Over the weekend EYE had calls and emails from agents in various parts of the country, concerned at the behaviours of their colleagues/rivals in relation to continuing to offer viewings on properties for sale or rental.
In one instance a well-known figure in the industry put up a property on social media saying:
“Viewing today on this beauty! Cash buyer, vacant new build. I’ll be opening up and then closing when they’re gone. Fingers crossed.”
In another example we have heard of an agent who unlocks the property, standing back while a viewing takes place, then locking up before conducting discussions over the phone.
Given that apparently Covid-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on hard surfaces we just hope that applicants kept their hands off doorknobs, work surfaces, taps etc. and that there were no multiple viewings on the same day.
An agent from south-east England phoned to rail against applicants asking to view properties. “Are these people stupid? It is ridiculous to be asking to see property during the lockdown. Where can we report such actions?”
Whilst the viewing of empty property is of course very different from attempting to view an occupied home (just don’t do it!) we do hope that agents take all precautions to physically distance from applicants and it would seem to make sense to avoid having more than one viewing of a property within a 72 hour period. In fact since viewing any property is unlikely to be deemed ‘essential’ it might prove problematic to explain to a police officer just why you are on your way to a viewing, vacant or not.
James White, the MD of the ‘belong’ estate agency in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, has made this video to help persuade agents to stay at home.
There are certainly some out there who should be watching this…