No Opens, but still Open for Business

what a difference a week can make

The difference a week can make – from taking the handshake out of the deal one week to a complete turnaround on how some people approach buying and selling property!

As of midnight Wednesday (25th March), on-site and in-rooms auctions have now been banned for the foreseeable future, with open home inspections similarly off the table, changing how agents sell and buyers approach their real estate transactions. Two big announcements, each worthy of being tackled separately.

When it comes to auctions, southern Metro markets like Sydney and Melbourne are the ones most likely to be affected in the short term, with auctions far more prevalent in those markets due to different legislation and accepted selling methods. Owners will now need to pivot to either online auctions (which are a growing part of the space) or alternatively, straight private treaty sales with a listed price in place.

Here in Cairns, while auctions have become more popular of late, they still represent just a small proportion of overall sales, so we would expect the impact of this particular change to be much less broad in the residential market. In addition, a number of local agencies have already moved to online platforms to grow their reach, this will now become the main focus. Sale with a listed price remains the primary method of sale and this should continue for the time being.

On the topic of open homes no longer being available, its important to clarify that this applies to public open inspection times ONLY, and is not a blanket ban on inspecting homes. Private inspections are still available for most properties by appointment, taking into account directives on social distancing, hand washing and reduced contact. No more handshakes (a tough habit to break!) and agents will now have all doors open prior to the inspection so there is no need to touch anything in the home.

Anticipating more restrictions to come, many agents are working with their vendors to prepare floorplans, video and virtual tours for properties, so that inspections can still be conducted for those that aren’t able to physically inspect. Expect to see Facetime, Facebook Live and Zoom become more popular as an alternative as well, offering buyers a guided tour from their homes.

Homes can still be bought and sold, and agents are still here to facilitate. Stay safe!