· No one working within our team has returned from an overseas location where the virus has become widespread.
· Any staff member staff showing signs of possible symptoms will be asked to stay at home for a period of 14 days until they are back to full health and have been cleared by a member of the NHS.
· Should a lock down scenario be enforced, all members of our team will be able to effectively work from home with full access to our secure cloud-based systems and digital phones under our ‘work from home policy’. This will enable continuation of ongoing contact with our customers and the ability to progress sales which are proceeding to ensure their successful completion with our continued support.
· All staff members will have hand sanitiser and antiseptic wipes to ensure that staff continue to keep their hands clean and less prone to infection.
· Rest assured our online call/ enquiry management systems will be fully managed as usual to ensure we continue to work as proactively as possible to serve our sellers, buyers and potential clients alike, with no disruption in our service.
· Our team are receiving regular health and safety briefings based on the latest NHS medical advice, so that we can manage our customers and our own wellbeing in line with government procedures.
· We will continue to offer our fully accompanied viewings service until/ if we are instructed by the government of a full lock-down scenario.
· The demand for prospective purchasers wanting to view properties is still high, which is encouraging for potential sellers! Upon booking appointments, we are checking whether the person is showing any signs of cold/ flu symptoms or returned from overseas in the past 4 weeks. If either of these are the case, we are offering these customers a live video viewing instead.
· However, if you are a client or potential client and are self-isolating upon official medical advice, we ask that you kindly make us aware before arranging appointments for either an office/ home appointment. Should this be the case, you can visit our website to arrange a video appointment initially instead.
· Prior to attending viewing appointments, you will be kindly asked to use hand sanitizer provided before entering the property, and again when leaving, to ensure the health and safety of yourselves, our team and our customers.
· During this challenging time and to ensure we help to control the situation where we can; we are operating a ‘no shaking hands policy’ so please don’t be offended by this.
· If you have recently (within the last 14 days) returned from one of the high-risk countries detailed on the government website, we would respectfully ask you to contact us by phone or email rather than coming to our offices, and avoid booking face-to-face appointments.
Video Meeting options/Video Viewing options
· For customers requiring property advice but are self-isolating or are reducing unnecessary face-to-face meetings, we can cater for initial advice meeting using Zoom/ Google Hangouts video conferencing.
· For elderly clients or clients with any known pre-existing medical conditions, we are restricting viewings to live video viewing only, which will be carried out by a designated member of our team. Please advise our team if this is something you require; you do not need to discuss or disclose your reasons.
Launching new properties to market
· If you were thinking of putting your property onto the market to make your desired move, in our professional opinion you still should!
· Money has never been so cheap to borrow, with the mortgage interest rates at a record low, and remember in most cases you are buying a home with a 25 year plus mortgage term. Trust us that in this time, the price could drop, and price could rocket, it is the way these things generally work. You are buying a home, not an investment.
· As this is such an unprecedented time, and if the market drops (and it’s an if because before going into this the fundamentals of the property market were very strong, unlike 1987 and 2008), it may just be sods law that you won’t be able to buy because lenders won’t be lending the same, criteria could be much stricter, meaning you could have to wait years wasting £1000s in rent, which as we know is dead money anyway.
· More prospective purchasers are going to be stuck at home and will therefore have more time to search for suitable properties. Use this to your advantage!
· Once the COVID-19 pandemic has blown over, there will be more competition to market, meaning you will have less chance of selling for the best price while competing for visibility on the open the market.
· We understand this is a challenging time for most, especially the elderly and the vulnerable, and are eager to help in any way that we can. Even if it just picking up some shopping and dropping it off for you, please just reach out!
· A listening ear always goes along way and we are here to listen, whatever your worries or concerns, let’s chat it out together.
· Anyone wanting any impartial advice on your options going forwards, please just get in touch with our team to arrange a free no obligation market appraisal. https://www.harper-williams.co.uk/valuation
· Positivity breeds positivity, and being one of our core values, we know a genuine smile is infectious, so continue to keep smiling through the uncertainty and confusion.
· We are well connected within our communities and are eager to support local businesses as much as we can. Remember we are much stronger together!
It is times like this that we are reminded of the famous Henry Ford quote “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success”.