New year, new lockdown

10 Jan 2021

This week in five seconds

  • Most agents offices closed but working from home
  • Viewings are occurring on small properties that are easier to vacate
  • Children at home limits family vendors' ability to host viewings
  • Virtual viewings popular again
  • Solicitors overwhelmed

Welcome back!

Welcome readers to 2021! After a quiet Christmas, with many agents closing their doors over the festive period, the property market fully re-opened this week but was immediately into another lockdown. Listings have recovered to mid-December levels, and the response from agents, vendors and buyers has been varied with viewing numbers and agreed sales differing significantly from area-to-area and agent-to-agent.

Estate agents offices closed

In general, agents have taken this latest lockdown very seriously with teams split between working from home and in the office, thus affecting the viewing numbers. Most offices are closed to buyers walking in and are operating appointment systems.

Viewings harder with children at home

The majority of people are having to work from home and with children not in school, arranging viewings of family properties, whilst adhering to the guidelines is difficult for vendors and agents. We are therefore seeing the greatest activity of viewings occurring on smaller properties, with the larger, family houses generating good activity in terms of enquiries but lower levels of viewings. We would anticipate that this will result in some pent up demand for the larger properties.

Small properties worth marketing now: If you are looking to sell and have a smaller property, you shouldn’t delay in marketing, list now and make sure that you choose an agent who is still actively viewing.

Larger properties consider delaying your listing: If you have a larger property, you might be wise to get ready to market but hold off going live until facilitating viewings is easier for both yourself and the buyers who are likely to be interested in viewing.

Rental properties - check with your tenants: If you have a tenanted property, check to see how your tenants feel about viewings before you list.

Virtual viewings popular again

Virtual viewings are popular again as most agents will conduct an initial viewing in this way prior to a physical viewing at the property. Good news for sellers who are likely to see a better ratio of viewings to offers.

Solicitors overwhelmed

Progressing sales is still slow with solicitors overwhelmed with high volumes that they are trying to get through before the end of March. Prior to agreeing a sale make sure all your paperwork is in order and be very cautious when choosing a solicitor/conveyancer. Ask a solicitor before you instruct them, how long they anticipate the conveyancing process to take. You may also want to check on local searches in your area and how long they are taking to be processed. Some areas are taking 6+ weeks. If this is the case you may want to consider purchasing them in advance of an agreed sale and selling them on once you find a purchaser.

Have a lovely Sunday evening.

The Movewise Team

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