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How To Sell A House During Coronavirus

  • The government relaxed lockdown restrictions on the housing market on May 13th, making it possible to now resume marketing properties.  
  • Estate agents can now reopen, viewings can be arranged, and conveyancers and removals firms can get back into business. 
  • Social distancing and health and safety rules must be followed and adhered to. 
  • It was estimated that more than 450,000 house moves were put on hold during the height of the Coronavirus Pandemic.  

In This Article

You may be asking yourself how to sell a house during the coronavirus pandemic, but the first question to ask yourself is whether you should try to sell while the disease is still causing real estate market chaos. However quickly we might see a recovery, it may not be advisable to sell your house during lockdown, as data suggests that a fall in house prices is likely to result from the measures needed to protect sellers and buyers from COVID-19. You might ask yourself whether it’s best to wait for the market to recover before trying to sell.
However, if you need to sell your house quick, and can’t wait for the end of lockdown, here are our tips. Bear in mind that as seen in China, the end of the first wave of coronavirus might only lead to a second wave, so you may only have a limited time until another pandemic or lockdown.

Can You Sell A House During The Coronavirus Lockdown?

Since the coronavirus pandemic originating in China1 caused restrictions on movement and the economy all over the world, there has been chaos on the real estate market. However, with the relaxation of lockdown restrictions2 on the housing market on May 13th, it should now be possible to resume marketing properties.

But the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over, and everyone in the property chain has to be aware that things are not entirely back to normal, and precautions must still be taken against spreading the COVID-19 disease.

You must be prepared for the recovery of the property market to be slow, and for the sales process to be equally slow – it may no longer be possible to sell a house fast.

Estate agents can now reopen, viewings can be arranged, and conveyancers and removals firms can get back into business. However, social distancing and health and safety rules must be followed and adhered to.3

Should You Sell A House During The Coronavirus Lockdown?

It’s been estimated that since the coronavirus lockdown started in March 2020, more than 450,000 house moves have been put on hold. But both buyer and renters should now be able to resume the process if suitable precautions are taken.

It’s difficult to say how much the property market may have been affected by the shutdown until more data is available. It’s possible that after a brief fall property prices will bounce back quickly4, but there could be a long-term depressive effect also.

It will take some time until the whole property chain, from architects to surveyors to builders will be in full recovery. Until the lockdown is completely lifted there may also be difficulties in finding trades and service people such as cleaners and movers.

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Will Coronavirus Affect The Sale Of Your Home?

Estate agents are suggesting that buyers, sellers and tenants have been fairly quick to return to the market, but interest in homes for sale is understandably below that reported at the same time last year. On the day sales listing resumed, numbers were down by 65 percent on the same time last year, though by the end of May one London agent reported some recovery, with enquiries down only seven percent.

The question is whether lockdown will affect valuations and prices in the long term. At the moment, valuers have little to go on except March values, and a lack of supply may be keeping prices steady. But it may be some time before it becomes clear what the long-term effects of the lockdown period will be.

What Are Some Of The Problems With Buying Or Selling A Property During The Coronavirus Lockdown?

While the property selling process can now resume, it will by no means be ‘business as usual’ until the pandemic is completely over. The government has called on “all parties involved to be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves, for example if someone becomes ill with coronavirus during the moving process or has to self-isolate.”5 If you are hoping to sell your house fast, you may have to adjust your expectations.

While some processes like photographing properties are becoming normalised, issues remain around viewings, which have to conform to social distancing guidelines. For instance, the majority of property searches may now be done online rather than through estate agents offices, and viewings have to be arranged with safety in mind, for instance:

  • Open house viewings should not take place
  • Viewings should be by appointment only with the minimum of people involved.
  • Viewers should all be from the same household.
  • No-one showing any coronavirus symptoms should be involved with viewings.
  • When physically viewing properties you should avoid touching surfaces, bring your own hand sanitiser, wash hands regularly and clean surfaces and handles afterwards.
  • If children are present get them to wash their hands and avoid touching surfaces
  • Open internal doors before viewing to minimise contact
  • Ideally a property should be vacant when viewed
  • Social distancing guidelines should be observed throughout the viewing process
  • Anyone involved in any aspect of the home moving process should practice social distancing in line with public health advice.
  • Follow-up visits for purposes such as measuring up or electrical or plumbing inspection should follow the same guidelines

Another problem which may affect the property sales process is the possibility of delays should anyone involved have to self-isolate due to having symptoms of the disease.

