I think we can all agree that the world looks a little different today than it did a month or even a week ago. With restrictions now in place on events of 100 people inside or 500 people outside now banned outside of essential gatherings, people are looking to minimise contact and venturing out unnecessarily.
Where does that leave us in property? Well, for once it might be a good thing that we don’t have the kind of market they’re used to in Sydney or Melbourne – I’ve never heard of 100 people at a Cairns open home so we at least won’t be shut down this week! While we are unlikely to have these events banned though, it is imperative as agents, sellers and prospective buyers that we do our bit to work within the rapidly evolving health guidelines around COVID-19 so we can stay healthy while still buying and selling property.
As a first point – sellers should be in regular contact with their agents about their own health and the health of their family members when it comes to conducting inspections. Under self-isolation or feeling under the weather? Its really not the week for an open home. Rest, and re-assess in 14 days or as otherwise advised.
When it comes to private inspections, agents will be asking more questions of buyers than just ”what’s your budget” or “do you have pre-approval in place?”. We will now be checking in on whether or not you have been well or show any possible symptoms before we confirm a viewing. Likewise, expect to see signage at open homes requesting the same.
Its not all doom and gloom if you have the sniffles though and agents are being proactive about making it easier for buyers to see property on their own terms. Virtual Tours can give a buyer 90% of the experience of an inspection from the comfort of their desktop, tablet or phone, letting them decide on a property (and hopefully fall in love). Another option is a Facetime or video inspection, with an agent providing a one-on-one guided tour (complete with audio!) through the property. Popular with interstate buyers, now its just a matter of implementing that technology for locals too.
Regardless of the world around us, people still need to buy and people still need to sell real estate. Deals can still be done, though we might wait to shake hands for a bit longer!