We’ve been getting a lot of enquiries relating to how the current Coronavirus pandemic is affecting vendors. So if you’re currently on the market or planning to sell your property soon, we’ve answered the most important questions on sellers minds right now, to give you a better understanding on what is going on in the Surrey property market.
Our branches are still operating, albeit remotely so if you have any questions that aren’t addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Burns & Webber branch for property advice. We are also available 24/7 on social media to answer your property related queries.
Lets dive in and see if we can answer the most pressing questions we are currently receiving from property sellers (vendors).
Do you see any major changes to the valuation of our property because of the Coronavirus pandemic?
Whilst some vendors have withdrawn their properties from the market, choosing to pause marketing until lockdown is over, now that the dust has settled we’ve been able to take stock of what effect lockdown has had on property values.
Whilst a few sellers have withdrawn, there are still plenty of buyers who are looking to move as soon as things return to normal. Many would-be buyers find themselves with plenty of time on their hands and perhaps are getting frustrated by their lack of garden or compact nature of their property, and as a result are searching for property whilst confined at home.
Strong buyer demand isn’t just because of the current situation – there are many people who have been delaying their move awaiting the outcome of Brexit negotiations – as a result there is now a substantial pent up need to move from Surrey residents. Should you be thinking of selling, preparing your home for sale now, will put you in the best possible position for selling when lockdown is over.
In the last decade house prices in Surrey have increased on average by 55%. As a result, we are absolutely confident that the current, temporary lockdown will not have a major effect to the valuation of your home in the long term.
What you anticipate my property valuation to have changed by?
Each property is different and the change in valuation will depend on buyer demand for your specific property.
Research predicts a short term reduction in house prices caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, but it’s important to remember that if your property drops in value slightly, so will the property you’re buying so it is all relative.
The only way to accurately estimate the value change of your individual property is by booking a Virtual Valuation.
Longer term, we are confidently predicting that by the end of 2020 the valuation of your property will have returned to, if not exceeded, its valuation at the start of the calendar year.
Virtual Valuations Explained
Burns & Webber’s ‘virtual’ valuation service is just as effective as if we were visiting your property in person. Before we speak we research evidence of similar properties nearby that are on the market and have recently sold to help us value your home.
We will look at our buyer database to give you an indication of the likely demand for your property before it goes on the market, with whom we can conduct Virtual Viewings.
Our senior property professionals know the local market extremely well and in some cases they may have even been inside your home during a previous sale, helping us form a basis for your valuation.
Is it simply impossible to envisage a property sale in the current climate?
No not at all, we have successfully continued to create sales on behalf of our clients despite working restrictions.
Where we have properties on the market, we have been revisiting offers received from buyers to see if a sale can now be agreed given the current situation and in some cases have been able to agree a sale on this basis.
Shortly after lockdown started Burns & Webber launched our Virtual Viewing service, which asks vendors to film a tour of their property, which is then kept private from potential buyers unless an official virtual valuation is booked.
Once the video tour is received, we have continued to market properties to our database of buyers and provide feedback from every ‘virtual’ viewing.
In some cases we have asked vendors to produce additional videos about specific parts of their property and this approach has been generating results.
Pictured below is a property Burns & Webber have exchanged and completed during lockdown.
Have you considered finding a tenant for your property?
Where a sale isn’t forthcoming, our lettings division is continuing to help people rent properties. If your property is vacant, perhaps it might be better to find a tenant to rent it until lockdown is over, rather than stop activity on it altogether.
If you are currently on the market without success, we can discuss all these options with you when book a virtual valuation.
Pictured below is a property recently let during lockdown.
What are the barriers, such as surveys, mortgages and access given the Government regulations?
It goes without saying that the movement and working restrictions imposed by the Government are having a dramatic effect on the property market. We have previously reported on what to do if you already have a sale or purchase agreed, the current advice is to seek to delay a physical move where possible.
Some independent structural surveyors are still working, ensuring they follow the recommended personal protection guidelines, with the caveat of the property is unoccupied by the owners at the time of the survey being carried out, or the property is vacant with no one living there.
In terms of mortgages, we previously reported on how lenders have been affected by the movement restrictions and increase in enquiries for mortgage payment holidays, but critically most lenders are continuing to do desktop valuations remotely.
The message from the lenders is that they have plenty of funds available and are still keen to lend albeit under controlled conditions until we start to come out of the current situation.
It would be irresponsible for us to be showing people around properties for sale at the current time. However, Virtual Viewings are helping us work safely within the boundaries of the movement restrictions, proving sales can be agreed under the current circumstances.
Is everything on pause or are new properties able to come to the market right now?
Tenants are the biggest moving cog in the property market at present. We are continuing to register tenants and help them move in to vacant properties despite the lockdown. So if you are considering letting your property there is no reason delay bringing your property to market right now.
Sellers need to be realistic. Whilst it’s true sales are being agreed under current conditions, we are taking a pragmatic approach – advising people do all they can right now to get their property ready for launch when movement returns.
Spring has been proven as the best time to prepare your home for sale, so make sure all those little jobs are done and your property is looking immaculate and ready for us to produce marketing literature when our professional photography and floorplan teams are allowed to re-enter properties without movement restrictions.
That said, we have successfully brought properties to the market during lock down where vendors have suitable photos and are willing to get things moving right away.
Another option would be to softly launch your property under our Discreet Marketing service now, so that details of your property sale are kept private, – there is no advert on Rightmove and no For Sale sign outside. We still market your property, but only to those buyers that we have registered and which we think would be interested in your property. Discreet marketing also has the added benefit that your property will be ready to launch to the market at a moments notice when an end to lockdown is announced.
Pictured below is a property launched to the market during lockdown.
What can I do today?
Our branches are still operating remotely, so if you have any questions about moving or would like to get an understanding of the current value of your property we would be delighted to speak with you.
Why not book a virtual valuation of your home, you can then have a completely free and confidential, no-obligation chat about the value of your property and advice on how best to market your individual property.