Estate agents using ‘video viewings’ to sell properties amid coronavirus

Peter Sheehan is director and owner of prime property buying agency The London Resolution

In these unprecedented times, larger estate agents are using video footage to replace in-person viewings. As a result, both domestic and overseas buyers are making purchasing decisions from the comfort of their homes.

High-end property investments will still take place, albeit remotely. We know CBRE has created videos of many of their properties and are sure many others will swiftly follow.

This will be the new normal for now and remains a sensible approach. Many estate agents staff are divided into Team A and Team B, working in fortnightly shifts but are not going to the office.

Those property transactions which are close to exchange and completion are continuing; at a slower pace as legal staff work from home and without their assistants.

Many transactions which have not yet exchanged are seeing buyers stalling, price-chipping, renegotiating or pulling-out entirely. Buyers are either desperate to reach completion no matter what, hugely fearful of the future or exploiting the situation.

Planning procedures, council searches and legal processes are all being significantly delayed.

Quiet repatriation of overseas residents all over the globe is having an unsettling effect on the whole London market and those overseas investors are now not around to transact.

But in all bad times, there are always those investors looking at the upside – for legacy investors, this is the perfect time to transact as this unsettled market can provide long-term gains.