A little over a fortnight ago, changes to government guidance were announced which kick-started the property market again, but in England only. And it certainly went off with a bang. With many agents across England reporting enquiry levels higher than pre-lockdown, here’s what we’ve learned from our branches south of the border.Rettie window displayWhile the green light was given rather late in the day on 12 May, the Rettie Newcastle and Rettie Berwick branches had been working hard over the weeks prior to be as prepared as possible for the time when restrictions would be lifted.
PPE in place, our two English branches opened the following day and were immediately inundated with enquiries and quite literally, clients knocking on the door. Of course, visits to our branches were (and remain) by appointment only and generally, most clients are very happy to continue working with us via phone and video call.
But what has been clear from that day, is that the ‘pent up’ demand that has been reported in the media over the last 10 weeks, is real.

Those of our clients whose properties were on the market pre-lockdown were clearly eager to resume the marketing effort to encourage viewers to take interests in their property further. The Rettie teams across our branch network, are fully equipped and well trained to carry out virtual viewings via video call, in those properties we can access safely, maintaining all social distancing measures.

In England, physical viewings can be conducted safely but viewers are first invited to attend a video viewing or virtual walk-through, with only those potentially looking to make an offer being invited to view in person.

Rob Taylor, Managing Partner of Rettie Newcastle, explains that it's now possible to arrange either a virtual valuation or a visit to your property, following strict protocols to ensure the safety of you and our team.

The demand for viewings has been extraordinary. As has the demand for valuations with tens of requests in one branch alone, from owners who want to get their property up for sale as soon as possible. But clearly, all of these requests and subsequent appointments have to be managed in a safe and measured way.

So, what have we learnt so far, from our branches and colleagues in England?

The latest update of the Scottish Government Routemap indicates that Scottish branches can reopen in phase 2, with property visits being permitted from then.

While this is not guaranteed to happen on 18 June, we’ve learned that preparation is key in the current environment.

Enquiries for Scottish properties have increased significantly over the last fortnight. The changes in England have offered buyers, owners and tenants in Scotland a glimmer of hope for when they too can resume their property journeys.

We are anticipating this demand will increase over the coming weeks and are advising clients that they too should also be prepared to bring their properties to market. In Scotland, properties for sale cannot launch without a home report and surveyors are likely to have a very busy time, once they are permitted to carry out their inspections. With a number of provisional surveys already ‘booked in,’ and many properties ready to bring to the market, owners should get in touch with their local agents now if they have questions about when will be the right time to sell. This also applies to landlords who will require safety checks to be carried our ahead of their properties being tenanted.

We look forward to a time when we’re able to meet our clients to discuss their property goals, in person. Meanwhile in Scotland, we’re delighted to continue offering help and guidance to our clients from the comfort of our own homes.