Purdie & Co are still will continue to work throughout the latest national lockdown after the Scottish Government ruled that estate agents are included in groups of workers considered ‘necessary’.
While our office will be occupied by some staff during January with others working from home where possible, we are hoping to avoid the need for client appointments in the office.
We can manage some ‘meetings’ by video call and can also deal with witnessing documents in that manner, if required. Not as easy as a meeting in the office, but we need to take precautions to protect clients and colleagues.
Official guidance for Scotland says that estate agents, as with all other workers, are advised to work from home wherever possible, although we can still arrange visits to properties for valuations and for marketing property- matters that cannot be done remotely.
Guidance states that people can still move home, although those outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving unless absolutely necessary.
If you are looking to move, you can still attend property viewings, but you should follow national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in and wearing a face covering.
The rules, announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on January 4, will apply across the Scottish mainland until at least the end of the month and will be kept under review.
The regulations state: “For activities in connection with moving home (including viewing a property), or for activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for.
“Travelling for the purposes of undertaking essential work on a property other than your main residence should not be used as a pretext for a holiday. You should not stay longer than for the length of time required to undertake the necessary work.”
More generally, it adds: “Although you can leave home for these purposes, you should stay as close to home as possible. Shop on-line or use local shops and services wherever you can. Travel no further than you need to reach to a safe, non-crowded place to exercise in a socially distanced way. To minimise the risk of spread of Coronavirus it is crucial that we all avoid unnecessary travel.”
Struan Douglas, managing director of Purdie & Co Solicitors and Estate Agents, said: “It is welcome news that the Scottish housing market is to remain open throughout this new lockdown period and we will continue to trade as normally as we can within the restrictions.
"It will, of course, be harder than normal, though people are quite used to life in general being harder than normal these days. We are still particularly busy and doing all we can to progress transactions as efficiently as possible despite the hurdles put in our way.
“We will continue to play our part in helping to reducing the spread of the virus by following all relevant guidance on how to safely conduct viewings.”
To arrange a viewing or valuation of your property call Purdie & Co on 0131 346 7240 or visit www.purdiesolicitors.co.uk