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Katie Leeman BSc (Hons), Accounts Team

A country in self-isolation. Government restrictions on travel. A ban on non-essential property moves. Not what you might think is the ideal scenario for buying or selling a property but actually it could secure you a great selling price and land you your dream home.

Here are our top 5 reasons why LOCKDOWN could actually be good for your house move.

1. Surge in demand
Online property websites are seeing huge spikes in online views whilst many estate agents (that area able to work from home) are still receiving calls for viewings.

And it’s not just calls for viewings that are still coming through but also people wanting to sell their property!

For smart sellers, providing they choose an agent that can be effective right now, this means far more people seeing their property whilst buyers are in lockdown in a house too small for their needs. 

Once lockdown ends, however, there’s going to be a huge rush to view and offer on properties. This can be beneficial to all but you need to be aware it’s going to be competitive. The key to getting a great deal is being prepared now!

A spacious highend kitchen

2. A great time for mortgage rates
There are 3 things to be aware of here:
The Bank of England is keeping interest rates low which translates into some of the best interest rates on mortgages we’ve ever seen.
Offers normally last 3 months but are being extended for as long as 6 months. People are buying now with a completion to follow soon after lockdown.
Be aware though, some lenders are taking longer to process applications due to staff shortages.

So, getting things started with a lender now will help take advantage of these great interest rates but it will also mean you use the lockdown period to mitigate the impact of any application delays. For those who wait, these delays could mean they miss out on their dream home!

Living room with decor

3. Alternative viewing options

Everyone wants to see their new home in person before they buy, but with travel restrictions in place this might not be possible. Many people will see this as a hurdle they can’t get over and stop their house buying process there and then. For sellers and their agents, who are prepared to be more creative however, there’s a huge opportunity here!

By working with a modern estate agent who can make use of technology such as: 360 Virtual Guided Tours, Video, Facetime, Skype and WhatsApp, buyers can still view your property in fantastic immersive detail. Most buyers will still want to view the property in person when they can, but you can certainly present your property repeatedly to them during lock-down until a viewing in person is possible. And with sufficient interest inspired during this time, you should secure competing buyers fighting for your home!

We’ve already said there will likely be a rush on viewings when restrictions are lifted so, make sure yours is one of the properties people are rushing to!

Bookshelf with plant on top, clock on the wall.

4. Time is on your side

You want to sell someone their dream home so if there’s something in your house that irritates you, it will likely bother them. Do what you can to start addressing these issues now.

Whilst extensive DIY jobs might not be possible, there are lots of smaller things you can do.

Common things we find people do include:
  • Touching up scuffs to paint work around your home
  • Keeping your garden in good order buy mowing, weeding and trimming bushes back
  • Clear rooms of any clutter to make them as spacious as possible
  • Clear your drive of any mud, dirt, moss or other elements that don’t give a great first impression
  • Clean your windows and their surroundings to ensure as much light enters your house as possible
  • Consider rearranging future to make rooms look as large as possible
  • Replace any broken bulbs – a well-lit room on a video really does make a difference
  • For households with children, buy simple canvas boxes from an online retailer that delivers and pack toys away to keep clutter to a minimum.

For larger jobs that can’t be completed during lockdown, start building a to-do list of what needs to be done. For those jobs that need an expert, now is a good time to contact them and you might even find you get better rates on their work by booking them in now.

A hand with keys inside to the house

5. Far less 'actual' visits to your home are needed than you might think!

The obvious one here is traditional property viewings. You may get 20 before you sell your house, and each time, you have to present your home immaculately to impress a potential buyer. But given current restrictions, this is not possible, which is actually good news! Preparing your home for 20 viewings is no fun at all!

Through creative and immersive technology we’ve shown how you can use this to your advantage. First viewings and many questions can be dealt with by Guided 360 Virtual Viewings and Video Tours. This will leave you with a small handful of serious buyers to physically show your property to when lock down ends.

However, what about other things like valuations, surveys and the move itself?

Let’s look at each of these:
  1. Valuations: You might not realise this but much of a property valuation is already done away from the property. Looking at what other similar properties have sold for, historical records, the local market and demand are all done by an estate agent before they ever see your property. The small proportion of the valuation that does require seeing the property can actually be done via video call.

    So valuations can still be carried out despite the lockdown.
  2. Surveys: It’s true a surveyor has to be physically present at a property to survey it but most people don’t request a survey until after they have offered and a sale in principle agreed. Further many surveyors are accepting bookings now. A keen buyer will want to be at the front of the queue, and you are much more likely to accept an offer from a committed, pro-active buyer than someone else.
  3. Removals: On average a property sale takes 14.5 weeks. If you follow government daily updates, they feel that it is likely restrictions will start to be reduced sooner than that, so potentially May or June. Not that far away. As such, if these figures hold true your move date won’t be affected, especially if you select your removal firm and engage with them now in preparation. Don't wait or you'll be back of the queue.

    Further, if the house you are moving into is empty there’s a good chance you can move in even during the lockdown period if the move is essential. There are also removal companies offering their services at this time with safety measures in place to keep you and your family protected.
    If the house is not empty, you may have to wait but if everything else is in place and you’ve secured your dream home, this is a far better situation to be in than most people who will still be battling through those first few steps you completed months ago.

Now more than ever, you need a good estate agent on your side as selling your home can be challenging, complicated and stressful at the best of times!  My entire team at Mark Antony Estates is here for you with innovative solutions and will keep you moving at this difficult time.

Don't hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to me, I'd love to be of some help if I can. Call me on 01925 377202.

Stay safe and well :) x

p.s.  Are you curious what your property could be worth? Find out in around 53 seconds. Click here.

p.p.s. Download our eBook on how to get the best selling price for your property by clicking here.