As we all adjust to the current changes we want to reassure you that we’re still online and on the phones; helping our customers at every step of their home ownership journey. With our residents and our employees at the heart of everything we do, we’ve implemented new measures across each step to ensure we’re keeping everyone safe.
We're staying Covid-19 Secure in 2020 and are proud to confirm we have complied with the governments guidance on managing the risk of Covid-19. You can view our certificate here.
If you are at the beginning of your shared ownership journey and searching for your home, we have adapted the way we work to ensure we can continue to provide our usual service, but from the safety of our homes. Our Sales Consultants are on hand to provide you with all the information you need to make your decision about buying a shared ownership home and support you every step of the way on both phone and email. The majority of our new build homes are bought off-plan and as such a viewing wouldn’t be possible until the home is built. For those homes that are ready to view, we’ll be following stringent social distancing guidelines set by the Government - you can read more about these below.
For new build homes that are ready to view, we have put in place guidelines that follow the guidance set out by the Government, which we will ask everyone to follow. Our Sales Consultants also have a set of guidelines covering stringent cleaning and social distancing requirements to keep you and your family safe at viewings.
- Viewings will be conducted by appointment only
- Your appointment time will have a start and an end time and you will need to have left the property by the end time. This is to ensure that you do not bump into other customers and to allow us to clean the house in-between viewings
- All viewings should be limited to members of your household and be minimised to those that absolutely have to be there. If you have small children with you, please keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly
- Our sales consultant will let you into the property but won’t walk round with you - they will wait outside but you’ll have the option to FaceTime or have a call with them whilst you’re viewing the property so they can talk you through
- You will be asked to either wear disposable gloves, use hand sanitiser or wash your hands when entering the property
- Please avoid touching all surfaces, this includes light switches, door and window handles, kitchen units, worktops and bathroom fittings
- Please leave all doors open and light switches on as you walk around the property
- Please leave the front door of the property open as you leave
- If you or any members of their household feel unwell and display any symptoms of Covid-19 then please cancel your appointment
With the latest government advice on purchasing your home during the outbreak of Covid-19, all businesses involved in the home buying process – such as financial advisors, surveyors, solicitors and ourselves – are having to adapt and be flexible in their usual processes to accommodate individual situations. As such, if you are already in the process of buying your home with us, we have made a few changes to some of our steps:
Reserving your home
- As part of our reservation process there is a £250 fee to secure your new home and for us to begin conveyancing between your solicitor and ours. Should your circumstances change due to Covid-19 after you have reserved your new home and you are no longer able to continue with your purchase, we want to assure you we will refund your reservation fee in full.
- If you already have a mortgage offer and it expires before your home is ready to move into or if you are unable to because of Covid-19, the government has asked mortgage lenders to consider ways to extend their offer to you. We can help you through this time and would ask that you talk to us so that alongside your financial advisor, we can see what options are open to you.
- If you are due to complete on your home in the next few weeks our Sales Consultant will be in touch to discuss the next steps and how we can continue safely with handing over your keys. We have adopted a stricter protocol for completions that involves;
- Having a briefing call with you before the handover so you know what to expect
- Taking meter readings before the handover along with photos of these to share with you
- Ensuring we meet only the purchasers of the home at completion
- Maintaining social distancing requirements at all times
- The safe handling of keys and documents.
We appreciate that this may all be new to you, and our sales consultants are still available on the phone and on email to answer any questions you might have.
You can read the latest Government advice on moving home during this time here.
As restrictions have started to lift, other businesses involved in this process are restarting their services.
This means surveyors can carry out valuations again, so we’re pleased to now be accepting applications if you’d like to buy more shares in your home.
We’re currently processing all resale applications but, to reflect Government guidance, we’ve made a few changes to some of our steps for selling your home.
If you're already selling your home through us, or looking to sell, we'll ask you to provide a video tour of your home so that potential buyers can view it virtually in the first instance.
These tours will form part of our property listings on the Sovereign Living website and help purchasers decide whether they wish to carry out an in-person viewing.
If a potential buyer has seen the property listing and video tour and would like to carry out a viewing (see guidelines below), they can contact you directly to arrange this, using the contact details on our Sovereign Living website.
Guidelines for viewings, based on Government advice:
- Viewings should only be conducted by appointment.
- All viewings should be limited to members of the purchaser’s household and minimised to those who absolutely have to be there. If you have small children with you, please keep them from touching surfaces and make sure they wash their hands regularly.
- We recommend that the seller waits outside the property (if they’re comfortable to do so) or makes sure that social distancing guidelines are followed.
- We recommend that the seller leaves all lights on and all doors and windows are opened.
- Viewers should avoid touching all surfaces - this includes light switches, door and window handles, kitchen units, worktops and bathroom fittings.
- Viewers should leave all doors open and lights on as they walk around the property.
- If the seller or any interested purchaser feels unwell or has any symptoms of Covid-19, then please cancel the viewing.
After the viewing, if a buyer is interested in your home they should complete a financial assessment to make sure it’s affordable - and forward this to firstname.lastname@example.org. They should also ensure they are registered with Help to Buy, and have registered their interest in your property on the Help to Buy platform.
Please note: Our dedicated Resales team aim to review returned financial assessments after 5 days of a property being listed so we’d encourage potential purchasers to complete a financial assessment as soon as possible.
Our dedicated Resales team will also keep you updated throughout this process.
Selling your home with an estate agent
If we haven’t been able to put forward a purchaser within our nomination period, you still have the option to go to an agent.
If you’d like to do this, please contact our Resales team on 0300 330 0718 or email@example.com
We’ve implemented new measures throughout the letting process including ensuring video tours of our properties are available online and offering virtual viewings.