In response to the rapidly changing circumstances around COVID-19 some of our services have gone digital to ensure your safety. The most important thing to know is that we are still open for business and we are here to help! If you’d like to discuss buying, selling or renting, please contact your local office or agent to discuss our digital and online solutions.
Following changes to social distancing and tough restrictions on businesses across Australia to stop the spread of COVID-19, many states and territories are beginning to look towards life post-coronavirus – including easing restrictions on open homes and on-site auctions. From this week, joining Western Australia, both North Territory and New South Wales will see open homes and on-site auctions held for the first time in six weeks, whilst Queensland will see small open homes allowed, with strict social distancing and hygiene measures still in place.
With so many different regulations across the country, read our guide to what this means for the property industry and how you can view properties in your state from this weekend.
Easing restrictions giving industry a much-needed boost
Since the Federal Government’s March decision to ban open homes and in-room auctions, we have seen the real estate industry, sellers, buyers and renters adapt to the use of online and digital means of viewing and selling property, but are still seeing a flow-on effect from the economic downturn.
“Although the real estate industry has evolved with online and digital technology, and we respect states and territories who wish to keep restrictions in place, we support those governments who recognises the importance of real estate on the economy,” says CEO of Belle Property and Hockingstuart, Peter Hanscomb.
“As one of the biggest assets a person can own, we believe it’s important that the public are able to sell, buy and rent without the pressure of heavy restrictions.”
Keeping community safety front of mind
While these initial easing of restrictions comes as a welcome relief, many government and health officials warn that social distancing and community safety must be kept front of mind when viewing property. Peter agrees, saying that agents running public open homes and on-site auctions need to ensure proper planning and protocols are followed.
“We have seen the real estate industry adapt quickly to restrictions and know we will see this same responsibility and professionalism in maintaining state and territory regulations at open for inspections and onsite auctions,” says Peter.
A snapshot of what each state and territory are doing
From this weekend, real estate agents can conduct open for inspections, and on-site and in-room auctions under strict hygiene and social distancing rules. Under these guidelines, agents are to limit the numbers attending inspections, encouraging only registered bidders and visitors to properties, as well as following physical distancing requirements, stringent cleaning and hygiene measures, and attendance recording for contact tracing if needed.
From this weekend, Queensland real estate businesses can conduct open for inspections with a maximum of six people (including the real estate agent and homeowner/tenant) in the building and following the 1.5m and 4m2 social distancing rules. On-site auctions still remain banned for the moment.
With the announcement this week by Premier Daniel Andrews, from Wednesday 13 May Victorian real estate businesses are allowed up to ten people at residential auctions and opens for inspections (this does not include the people required to facilitate the auction or open). Strict social distancing, personal hygiene and cleaning measures must be followed at all times.
Deemed one of the safest places in the world from the pandemic, the South Australian government will be keeping bans on open homes, and on-site and in room auctions for the foreseeable future. Private inspections and online auctions are permitted with social distancing.
Bans will remain in place on open for inspections and onsite auctions across the territory. Private, one-on-one property viewing appointments are allowed, as well as virtual and online auctions with registered bidders.
Easing restrictions from April 27, open homes and displays homes are allows with appropriate record keeping of attendees, hygiene best practice and a 10-person limit with social distancing. On-site auctions are still currently banned across the state.