensure all doors are open as this will limit any unnecessary touching of handles.
- Leave open any cupboards with ample storage space, any attic hatches or boiler cupboards, and also doors to garages and sheds.
How will viewings take place?
The way “new normal” viewings take place will be changed for buyers and sellers alike. Open viewings will not be available for the foreseeable future, so start enjoying your Sunday afternoons again! Virtual viewings will be encouraged by all firms. Whether this is done via Zoom, or FaceTime, a 360 tour or a video will vary for each firm and for each property. We look forward to discussing various different options for viewings in order find a suitable virtual option for your situation.
In person viewings will be permissible as of the 29th June, but vetting will take place. Again, this will vary from firm to firm, and from property to property but the main questions we will ask are:
- Why are you interested in the property (e.g. as a main residence, a second home, buy to let)?
- What is your current situation (i.e. do you have a property to sell yourself)?
- Have you used all the virtual tools available to view the property?
- Do you have adequate funding?
- Have you, or your household had any symptoms of coronavirus?
We would advise when viewing properties you maintain social distancing, wear PPE, and avoid touching any surfaces. In addition, you should follow public health guidance in relation to not touching your face and using hand sanitiser as necessary.
If you or a member of your household becomes unwell during the process of your sale, please get in touch as soon as possible. This will allow us to discuss the best way forward and to postpone any viewings that may have been arranged.
Flexibility is key
Once you have had an offer accepted on your property a date of entry will need to be agreed upon. This will require extra flexibility for several reasons.
Many lenders have had to furlough staff. ESPC have reported mortgage offers are taking around one week longer to process. This means the date of entry may be slightly later than the 6 to 8 weeks we are used to. As the “new normal” beds in, we hope this situation will improve.
When it comes to moving day, you may find moving companies will have less availability. Their staff will more than likely take slightly longer to move your things as a result of following social distancing guidance.
You should expect a slightly longer conveyancing period than you may have experienced in the past. You may need to be patient while a date of entry that suits all parties is negotiated. This date could also be subject to change at short notice – if anyone in either household has coronavirus symptoms, the date may be subject to postponement for isolation purposes.
To prepare your property for handover to the new owners, you should undertake a thorough clean with domestic cleaning products. Similarly, we recommend you do the same when you take possession of your new property. The guidelines do not suggest specialised cleaning is necessary.
Get in touch
If you would like advice on a property transaction, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our property team on 0131 226 9167 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.