As of this week (Wednesday 13th May), estate agents have been allowed to resume much of their usual business, with the government lifting curbs in plans to restart the country’s housing market.
An amendment to the legislation prohibiting non-essential travel now means that members of the public can visit both sales and lettings agencies, such as ourselves, as well as show rooms. They’ll also be able to view properties for sale or rent, and – perhaps most crucially of all – be allowed to move home. For the 450,000 buyers and renters who had agreed deals, only to put them on hold, this will be no doubt be very welcome news!
For agents like Balgores, it means we can visit any rental property to carry out appraisals, property valuations, and to take photographs – all of which has had to take place virtually since lockdown began.
It’s also been announced that removal companies and conveyancers will be permitted to restart operations.
The government has been clear in their advice that social distancing rules must stay in place for the safety of all parties. Speaking of the changes, Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, claims “our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and lettings process, from viewings to removals.”
“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those patiently waiting to move can now do so.”
More detailed advice around rules protecting tenants and agents is expected to follow.However, so far, the changes only affect England, with the property markets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Island currently remaining closed.
Other measures the government is taking to get the industry back on track, include incentives for a building restart, such as allowing builders to agree more flexible working hours with their local councils, and providing financial support for smaller developers, by allowing them to defer payments to local councils to improve cash flow. Local councils will also be allowed to publicise planning applications through social media.
We’ll be reopening for business on Monday May 18th, and all our branches are being deep cleaned, with preparations underway to ensure social distancing measures are in place. The safety of our staff and customers is our first priority, so we’ll also be checking that anyone wishing to enter our offices has not experienced any symptoms to make sure everyone is protected. Until then, all of our staff are still working from home to answer any questions or queries you may have and are able to provide valuations for your home.
We’ll continue to offer video valuations and viewings, with our staff on hand to answer your queries after Monday 18th Mday.
At this time of national crisis, Balgores Property Group are sending pantry boxes to the most vulnerable people in our local towns and villages ensuring that they have food in their cupboards during these uncertain times. Should you know of any vulnerable people in the towns we trade in please email email@example.com their details and we will arrange for a Balgores pantry box to be delivered as soon as possible.*
With hundreds of thousands of people having spent months indoors during lockdown waiting for the opportunity to continue their search, we’d recommend taking advantage of the incoming flurry, and getting your property to market quickly.
We’ll expect to see motivated buyers in a position to purchase or rent their property, and for sellers and landlords to take advantage of this.
There’s a long way to go, but it certainly feels as though this is a significant step forward for the industry.
*1 box per household, within 25-mile radius of Harlow (due to delivery requirements). We withhold the right to remove the offer at any time, subject to branch allowance, ingredients in image may differ.