During the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing has been introduced which means remote engagement with customers would be safer to minimise the risk of spreading viruses. Video technology has been very prominent during the pandemic and it has greatly benefited the mortgage sector.
Virtual House Viewings
As lockdown continued, property viewings were virtual until the government lifted the ban on in-person property viewings. It is still encouraged to have virtual property viewings before visiting the property in person as they provide a bespoke and real-time video tour where you can ask all your questions.
Video tours and virtual house viewings are continuing to be offered and we are also seeing mortgage advice and wills taking the same virtual path. As lockdown began, we saw a surge in demand for video conferencing software and this has been very useful for conducting mortgage discussions. While phone calls and video calls may be more personable for some clients, a virtual meeting allows clients to meet the mortgage advisor which maintains that direct contact, without needing to be there in person.
A mortgage is one of the biggest financial investments, so it is important to get everything right. We would advise you to seek a mortgage adviser as they would help to decide on a perfect mortgage for your situation.
Getting mortgage advice via a video call also enables the audio to be recorded which can be convenient. During your mortgage discussion, you may be asked to send important documents which can be done very easily through your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Witnessing Over Video Calls
Social distancing measures still need to be adhered to which means that we can expect remote engagement with customers to continue. Not only will remote engagement help reduce the risk of spreading viruses and germs, but it can also influence change in the witnessing of wills. The government is due to announce remote witnessing of wills which means that people can record their wishes during the pandemic. As long as the video and sound quality is clear enough to see and hear what is happening at that time, wills that were witnessed over video calls will be deemed legal. The important safeguard of needing two witnesses can still be maintained through video calls and it can also protect people from fraud and unnecessary influence.
The changes are set to be introduced in September and the law will be amended to address video witness.
These measures will be backdated to when the first case of Coronavirus was discovered in the UK, which was 31st January. Anyone being witnessed using video software from 31st January onwards will be legally accepted. This is set to remain in place for as long as necessary or until 31st January 2022. Once past this date, wills must then return to being made with witnesses being physically present.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
If you would like to book an appointment then please get in touch and we can arrange a suitable time to discuss further. We can arrange appointments at a place and time suitable to you, we can discuss your options over the phone or if you prefer email, then this is fine with us.