The last couple of months has seen many industries having to adapt to how they run their businesses.  At Charles David Casson we have put various procedures in place in line with government guidelines to protect you and our team.  Over the last week there has been a slight easing of the lockdown and on Tuesday night we were told that government advice on moving home during the coronavirus outbreak had been updated. So how does this effect you, as a buyer or seller?  Let us tell you how you can move home in Chelmsford during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stay focused

When you decide to move home there is lots of anticipation in the air; you start to look for that new dream home, one that will meet your future wants and needs.  Viewing properties is exciting, and although the process of finding your next home has changed, we hope it won’t dampen your spirits.  Remember the search is just the beginning and your sights should be focused on what your new home will bring.

Getting ready to move

In Chelmsford properties have still been coming onto the market during lockdown, but now we are able to visit to take photos and videos to be able to market your home effectively.  Of course, should you or a member of your household be showing any Covid symptoms and/or are having to self-isolate, we won’t be able to visit until it’s safe to do so.

Viewings

Buyers, we know you will no doubt begin your search for a new home online, and we encourage you to do so.  In ‘normal’ times you have the luxury of viewing every property that catches your eye, but as viewings will be restricted, only those that are close to making an offer will be invited to view.  We will provide you with as many tools as possible, including virtual tours and professional photographs, to help you make a decision.

If you are invited to view a property please make sure you attend with only members of your household and keep numbers limited to a minimum.  When arriving at the viewing you will be asked to wash your hands and also to not touch any surfaces.

Sellers, viewings will take place by appointment only and be limited to one a day.  Whilst preparing your home for a viewing, please make sure you open all internal doors and any necessary cupboards.  The government also request that you provide handwashing facilities and a towel that is used only for that viewing, or disposable paper towels.

We’ve always accompanied viewings and that won’t change; we will of course be following social distancing rules as far as possible.  We would normally ask you to be absent whilst a viewing is taking place – this will continue to be the case, as it will also minimise contact and risk.  After the viewing, we would advise you to clean all surfaces including door handles and throw away any used paper towels or wash the designated hand towel.

You will be reminded of your responsibilities related to viewings when you list a property or register your interest with us.

Offers accepted

Yes, you can make an offer on a property, should one catch your eye, and the sales process will continue.  Although we work hard to avoid them, delays can happen in any move – but be mindful that, should anyone in your household (or theirs) show signs or coronavirus and/or need to self-isolate, your moving date may have to change.  With this in mind, check with your solicitor or conveyancer that your contract is flexible to accommodate a possible delay.

If you’re buying a property, you may have an urge to visit your potential new home again before moving day so you can take measurements and cement ideas in your mind.  This must be agreed by all parties, and you will be required to follow the same hygiene measures that you did when you viewed the property.  Although it isn’t always possible, you need to make sure you try to maintain social distancing rules wherever you can.  We know you may wish to ask tradespeople to inspect certain elements of the property before contracts are signed, and there is specific guidance on this, so please consult with a member of our team so we can ensure that all requirements are met before they visit your potential new home.

Surveys and searches

Surveys and searches are a normal part of the process of buying a property. Your solicitor or conveyancer should be able to undertake the searches online, and when it comes to having your property surveyed (we’re not talking about the one carried out by your mortgage lender, this is for financial purposes only and will not inform you of any issues related to the condition of the property) the surveyor must follow the guidance that has been laid out for professionals working in people’s homes and those on social distancing.

Moving

When contracts have been exchanged and a completion date set, and no one is showing symptoms of Covid-19 or has to self-isolate, it’s time to get excited as you’re about to move into your new home in Chelmsford.  Removal firms have also had to adjust the way they work to ensure that they keep everyone safe.  As they could get really busy, we would advise you contact them as soon as you can to get them booked.

Work with your removal company and get their advice on packing, as it’s recommended that you do as much of the packing as possible yourself.  We know there will be exceptions to this, so it’s always worth having a thorough conversation with the removal company when you enquire. Try and clean all your items with cleaning products before they are passed over to the removal company.

When your current property is empty, give it a deep clean so it’s in a safe condition when the new owners arrive.  You will be wanting the owners of the house you are buying to extend you the same courtesy.

Supporting you all the way

You can be assured our team at Charles David Casson has been taking every possible measure to ensure that everyone in the chain remains safe whilst working hard to ensure that you move.  At each step of the way you will be guided through the process, explaining how things have changed and the part you will need to play.  We are here to answer any questions you may have, call our team on 01245 835859.

About Neil Baldock

Born and bred in Chelmsford, Neil went to Tyrells and The Boswells School and still lives in Springfield. A former police officer, Neil is an excellent problem solver for our clients. Neil oversees the Lettings, Property Management and Maintenance portfolio here at CDC and is able to offer specialist advice on all aspects of buy to let and property investment in Chelmsford and all areas of Essex. Neil is happy to offer advice to landlords even where the property is not being purchased through our agency and would welcome an informal chat with you regarding your investments. Neil is also well versed in HMO Management as we are one of the only agencies in Chelmsford which has a specialist HMO and rooms to rent department. Neil is Matthews younger brother and has a son named Michael.

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