Trade bodies such as NAEA Propertymark had been in talks over how to safely restart work, and were not anticipating the change would come so soon and so suddenly. It was only expecting to sign off proposed guidelines for reopening at the end of May, while many estate agents were preparing to reopen in June or July.
Now, the industry must creak back into action from a standing start. Agents report huge pent-up demand, with Andrews, a south London estate agency, receiving 226 calls in the first hour of business.
Chestertons, a London estate agent chain, received around 35 offers for properties in the first morning of being open for business, mostly from buyers who pulled out of deals or were put