Research commissioned by virtual property viewing platform U-See Homes has found that three-quarters (74%) of sellers are vetting buyers more thoroughly due to fears around COVID-19, but are continuing with physical viewings despite these fears.

U-See Homes asked more 1,000 UK home sellers if the threat of COVID-19 was still a worry when it came to facilitating physical viewings while selling their home.

For 66% it remained a concern, with 36% stating they were still a little worried, 23% remaining somewhat worried and 6% still very worried.

Despite this, 88% of sellers are still letting buyers enter their homes to view in person.

When asked about the precautions being taken, masks remained the most prevalent requirement, along with increasing ventilation during the viewing by opening doors and windows.

Asking those viewing to sanitise on arrival also ranked high, along with keeping internal doors open to avoid unnecessary contact.

Some sellers are also limiting the number of viewings they allow each individual buyer, while others are placing time limits on each viewing and some are asking for negative lateral flow tests before viewing.

Simon Dempsey, head of marketing for U-See Homes, said: “Unfortunately, many home sellers find themselves between a bit of a rock and a hard place when it comes to selling their home.

“On the one hand, they may be worried and want to limit any unnecessary contact with others.

“However, on the other, they have to essentially allow strangers into their home in order to view if they want to secure a sale.

“While many are taking the appropriate precautions during the viewings process itself, we’re seeing more and more sellers choose to vet buyers before they even reach this point.

“This allows them to reduce numbers to just the most suitable and can be done in a number of ways.

“Your agent should be able to give you a good idea of a buyers suitability, particularly with regard to what they are looking for, their financial position and any other information that might indicate whether they could be a good match for your home.

“Virtual viewings are also being used far more frequently, allowing the buyer to ascertain if a home works for them and if a physical viewing is worthwhile.

“It’s also worth talking to any prospective buyer beforehand to give them an idea of the wider area and if there are any aspects that might deter them from buying your home even if they like the property itself.

“All of these methods, and more, can be utilised to reduce the number of physical viewings and ensure that you only let serious buyers into your home.”