Category: Property


Tags: CORONAVIRUS, covid-19, HOUSING MARKET

How the Coronavirus is currently affecting the Surrey property market – March 2020

26th March 2020

Much like every other business in the country, the property industry is coming to terms with the sudden and immediate change to all our working and domestic lives that were announced this week.

I am relieved that as a company we took the decision to temporarily close our sales and lettings branches together with all our support offices and departments on Monday 23rd March 2020. This decision means that all our staff are now able to safely operate from home and therefore help to reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission, which has to be everyone's priority.

Michael Ansell

Group Managing Director

Michael Ansell

As an independently owned and managed firm, Burns & Webber have always been able to adapt and manoeuvre quickly to ensure that we offer the best and most up-to-date advice to our clients. As we now all start to adjust to our new home working arrangements, I think what is important to remember is that when this is over, we are expecting there to be a huge demand for people wanting to move home.

If your home is currently on the market, my recommendation is to keep it available for sale and visible online. Potential buyers will have additional time to search in the coming weeks and we are making arrangements for ‘virtual viewings’ where possible.

For those of you who have been thinking of moving, we are also now offering a ‘virtual valuation’ service, which for the time being will replace our face to face marketing consultation. This will enable us to continue to provide you with a current market appraisal of your home – as always this service is free and without obligation.

BOOK A VIRTUAL VALUATION

 

If you are currently on the market or have had a sale agreed on your property or you are a landlord or a tenant, here is a full breakdown of our current advice:

 

What happens if I have a sale or purchase agreed, but haven’t yet exchanged?

If you have agreed a property sale or purchase, our advice is to allow your solicitor to continue to progress your sale in the background. Don’t treat this as a pause, but rather encourage your appointed lawyer to complete the searches and other necessary paperwork involved in conveyancing. This will mean that by the time the Coronavirus outbreak is under control, your sale is at the point where it is ready to exchange and complete.

There is now guidance that a physical move should be delayed where possible. My advice is to be pragmatic, speak to your agent and solicitor. We are finding that where this type of approach is adopted and there is a willingness to compromise, sales are proceeding often with a delayed completion and in such cases an ability to bring forward by agreement a completion date, should current movement restrictions be eased.

All of our branches have been set up so we can operate in a homeworking environment. This means we will continue to do everything within our power to work with the solicitors involved in every single one of our current transactions, ensuring the sale stays together and our clients can reach exchange of contracts.

What The Lawyers Are Saying

Whilst Coronavirus is causing a lot of immediate turmoil in our day to day lives, property lawyers are still working, albeit from home, to allow property transactions to continue to progress.

At present, The Law Society has not recommended a ‘Corornavirus Clause’ be added to sales contracts that have not yet exchanged. Common sense is being encouraged so that if the purchaser or seller gets into difficulty over a completion date because they are suffering from the Coronavirus, solicitors will seek a sensible resolution by way of renegotiating completion dates – this is a welcome and pragmatic approach to enable our buyers and sellers to complete their property transaction.

Advice For Landlords & Tenants During Coronavirus Crisis

It is important that tenants, landlords and estate agents work together during this period and we must all take every reasonable measure to continue to adhere to the terms of the Tenancy Agreement.

That being said, should you be experiencing immediate financial difficulty as a direct result of Covid-19, which places you in a situation where you are unable to pay your rent, please contact your letting agent or email your assigned property manager to discuss your next rent payment.

A lot of tenants will no doubt have concerns over the long term financial implications of the Coronavirus crisis. However, only those that have been immediately affected through actual job loss or significantly reduced income need to take any action at this time. Much like the current guidance from the NHS this will allow letting agents to prioritise tenants and landlords who need immediate advice and we will continue to issue ongoing guidance as the situation develops.

You can be assured that every member of our team is determined to continue on the basis that it is business as usual and we will be delighted to hear from you at any time.

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Our cutting edge marketing package includes professional photography and floorplans to present your property at its very best. There’s nothing to pay upfront for this service, so you won’t pay us a penny until we’ve successfully found a tenant your property.

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Tell Us What You Are Looking For

Not every property we have to let is listed on our website - we arrange many tenancies before they ever appear online, exclusively to people registered on our database. Registering with us will give you the best chance of finding your dream home.

Licenced & Regulated

We are members of ARLA Propertymark, the UK’s foremost professional body for letting agents which means we are required to operate in a transparent way, providing services which are subject to independent scrutiny, giving you peace of mind at all times.

24/7 Access to Your Search

Our website gives you instant access to information about your rental search, including shortlisted properties and once you’ve had an offer accepted, updates on your Tenancy Application, rent payments, maintenance and all correspondence.

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23/3/2020

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