Buying and selling property has posed unique challenges due to COVID-19.
The standard process of attending an open home or an auction with other interested parties is no longer straight forward. Given that COVID-19 spreads so quickly, the government has implemented regulations around the amount of people allowed in an enclosed space.
Here’s our advice on how buy and sell property and be COVID-safe.
In New South Wales, the government has set a four-square metre rule for the amount of people allowed in a premise at any one time. For strata properties, this poses particular challenges because apartments are generally smaller in nature. Therefore, if the apartment is 100 square metres, this means you can only have 25 people inspecting the property simultaneously.
For real estate agents, this may mean the agent collecting the names at the front door could also keep count on who’s coming and going and if necessary, hold people at the front door until it’s safe to enter. The collection of names is now also important for contact tracing purposes.
If an agent is expecting considerably more people, then maybe consider extending the standard open time.
Traditionally auctions may attract many more people than just the registered bidders. If the auction is taking place on-site in an enclosed space, the agent may elect to only allow registered bidders access. This way, the government four-square metre rule is maintained and genuine parties will have the opportunity to bid. Outdoor spaces should be utilised if possible.
Online auctions are another COVID-safe option.
Regardless if it’s an inspection or an auction, once inside the premise, it’s imperative that everyone maintains a social distance of 1.5 metres from each other at all times. It’s also a good idea for the agent to have hand sanitiser readily available and its advisable for everyone to wear a face mask. It’s also recommended not to touch any surfaces.
Some buyers may feel more comfortable with a private inspection. Obviously private inspections aren’t a new concept but in these unique times, agents may find themselves undertaking more private inspections than before so that the buyers have the opportunity of checking out the property with the utmost safety.
Agents could also offer a virtual tour or an online inspection. Using video conferencing software such as Skype or Zoom you could see the property as the agent walks through it. There may also be a pre-recorded video you could watch from the property listing.
Needless to say, if you’re showing any symptoms of coronavirus or if you’ve been in contact with a person that’s tested positive, always get tested and self-isolate.