With Estate Agents finally preparing to return to work following the Corona virus lock down there are many factors to consider in order to ensure the safety of staff, buyers and sellers.

Agents will need to risk assess many of their processes and adopt new practices to help minimise the spread of this deadly virus whilst still managing to sell property.

Essential viewings only - Government advice is that agents should seek to limit the number of face to face viewings and there are a number of things which househunters should do prior to requesting a physical viewing.

We have always provided professional quality photographs with our listings and will now also include a video walkthrough giving an even more detailed view of the property prior to deciding to view internally.

Our website includes links to Google Streetview and Google Maps to help potential buyers see the property in its surroundings and decide if they like the area. There is also no substitute for a drive around the area prior to deciding if an internal viewing is actually required. If the area isn't to your liking then there is very little point in booking a face to face viewing.

Our listings include a floor plan, room measurements and detailed descriptions of the property and each room. We seek to provide an honest summary of a property's condition including whether it needs modernising, updating, obvious repairs or is in "Show home" condition. Please read this information before requesting a physical viewng of the property.

Face to Face property viewings - When Government guidance allows physical viewings to take place and when you have shortlisted the property and feel it is a contender as your ideal home there are steps which should be taken to avoid the risk of Coronavirus contamination.

1) Observe social distancing - Both vendor and viewer should remain 2 metres apart throughout the viewing. Vendors should show viewers into each room whilst remaining in the hallway or landing or at some other strategic location that avoids close contact. It is also advisable to wear a face mask and gloves for the duration of the viewing. Viewings should be restricted to no more than two viewers so, unfortunately, mum, dad, granny, granda and possibly the kids will have to wait until after you move in.

2) Open doors - Prior to viewings vendors should open the internal doors of the property to allow free movement throughout the home without the need to touch door handles.

3) Avoid touching surfaces - Wear gloves and wash or sanitise your hands both before and after the viewing. Avoiding touching doors, worktops, furniture or anything which could result in contamination.

4) Viewings accompanied by the agent - Some vendors request that the agent conducts the viewings on their behalf. In this situation the agent will observe social distancing and wear a face covering and gloves.

5) Survey - If you are concerned about having too little time to conduct a thorough inspection don't forget that a professional survey is highly recommended and will delve deeper to determine property condition than you will be able to yourself.

6) Time limits - The government suggests that viewings should be limited to 15 minutes each so a "business like" approach may have to be adopted to cover everything off that will affect your decision as to whether the property meets your needs.

7) Existing symptoms - If either the vendor or the viewer has experienced any of the symptons of Coronavirus - a persistent cough or high temperature - the viewing MUST NOT proceed. All parties will be asked prior to the viewing being booked but if symtoms arise after booking but prior to viewing then please contact the agent immediately to cancel.