by Neil Maxwell
The announcement that estate agents could re-open on the 20th May took our industry completely by surprise. Fortunately, we had already been working on a re-opening plan and we were able go ahead with relative ease – providing a Covid-19 secure environment for our staff and visiting clients.
We have defined a clear process for visiting clients’ houses and showing interested parties all aspects of the property, while at the same time ensuring the safety of everyone involved. Another innovation has been the creation of our ‘Virtual Valuations’, where we carry out valuations for clients who may be shielding via videophone, which has added a new, less intrusive dimension to our services.
Since re-opening the level of enquiries for sales and lettings has been overwhelming, with one letting property alone receiving over 80 enquiries, and a sales property that received 27 viewing requests. We have all worked very hard to ensure that service standards do not slip in the face of this high demand.
Pent up demand, coupled with a traditionally busy time of year for property enquiries is driving a highly active marketplace. So if you’re thinking of selling, don’t be put off by the current situation. Now could be the perfect time to sell.
There were countless prophets of doom during the lockdown, who talked about house prices going through the floor, based upon data provided from mortgage lenders who couldn’t lend, as nothing was being sold due to the lockdown. Obviously not a very reliable barometer of what was about to happen as the market began to re-emerge from the lockdown.
I valued a house today that had a beautiful vine which encompassed the back garden. Over the years, the plant has grown so prolifically that several of its branches have spread into five neighbouring gardens, providing a bountiful supply of grapes for all. We can only hope that the housing market enjoys the same health in months to come.