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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Virtual viewings here to stay, government urges in new guidance

Guidance issued by the government explicitly advises agents, buyers and sellers that more activity should be done online if possible.

“The process of finding and moving into a new home will need to be different given those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of Coronavirus is reduced as far as possible” says the new government guidance document. This will include doing more of the process online, including virtual initial viewings” says the new guideline document.

Elsewhere in the document it says: “We encourage people to do the majority of their  property searching online … To support this agents may ask home occupiers to conduct virtual viewings.”

In relation to new-build property sales it advises: “Where possible, developers should promote virtual viewings.”

And for conveyancers the guidance says: “Conveyancing should aim to conduct as much of their business remotely as possible.

The rest of the guidance goes over territory that is now familiar, concerning social distancing, surface-cleaning and hand-washing, including agents being requested to:

- avoid contact with clients showing symptoms or having been advised to self-isolate;

- instigate appointment systems for viewings and public visits to branches;

- avoid open-house viewings; 

- maintain the standard two metre distance from others using physical viewings and to wear face-masks as appropriate;

- insist buyers make their own way to appointments and not go in agents’ cars;

- have appropriate hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities at properties being viewed;

- increase ventilation by opening doors and windows as appropriate at properties;

- clean keys before handover,

You can see the full guidance here.

Poll: Are you likely to introduce, or continue with, virtual viewings now that lockdown is over?

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