Everyone in the property industry is working hard to keep things moving during the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though we are social distancing, working from home and home-schooling our children, it doesn’t mean you can’t look for a new property. With many properties still for sale since the lockdown lots of estate agents are still working remotely in order to give you advice, property information and even hold virtual viewings and appraisals.
According to the latest figures from Zoopla, property sales have continued since the lockdown began and although, as you would expect, the number of available properties is lower, many people have kept their home on the market. In fact, figures show that the number of homes currently for sale is only 1% lower than on March 7th.
This stock is essential in order for the market to bounce back.
People are still searching
There were 70% fewer property sales since the start of coronavirus restrictions but there was an increase in the number of people browsing online for property in the second week. People are using this time to socialise online, look towards the future and being at home, many have started to see their surroundings in a new light. According to Zoopla, browsing levels have increased by 16% week on week.
The market will be affected by first time buyers keen on having their own space after lockdown, families looking for more outside space as the restrictions have made them realise the importance of a garden and we may even see some couples either make the decision to move in together or part – as the lockdown will have made people reassess their personal relationships.
Don’t withdraw your home from the market
With the number of people in lockdown and relying heavily on Internet browsing for things to do, this could be a good time to have your home on the market. If you’re already on the market – there’s no reason to withdraw it. The government hasn’t stopped property transactions from proceeding and empty property purchases can progress as normal. What’s more, mortgage brokers, lenders, solicitors and estate agents are all still working, albeit remotely. If your home is already listed with an estate agency, they can continue to market your property even though buyers won’t be able to view it in person until the current social distancing measures are lifted.
If you receive an offer on your property, there is nothing to stop you negotiating and accepting it, but you will need to be aware that the process will take longer than usual. There will be delays with the process including surveys, exchanging contracts and getting a mortgage approval.
Estate agents are still working remotely even though the branches are temporarily closed. Although they cannot come to your home for photographs and measurements, they can still provide valuations and help prep your home for sale for when the restrictions are lifted. It’s a good idea to get ahead of the game and get in touch now before they do open up again and their diaries are full. They can also talk to potential buyers about your property before it is on the market and arrange viewings for when the lockdown is over.
Searching for a home
If you are looking to buy a property you can still do things during the lockdown to get ahead. Browse homes online and take virtual tours if possible. Talk to your local agents and tell them what you are looking for – they may know of properties that will be listed for sale once the lockdown is lifted.
Talk to a mortgage broker to find out what you can borrow and the products that are currently available.
If you do find a property you can put in an offer for it, although as mentioned above, the conveyancing process is likely to be slower than usual.
Get your home market-ready
Spend this time getting your property prepped for a sale. Declutter, make repairs, tidy up the garden (gardeners are still working) and consider whether there’s any furniture you could remove from rooms and store in the loft or garage to help make the space look bigger or more appealing.
We are still helping customers to find the right mortgage during this time here at The Mortgage Hub. Talk to us today – we are here to help.