Angela Keegan, of MyHome.ie, joined Bank of Ireland’s first ever, virtual, home-buying event recently and gave prospective buyers who tuned into the webinar some top tips on viewing houses during COVID-19.
The days of getting up early and going to twenty open viewings on a Saturday are long gone, so we’ve put together some of Angela’s expert advice to help house-hunters make the most of their house hunting experience, masks and all.
- Embrace virtual viewings
- Sanitise and HSE protocols
- Don’t be late!
- Get to know the property price register
- Get the inside scoop
- Location, location, location
- Be prepared
Buying a home in the current environment is going to be different to anything that’s come before. Luckily, we live in an age where technology can do a lot of the work for us. Virtual and 3D tours are now being offered for many properties on the market and, while they’re not the same as being there in person, they can be a good tool to determine whether to rule yourself in or out of contention for a home. Virtual viewings also give you the chance to show properties to your family, friends, or partner and get their input all while minimising risk and exposure to COVID-19.
Open viewings are a thing of the past. Estate agents now are operating ‘contactless’ viewings, which are available only by appointment. Vendors are asked to open all doors and windows prior to a viewing so that, when you come to the property, you’re touching as few surfaces as possible. Prior to the viewing you will have to register with the estate agent and a maximum of two people from a household are allowed per viewing, and no children under the age of 16 are permitted. (Source, Myhome.ie)
House viewings are now limited to 15 minutes each and if you’re late you’ll reduce the already limited time you have to view the property. As a condition of the viewing you’ll be asked if you feel ill, if you’ve been traveling abroad, and if you’ve been self-isolating. You’ll also be asked to observe HSE guidelines regarding social distancing and use of hand sanitiser. Be prepared to comply with these requirements or you may not be allowed to view the home.
Get ready for the property price register to become your new best friend. The register holds three pieces of vital information on every home sold since 2010: the date of the sale, the address of the property, and the price of the property. This comes in really handy for finding out what homes sold for in your chosen areas.
Befriend your local estate agent and let them know what you’re looking for. They sometimes know what properties are due to come onto the market and can give you an early indicator of what’s coming. You can also sign up for alerts on MyHome.ie and get notifications whenever new properties in your chosen areas go live on the site.
Make sure to research the area that you’re interested in. Walk it by day and by night to really get a feel for the place. Find out what amenities there are in the area and see if they suit your needs. Make a list of your ‘must haves’ for your new home and be prepared to compromise on the rest because buying a home will always involve compromise.
If you stay ready you don’t have to get ready. Have your deposit and mortgage approval in place before you start viewing homes. You’ll only drive yourself mad if your dream home slips through your fingers because you didn’t get approval in time.
To speak to a Bank of Ireland Mobile Mortgage Manager about your mortgage journey click here.*Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank trading as Bank of Ireland Mortgages is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland