Viewing a house in a post-Covid world

If you’re currently in the house-buying zone, then congratulations!  Buying a house is one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life and  you’ll want to get straight into the transaction so you can get your hands on those all-important keys as quickly as possible.

Everyone’s plans have changed over the last few months, but it’s important that we all remember that they’ve only been postponed, not cancelled, and that goes for buying your dream house too.

The way houses are bought and sold in the future is definitely going to change but there’s no reason to worry too much about it.  The Property Service Regulatory Authority has set out some ways in which house-buyers can continue on their journey.

Let’s look at the first stage in that journey – the viewing process.

This is one of the things that you can’t help but think about right now.  After all, you were probably planning on doing things the usual way – thinking about your budget, finding your ideal house and then making an appointment to view it in person and go through all the things that were listed on our Viewing Checklist.

So how is that process going to change?

The Property Service Regulatory Authority has set out some fairly comprehensive directions for how viewings should take place.

First off, you’ll have to confirm your health.  That means letting your agent know that you haven’t tested positive, that you haven’t had any symptoms or been a close contact.  You’ll also have to confirm that you haven’t travelled home from abroad in the last two weeks.

Secondly, you’ll have to prove that you can actually go through with the purchase by providing proof of funds.  Getting your mortgage approval has changed somewhat in the last few months too, so we’ll go through that in another email.

For now it’s enough to bear in mind that you’ll have to show the agent that you’re not just viewing the property for the sake of seeing what’s out there.  You have to show that you’re there to buy and ready to do so.

Next up, you’ll most likely be sent a digital brochure setting out information about the property.  The reason for this is to help you get to know the property a little bit before you do the physical viewing.  I think this is a great idea myself because it will more than likely involve a “walk-through video” that will give you a good idea of the house and the things you need to look out for from our checklist.

So what about the viewing itself?

The clock will be ticking!  You’re going to get a certain amount of time to look around.  At first, this sounds like a bad idea but in fact it can really help to focus your mind on the things that matter.

Of course, hand sanitisers and other wipes will be available if you want to open any doors or windows and you can always wear gloves into the viewing which will allow you to feel more comfortable if you want to touch anything in the house.

So what’s the take-away?

I think you need to stay really positive about the whole process.  The main message I would pass on at this stage is this – prepare, prepare, prepare.

It’s more important than ever to bear this in mind.  Going through your checklist before either a physical or virtual viewing will really help you focus on the things that are important to you.

Remember to take notes and highlight questions that you will want the agent to answer.

Do the same things you would do if you were actually in the house.  Go through the Viewing Checklist.  Think about the house and its layout while you’re viewing online.  Ask the agent if you can watch the video a few times so you can think about each room at a slower pace.

Yes, things have changed but not necessarily for the worst. When you think about it, the latest changes are very helpful in some ways.  Viewing a virtual brochure is a really good way to prepare for the physical viewing and you should just treat it as another “mini-viewing”.

Very often a normal viewing will involve several other people there at the same time.  Even though new viewings will probably be limited in terms of numbers – with maybe only two people at each viewing – this can also be a good development because it means you’ll only think about the house and not the other people there who might ultimately be bidding against you!

It’s easy to feel that your plans have been thrown off course for the immediate future, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  So stay in touch with your agent and when you find the house you want, plan and comprehensive viewing and get all the information you need to know about the house you’ve set your heart on.

For more information on how to view your property in the post-Covid culture, get in touch on or contact us on 087-6851596.


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