What Home Sellers need to know during COVID-19

Is there any activity at the moment?
Whilst viewings are not currently possible, home movers are keen to move as soon as it is safe to do so. Four years of pent-up BREXIT demand was followed by a 5-month period of home sale transactions accompanied by a steady rise in prices, which came to an abrupt stop with COVID-19. Visits to Rightmove fell through the floor in the 2 weeks following lockdown but this week they reported that activity is only 20% below where is was 6 weeks ago. Interest rates have never been lower and a financial incentive from government, which has been rumoured, would help a lot.

How can I get the sale process going?
If you’d like to make some progress, book a Virtual Valuation. This involves an initial phone call to give us some details about your property. Then using our expertise in the market together with the technology that you and we have at our fingertips, we can arrive at an accurate assessment of the value of your home.  When conditions permit, this may be followed up with a final in-person meeting before making safe arrangements (under C-19 safety protocols) for photography and an EPC.

How will anyone view my property?
If Virtual Valuations become the start of the sale process, it is likely that Virtual Viewings are going to follow on. We will discuss with you how to make your property available for a Virtual walk-about tour. No one is expecting anyone to make an offer to purchase a property based on a remote viewing alone, but it does mean that they when they actually do walk through your door it will, in effect, be their ‘second viewing’ and should accelerate the process of getting to offers.

What else can I do to speed up the sale process?

Speeding-up the Conveyancing. The average time between a sale agreed and completion is 140 days. This is where we can all work towards a speedier process over the coming months.  

“Tasks like getting conveyancers instructed, ensuring the property information form is completed, ordering title documents and leasehold information and even searches, may not seem like major impediments to the process, but the additional enquiries they can generate are. Especially when they contain conflicting information when reviewed alongside the title or the valuer’s report.

Without those additional enquiries, weeks can be shaved off the process, and to jump these potential obstacles means ensuring the conveyancer and the valuer have all the right information from the point of sale agreed, not weeks later into the process."
Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery, Conveyancing Association, Estate Agent Today (April 25th 2020)

Roy Brooks has produced advice on How to Sell your Home Faster. We encourage use the time you have now. It gathering the papers dating back to your purchase and documentation relating to any works you have done and where missing, then approaching the relevant bodies to get copies.

Getting your property on the market. It would have taken no more than 3 days from being appointed for us to get your property onto the market. When the New Norm takes shape, it should not take very much longer - particularly if the Virtual Valuation has kicked off the process.

Getting a home sale agreed. Between Jan and April 2020, sales were being agreed on average, between 1 to 2 weeks after going onto the market. When the market formally re-opens it may take a few weeks to find its level, but pent-up demand is strong, and house prices locally have moved very little in the last 4 years, so we foresee a quick recovery.