In an exciting week for buyers, sellers and agents alike, several key announcements were made by the State Government which ease restrictions and allow the industry to get the gears turning. Importantly, Private Inspections and those appointments required for the marketing of a property for lease and sale are now allowed.We are also now conducting COVID-Safe Appraisals in-person, which gives us the ability to confirm the pricing and strategy for clients who may have had Virtual Appraisals completed. Importantly, when a market experiences restrictive conditions like this, the pent-up demand creates an urgency we haven’t seen for the past few years. Here is a summary of the changes, as well as some commentary of what might be to come for the sales and rental markets.
Private inspection tips
You are allowed to leave your home for a maximum of two hours to attend a prearranged private inspection of a property, and each private inspection must be for a maximum of 15 minutes. You are also allowed to attend inspections that relate to a settlement, or the start or end of a lease.
Property marketing, sales and rental activities that cannot be done remotely are permitted, for example photography shoots and the preparation of virtual tours.
Private inspections for property appraisals, prior to listing a property for sale or lease, are allowed. These activities must be limited to one agent and the vendor/ landlord.
Inspections with one agent and one prospective buyer are allowed, and this should be our default position. However, you may be joined by one member of your household, your intimate partner and/or your children if there are no alternative care arrangements available.
We will contact the occupier of a property to arrange a suitable time and ensure the occupier and attendee are not symptomatic, self-isolating or under quarantine before attending.
Seize the opportunity
While it isn’t as convenient as setting up your Saturday open-for-inspection run, now is the time to reach out to agents and see what they have coming up. There are plenty of sellers who have been unable to act, who may be waiting to see what the market will do. Woodards Agents will already be in touch with these sellers, and could provide you with an opportunity to be one of the first to inspect it, before it hits the market.
What about the 5km Rule?
Buyers, sellers and agents are allowed to travel more than 5km for an inspection, but you are not permitted to travel to regional Victoria to attend an inspection.
With inspections now allowed, we all need to be mindful that this extra movement, while exciting, also comes with risk. If you are experiencing symptoms, are at a high-risk or are immunocompromised, sending a friend, family member or an agent on your behalf to inspect a property may be the way to go. Some other tips for your inspections include:
- Wearing a mask
- Using the hand sanitiser available
- Do not open any drawers or touch things unnecessarily
-If you do accidentally touch something, tell the agent so the area can be disinfected
- Be selective with which properties you inspect
- Ensure your details are provided to the agent before inspecting
Property management inspections
- No ongoing routine rental inspections permitted
- Repairs and maintenance of properties are permitted only to ensure safe and secure use and occupancy
What this means for the market
With months of collective frustration as buyers have been unable to act and sellers unable to sell, we are no doubt going to see a huge surge in activity in property. Those that are well prepared with the right strategy will of course be the ultimate beneficiaries of a critical time in the property cycle. Sales will surge while leasing may remain soft, but what we find in Melbourne is that our market is highly segmented. Each property is unique and this recovery will affect each client differently. A tailored, strategic approach ahead of time is the only way to ensure success, so reach out to your local Woodards agent for more information.
The Speed of a Rebound
Globally, in markets similar to ours, the recovery of both property prices and volumes is surprisingly fast. For example, in New Zealand, it was only three months before both volumes and prices were above pre-lockdown levels. There is also an apparent correlation between the severity and length of Government Restrictions, and the strength of the recovery in the property market. The stricter the lockdown, the stronger the recovery. Given in Melbourne we have had the strictest and longest lockdown, this gives us cause to be optimistic about the prospects for property prices over the next three to six months.
At Woodards we will always take a common-sense approach and welcome the opportunity to continue to serve our communities.