The government lockdown called an abrupt halt to the housing market but now restrictions have begun to ease, there is new guidance to help you move home without unnecessarily increasing your risk of spreading or contracting the coronavirus.
If you were on the verge of buying a new home before the government enforced the UK-wide lockdown, the news you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived; restrictions that previously prevented the sale and purchase of new homes in lockdown have been eased.
While the government is keen to remind everyone affected by this news that this “does not represent a return to normality”, it means any sales that began before the pandemic can now continue, but with strict guidance in place to help limit the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
Instead of visiting homes for viewings, some estate agents may recommend virtual viewings, which will allow you to see the property from the comfort and safety of your own home. Where this isn’t possible, residents are asked to vacate the home to be viewed, to prevent any physical contact. When visiting someone else’s home for a viewing, try not to touch any surfaces unnecessarily and wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds on returning to your own home. If you need to allow in-person viewings of your home, remember to clean door handles, light switches and anything else that may have been used during the viewing as soon as you return.
Moving forward with sales
Where a sale is underway, everyone involved must keep in mind that flexibility will be important. Shielding and the potential need to self-isolate due to symptoms or exposure to coronavirus may mean that dates have to be postponed for an indefinite period of time. As a result, if you are lucky enough to secure the purchase of a new home, there could well be lengthy delays and if this happens to you, patience really will be a virtue.
Moving into your new home
When it comes to moving out of one property and into another, the most important thing to remember is that cleanliness is the responsibility of everyone involved. If you own a home that you are moving from, clean it thoroughly before you vacate. If you are moving into a new home, make sure you clean everything before you get carried away with bringing those boxes inside. It’s an exciting time but delaying until you’re confident every surface, handle and switch is safe to use will be its own reward once all the boxes are in and you can start to relax.
For more information on the government’s advice to those looking to move home at this time, check the government website.