Now that the property market has re-opened for business, many investors will be keen to get out there again and find some deals. As we’re thrust into this new world though, it’s important that we conduct viewings safely. Let’s look at how we can do that.
A) Prepare in advance
It’s always a good idea to plan the viewing in advance and even more so in these uncertain times. In addition to your normal preparations, equip yourself with some hand sanitiser and baby wipes for after the viewing. It’s mandatory to wear a mask to a viewing (unless medically exempt) and also gloves to feel safer, get these in place too.
B) Liaise with the seller/agent in advance
Find out about any special rules or precautions in place at the property so that you can follow them. The seller or agent may wedge all doors open for example and ask you not to touch anything inside the property.
C) Find out as much as you can in advance
Do even more research than normal to help everything go smoothly. Find out the best place to park and as much information as you can about the property and the area so you can spend as little time there as possible doing the viewing.
D) Don’t touch if at all practical
Even if the seller or agent doesn’t request that you don’t touch anything, it’s wise to avoid doing so if you can. Of course, this may go against a lot of your instincts but it’s a good way to stay safe.
E) Social distance
We would expect sellers and agents to have procedures in place that make social distancing possible when doing viewings, but some may be more relaxed than others. It’s up to you to keep your distance and protect yourself at all times. Keep 2m apart from others.
Take as few people as possible to the viewing to make social distancing easier. If you have co-investors who don’t live with you, it may make sense to conduct separate viewings and you shouldn’t travel together.
F) Don’t hang around
After the viewing, leave as soon as you can. The less time you spend in the property the less chance you will have of catching the virus if there’s any contamination inside. If you have questions to ask, do so at a distance and preferably outside the property.
G) Sanitise when leaving
Wipe and sanitise your hands before you get back to your vehicle to get rid of any contamination before you enter the vehicle. Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds or more when you get home or back to the office too.
H) Follow up virtually
It makes sense to avoid going into estate agents or vendors offices if you can avoid it. Follow up via email or some other communication method. Stick to avoiding all unnecessary travel. The market may be open again but we are far from back to normal.
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-Jonathan Bootland, director and co-founder of Property Deal Store