Rightmove has issued a lengthy guidance note to prospective buyers, including a suggestion they ask estate agents whether PPE will be issued before a physical viewing.
The guidance, issued on its website, says there are five questions people should ask before going to a viewing:
1. Is a virtual viewing available? Rightmove says: “You may be able to tell straight away whether the house does, or does not, tick the boxes you need it to. If it doesn’t, you’ll save yourself, the seller, and the agent some time and trouble.”
2. Can you confirm no one in the seller’s household has displayed any symptoms in the last two weeks? “Agents shouldn’t be arranging property viewings if anyone involved has shown any symptoms, but it’s still wise to double check.”
3. Can I bring someone with me? “Some estate agents may have a policy of only one person being allowed at a house viewing at a time. However, there shouldn’t be more than two households within the property at any one time.”
4. Should I bring my own PPE equipment, or will this be provided? “Some agents may offer face masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitiser at a viewing. Not all do, though, so it’s worth checking beforehand.”
5. Any questions about the property or area? “The less time spent at a viewing, the safer it is for everyone. Much of the time at a viewing is used for asking questions that could easily be asked before or after the actual appointment.”
Rightmove says all those prospective buyers who do insist on or agree to a viewing in person should wear a face mask, avoid touching surfaces, and wash their hands or use sanitiser before and after.
It also recommends that in addition to keeping the usual two metre social distance, viewers should not touch door handles, counter tops or furniture.