Date Published 28 April 2020

Property Negotiator: Samantha Leighton, working remotely

How long have you been with Wilsons Knight Frank and what is your role?
I joined Wilson's Knight Frank in 2015 as a property negotiator.

How have you found lockdown?
As negotiators we are usually out and about most of the day, it is a sociable job meeting new people every day. The lack of social interaction is hard, however it is great that we can stay in contact with the team regularly via video calls.

How has usual routine changed?
There is no normal routine anyway, days vary and although we normally have scheduled appointments, you never know what to expect at the beginning of a day.

We would usually have a few appointments out of the office, viewings & market appraisals then also time in the office registering/speaking with new applicants, negotiating any new sales and liaising with parties of on-going transactions to ensure all sales run as smoothly as possible.

With the current uncertainty the majority of my day has been liaising with both vendors and buyers. Everyone's circumstances are different, the court is still running, so transactions can still complete, however the logistic of moving is difficult. Most transactions have been put on hold, in some cases due to the lenders and other cases where physically moving is not possible. However, there are some transactions still progressing and moving forward.

We are also still registering new applicants every day, people are still wanting to buy. While in lockdown we are unable to hold viewings but have had owners send videos, and have physical viewings lined up for once lockdown is lifted.

As physical market appraisals are not possible at the moment we have had vendors send photos and videos which has enabled us to advise on value. We have also been providing tips on preparing to put properties on the market.

Now is the perfect time for anyone thinking of selling to get all the odd jobs finished so the property is ready to market.

Are properties still being sold?
Most transactions are on hold, however we have a few transactions complete on empty properties.

Some transactions have everything in place ready to complete once lockdown is lifted, others are progressing with mortgages & conveyancing, so everything will be ready to compete.

We've even had a few offers and sales agreed during lockdown, a couple had viewed the properties previous to lockdown but also I have had one offer made purely from a video viewing.

How do you expect market activity to be after lockdown?
As an island, although there are many people not working, we are lucky that there are so many people still able to work from home and people are still thinking about moving. Although the uncertainty may cause a slight drop in activity, I feel the market will bounce back quickly after lockdown – going off the interest I have had during this period.

While not working how have you been spending your time in lockdown?
I am extremely lucky to have a garden, and with the amazing weather, I have spent a lot time sitting in the garden reading, have started growing a vegetable patch and lots of baking (and eating!).