Follwells Blog


Were you planning to sell your house in spring? Buy a new home that suited your changing lifestyle? Embark on that property dream? Yes? But now you’re not feeling very positive? You’re not alone. As the government restrictions temporarily pause the majority of house transactions during the lockdown, it’s predicted over 520,000 house sales could be impacted in the UK. 

However, it’s not all ‘doom and gloom’. Because you don’t have to be part of that statistic - especially with our support. In fact, we’re adapting our services all the time so home sellers, buyers and movers can successfully hit their property goals in 2020. Even if the journey to get there is a little different...

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the 4 ways we’re keeping you moving - whether you’re buying, selling… or both!  So as lockdown gradually lifts, you can hit the ground running… and complete your property journey as quickly as possible!


1. Valuations

Understanding how much your home is worth is vital to setting a fair asking price. Additionally, for some, the valuation is the initial deciding factor on whether to sell or not.

How do we do valuations during lockdown?

Firstly, email photos of your property and details of your accommodation to us. The more detailed you can be - with photos and information - the better! We can work from this to offer an estimated valuation.

We’ll then get in touch to discuss your property more - and possibly consider a ‘video valuation’ for a deeper insight into your property.

Understandably, these methods offer only conditional valuations that are subject to a physical valuation when lockdown starts to relax. But it is a great way to give you an initial idea - and help get you prepared.

For instance, if you’re wanting to upsize but you’re unsure of the value of your current home, our video valuation can give you an estimation - and possibly tips on how to increase your value. 

What’s more, it’s a lot more accurate than simply using Zoopla to assess your property’s value.

How would a video valuation work?

Grab your phone and give us a video call. We’ll then instruct you to walk around your property and direct you when we need to see something close up.

We’ll also discuss your move. During the video call, we can give you advice on selling your home - and advice about buying a home too that matches your criteria.

After this, we’ll send you an email with a conditional valuation. As lockdown restrictions lift, we’ll then quickly organise a physical inspection of your property.

Photos and measuring up

2. Photographs & measuring up

How do you attract buyers in the initial stage of selling your home? In a nutshell, your marketing. From photographs to descriptions, nowadays your online presentation is the most important thing to attract potential buyers.

Obviously, with strict social distancing rules, this means that we can’t come and take photos for you right now. Also, we can’t measure up and create floor plans either. Two vital elements of your sales particulars. 

Some estate agents are encouraging vendors to create their own listing in the interim. Our advice? Proceed with caution. Photographing a house to capture its full potential is a lot harder than it sounds. And taking unflattering photos may put off serious potential buyers - permanently.

Instead, if you’re desperate to get your house on the market, speak to us and discuss the best next steps for you. It may be that we recommend a virtual tour instead. This may help us write your sales description too.

Also, remember that a phased approach to lifting lockdown is likely. Which means that some “non-essential” work may start again soon. If this is the case for our industry, we will start our services again - but with extreme care. We’ll enquire about your household members’ symptoms, avoid handshakes and generally follow social distancing rules. 


3. Viewings

Looking for a new home? Of course, you can browse through listings on Rightmove. But the real McCoy? Visiting a property - something that is not allowed under government regulations right now.

So whether you’re a buyer who’s looking for ‘that feeling’ or a seller who is eager to show off their property to potential buyers, you’re temporarily stuck. 

But not completely. Let’s not forget we are living in a technological world - and digital devices are certainly our friends right now!

For instance, virtual viewings are a great way to let potential buyers view your property - online! Everything from 360-degree images to video tours, we can give sellers the opportunity to film their footage and submit it to us. Then, we can pass this on for potential buyers to view - all from the safety of their homes. What’s more, for popular homes that would have normally been an ‘open house’, we’re thinking about doing Facebook Lives.

Of course, few would buy a property without physically seeing it. However, virtual viewings do put you closer. 

Virtual viewings: how they help buyers

On the buyer side? Virtual viewings allow you to better understand the property’s layout and actual size. For any live streams, it gives the viewers a chance to ask questions to the sellers too - replicating a normal viewing situation. 

Virtual viewings: how they help sellers

On the vendor side? You’ll have the opportunity to whittle through potential buyers. And frankly, understand those who are serious about your property - and those who are not. Serious potential buyers will be eager to conduct a virtual viewing first. 


4. Surveys

When it comes to surveying a property, it’s not so simple. A surveyor will always need to see the property up close to spot any defects or problems.

However, some mortgage lenders are processing mortgages based on a ‘desktop valuation’. In these cases, the surveyor uses the property’s marketing materials and looks at comparable sales in the area. At the moment, this only applies to some mortgages up to a maximum of 80% of the total value of the property (LTV - loan to value). 

Unfortunately, while the lockdown is in place physical surveys are on stop. But the good news? There are other parts of a transaction that can continue - such as contracts being drawn up, raising enquiries and applying for searches. 

Also, as mentioned before, it’s worth noting that a phased approach to ‘normality’ is likely. And as people return to work, surveys may become possible - while observing social distancing.

Contact us to speak with our surveyor about your individual case - and we can put you on our list to get it booked in as soon as restrictions allow. 

Sell, buy and move quickly after lockdown

Do you need to start your property journey? We understand that in many cases time is of the essence. Although the above 4 steps may seem lacking compared to normal processes, we can assure you it will help you in the long-run - and keep you moving forward.

Above all, we’re here to help - and we will get your journey moving swiftly on as soon as lockdown restrictions ease. 

Get in touch with us to discuss your property journey - and how we can help you during this unprecedented situation. 


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Market Drayton 01630 655535
Newcastle 01782 615530