Getting in Gear
Seven weeks into lockdown, Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency, looks at how coronavirus has affected life in the property market. Throughout the lockdown, our team have been working remotely.…
Getting in Gear
Seven weeks into lockdown, Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency, looks at how coronavirus has affected life in the property market.
Throughout the lockdown, our team have been working remotely. At first we thought there would be little to do. How wrong we were.
The past few weeks have been frantic. First there were all the property sales we had to get past the finishing post. Even in lockdown we have been able to do this within strict government guidelines. Then there are the deals that we had only just tied up when the lockdown began. It is astonishing how many buyers and sellers have been keen to keep to their plans – even though they will have to add weeks to transaction times.
But now we are also busy working with those who are already planning new lives beyond the pandemic. We are advising on marketing and pricing through virtual valuations – subject to final inspection. We also have many keen buyers who have pencilled in viewing appointments for when the lockdown is over.
Of course, it isn’t fun. None of this is for anyone. The virus has changed our lives and the lives of everyone with whom we work. But despite working remotely our team is working together. We are working with our clients, our buyers, our central London marketing team and working together is what sets us apart.
Working through the pandemic is like riding a bike up a very steep hill. We have had to change gear. We will probably change gear again before this crisis is over. But one thing is very certain; we will be in the right gear when it’s all over.
Lynne Lancaster – Head of Estate Agency.
Lesley Waugh, of the Whitehaven branch of PFK, looks ahead to a time when we can all move freely from our homes. In houses and apartments all over the country…
Lesley Waugh, of the Whitehaven branch of PFK, looks ahead to a time when we can all move freely from our homes.
In houses and apartments all over the country those in lockdown are thinking about life after release. Even now, at the height of the pandemic, people are dreaming of post-virus life. We know they are because they are telling us so.
If this period of isolation from our families, friends and familiar routines has taught us anything, it has taught us about the value of home. No matter how small – and for those in tiny properties without outside space the lockdown has been much harder than for most – our homes have kept us safe.
But that is what homes do and have always done, it is what they are designed to do. They keep unwanted intruders out. Over the past few decades this side of home ownership seems to have taken a back seat to investment and capital growth. That thinking will change. Security, affordability in crisis, comfort in lockdown and space appropriate to need will jump into the driver’s seat – with location, location, location in the passenger seat.
This time in lockdown has given many of us the opportunity to re-evaluate where and how we live. Our shopping habits will have changed further, and so will our methods of communicating and streaming entertainment. In future lots more of us will work from home, having realised that many can be just as effective without a daily commute. Some will want more substantial homes, and some will have decided to downsize or rightsize. Many will elect a lifestyle change, choosing to move to a more rural location, to the coast or to a bustling and lively city centre close to all amenities.
Our needs for what a home gives us will change, but it will not alter the local property market. Coronavirus is a health issue: it is not a property issue. This virus has reminded us what a wonderful and helpful community we inhabit and the true value of living here.
When we are over this emergency, PFK will be here to understand your property needs and offer suitable and attractive solutions, because if there is one thing we do know a great deal about, it is the value of home.
Lesley Waugh – Manager of PFK Estate Agency, Whitehaven.
Notes from My Lock-Down Diary
Have you ever found yourself backed into a corner? Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea? Between a rock and a hard place? With no place to go?…
Notes from My Lock-Down Diary
Have you ever found yourself backed into a corner? Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea? Between a rock and a hard place? With no place to go?
We’re ready with the folk-euphemisms when we’re really perplexed about what to do, but when doing nothing is not an option. So what do we do? Having a G&T or two might paint a rosy glow over the problem for a few hours but – surprise, surprise – it’ll still be there in the morning.
This is the moment we need to be creative, to be inventive, and if I can use another cliche, to think “outside the box”. If we’re stuck, we need a new perspective and some lateral thinking, and it usually helps to find someone to talk about the situation with. You might be surprised to learn that an Estate Agent – yes, really – can help you think “outside the box”. In the recent lockdown situation we’ve found ourselves in, this has never been more relevant.
We were handling a sale which was showing signs of slowing down in the current situation, solicitors were on furlough leave and communication was ever more difficult . The vendor wished to move into a new house but the build was delayed, again as a result of Covid-19. The purchaser wished to push ahead as their intention was to holiday let the property and receive the income from it, as a long term investment. What’s to do? Let the transaction fall apart with both parties starting again, with all the wasted time, opportunity and costs that would entail? Or, with a small dose of lateral thinking, why not let the sale proceed and arrange for the vendor to stay in what was their house but as a tenant of the new owner. Of course there were things to arrange, such as a tenancy agreement, insurances and permission from any lenders involved, but these were mere details when compared to the sideways step out of the box!
If you feel a chat might help you out of a corner, please get in touch on 01768774546. Now, I think I will have that G&T.
Hannah Sims – Manager of PFK Estate Agency, Keswick.