IMPORTANT NOTICE – Please do take the time to read it....
IMPORTANT NOTICE – Please do take the time to read it
‘Business as unusual, service as usual’
As of yesterday, the Government has urged everyone to avoid unnecessary social contacts, to work from home where possible, and to stay away from pubs and restaurants. It must be the right advice at this time but life goes on and many people still need or want to move house due to their personal circumstances. Viewing a property does not fall into the aforementioned category and relatively speaking, it is a low risk event as it typically only involves between two and four people and the environment can be controlled by taking the appropriate and proportionate measures to minimise the potential risk of viral infection to those concerned. To help in trying to ensure any risk is kept to an absolute minimum, please read this newsletter and give consideration to the following safeguards:
- Estate agents are keen for you to view as many properties as possible. Many people are keen to do so in order to get a feel for the market and to explore the local area. Those days are gone for now. Instead you need to be far more discriminating and to conduct much more research before deciding to travel. Quality not quantity is the order of the day. Refine and eliminate and do so again until you have one or maybe two properties that are really strong contenders that make your journey a worthwhile exercise.
- To get to that stage, there is already a lot of information available to you online by way of multiple images, floor plans, brochures, Google Maps, Google Earth and so on. If that is not enough, we probably have additional images that could be available. We can answer additional enquiries about the property and immediate environs. We can even arrange for a walk through viewing by way of an ipad. It will be raw, unedited and rather amateurish probably but we are willing to do our best if that would help you to make an informed decision.
- Having identified one or two properties to visit, we will ask some basic precautionary questions regarding your health and then make the viewing appointment in the normal way. Please be honest with yourself and us. You know the guidelines and if you have any signs at all of cold or flu symptoms, do not travel at this time. If you are going to travel, please do not use public transport and restrict the numbers to the bare minimum, the decision makers. It is not the time to bring along your best friend, the interior designer and Auntie Joan.
- There will be occasions when a seller prefers to conduct the viewing where, perhaps, they want to tightly restrict the number of people visiting their house and/or feel they are best placed to sanitise their private space before and after the event. On other occasions, the seller will go out and we will control the viewing. In those circumstances, we will arrive in good time, open up the house and all internal doors. We would ask that you please use an alcohol based hand wash immediately before entering the house and that once inside you do not open up cupboards, touch the work surfaces, pull the loft hatch down etc. We will conduct the viewing but at a safe distance. Walk through the house at leisure and by all means take your time but please deliberate outside in the garden. Any further discussions, requests, feedback or negotiations can be conducted more safely by telephone immediately after the event either in the car or at a later stage. Whoever greets and meets you at the property, please understand that any social distancing is being done as a necessity to safeguard the wellbeing of all parties and no offence is intended. Where the seller is showing their house, please curb your friendly tendencies and refrain from entering into a prolonged dialogue or from accepting any hospitality. It is uncomfortable and unnatural to behave in this way but it is important.
- Remember to take a packed lunch – the pubs and restaurants are closed.
Whether we are home working or based in the office, we are open for business and available to help. Wherever they are, all our team are connected to our agency software and can access their work emails at any time. They are also available at the end of a ‘phone as normal. Nothing has changed in that regard. Please just keep communicating as you have always done. The response time might be slightly delayed in some circumstances but we will get back to you.
Our Rye office will remain open and we will work a two or possibly three team shift rota to try and ensure there is always cover in case of illness. However, please refrain from visiting the office at this time unless you absolutely have to. Our business is based on face to face meetings but the circumstances are such that if they can be avoided by using the telephone and/or email, we must do so for now. Again, it is not a case of being unfriendly or rude. It is just that we all need to adopt sensible and proportionate measures to safeguard the wellbeing of everyone.
Thank you for reading this.