Comment: Agents are back in business... but what is their new normal?

PUBLISHED: 09:05 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:10 21 May 2020

Property viewings must now follow safe social distancing rules. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Property viewings must now follow safe social distancing rules. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto


What a week it’s been for the property market.

After nearly two months of very little happening, agents, surveyors and other property professionals were given the (very short notice) go-ahead to resume operations last Tuesday night.

They had to quicky get to grips with the latest government guidelines, while unfurloughing staff and reopening their offices in this new, socially distanced world – a strange time for all concerned.

As someone who’d been stuck in limbo while trying to buy, it’s a relief that things are moving again, albeit rather slower than is ideal.

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While most local agents were opening their offices again last Thursday, ours had a more chilled approach, meaning we weren’t able to speak to anyone about our stalled sale until Monday.

Buying and selling houses is hard enough without a pandemic in the mix – another level of difficulty none of us could have anticipated.

Anyway, all agents have now resumed valuations and real live property viewings – from a safe social distance of course – which is great news for those of us who need or want to move, regardless of the very weird wider climate.

Assuming we ever get there, we’re hoping to be in our new house for 10 years at least and hopefully this current chaos will soon be a distant memory. If it all falls through – always possible, now moreso than ever – it’ll be the most long-winded house sale that never was.

Because while things may seem increasingly to be as they once were, there remains a feeling that absolutely anything could happen.

The one thing we can be sure of? It’s going to be a while before we have a ‘normal’ housing market again.

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