Though you can make or accept an offer or reserve a property as normal, allow for the risk of delay and ask for legal advice to make sure that any contracts or agreements you undertake are flexible as to time.

Checkout Our “How To Sell Your House When Separating Or Divorced” Guide.


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What Should You Do If Your House Is Still For Sale During The Coronavirus Lockdown?

While it’s difficult to say at this early stage how much the coronavirus pandemic may affect property prices in the long term, equally important will be the changes in the housing market brought about by post-pandemic trends.

For instance, many people who have been forced to work at home may decide that it has its advantages, and they may wish to continue benefitting from a reduced commute. Home working space, good wi-fi, and a garden big enough to create a home working outbuilding may become a priority.

While surveyors can return to work, the market may slow down as they will have to cope with certain restrictions7, such as:

  • Surveyors should not enter a property where a member of the household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating.
  • Inspections to take place by appointment only, with one person visiting the property at any time. Surveyors should follow government guidance for professionals working in other people’s homes and guidance on social distancing.
  • If your home is being surveyed, you should ensure the surveyor has access to all the parts of the property they need to inspect, and make efforts to minimise contact with the surveyor, for example by staying in another room whilst they are inspecting your home.

Much the same applies to removals firms, where government advice is that you should get quotes as early as possible in the moving process, clean items before packing, do as much of the packing as possible yourself, and minimise contact with the removals team. Perhaps the worst news for removal companies is the advice that refreshments should not be provided, although washing and toilet facilities should.

It’s also advisable to employ a deep cleaning company for your home once it’s vacated, and your new home before you move into it.

So though it is a challenge to sell a house during the coronavirus restrictions, it’s not impossible if proper guidelines are followed, and if pent-up demand is to be met and the pandemic conditions recede, it may not be long before the property market is on the way to recovery.

If you would like to find out some more information about the affects the coronavirus pandemic has had on the UK housing market or to enquire about what your options are if you are looking to sell your home, then get in touch with us today. Sell House Quick Now is a leading house buying company who guarantee to buy any home or property for cash, no matter the condition. Sell your house fast during the coronavirus pandemic with Sell House Quick Now today…

* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.

* Sell House Quick Now is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.

* The best part is that selling to Sell House Quick Now is fast – within days, compared to six months or more selling through estate agents.

Sources

  1. “How did coronavirus start and where did it come from? Was it really Wuhan’s animal market?”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/28/how-did-the-coronavirus-start-where-did-it-come-from-how-did-it-spread-humans-was-it-really-bats-pangolins-wuhan-animal-market. Last accessed 23rd Jun 2020.
  2. “Minister confirms brakes are off the English property market”. lockdown://propertyindustryeye.com/minister-confirms-brakes-are-off-the-english-property-market-lockdown/. Last accessed 23rd Jun 2020.
  3. “Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak”.https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Last accessed 23rd June 2020.
  4. “Zoopla Cities Index – April 2020”. https://www.zoopla.co.uk/discover/property-news/zoopla-cities-index-april-2020/. Last accessed 23rd June 2020.
  5. “Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak”. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Last accessed 23rd June 2020.
  6. “House prices after coronavirus:five-year forecast shows property market could fall as much as 10% this year before rebounding”. https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/house-prices-uk-coronavirus-lockdown-a138086.html. Last accessed 23rd June 2020.
  7. “Guidance for professionals, Beyond COVID-19: Reopening Guides”. https://www.rics.org/uk/news-insight/latest-news/coronavirus-and-rics-events/guidance-for-professionals/. Last accessed 23rd June 2020.

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