Yes you can! Although the way that agents are selling homes is changing in line with federal social distancing restrictions, put in place in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Agents have been adapting the selling processes quickly to allow sellers and buyers to continue transacting in the current climate. Here are some common questions agents get asked about selling in this new environment.
Can I meet with you?
You can still set up appraisals and meetings with us. These can still be conducted face-to-face, provided you follow the government recommended social distancing rules (keeping a 1.5m distance). However, if you’d prefer to avoid a face-to-face meeting, you can always opt for a video call via Skype or Facetime with us instead.
How will house inspections work?
While mass open houses are now banned under the new restrictions, we are still able to organise private inspections with prospective buyers. We will negotiate a time that suits both buyers and you and will be present when prospective buyers inspect the property. Buyers will also be told to keep their hands in their pockets and will not be allowed to touch or open parts of your property such as cupboards and furniture. Another alternative to private inspections is virtual tours and digital inspections.
How do digital inspections work?
We are able to set up virtual tours of your property so potential buyers can do a digital inspection. These digital inspections can be conducted in a number of ways. We can simply film a 3D walk through of your property and list that video alongside your property listing online, send it in an email or upload it to a streaming service such as YouTube or Facebook. These walk through videos can range from a simple image slideshow to a detailed video where we discuss the property on camera, show footage of the home, and include emotive music to capture the ambience of the space.
Another form of digital inspection we can use is a live stream. We can use a platform such as Sykpe, FaceTime or Zoom, or a streaming service such as YouTube or Facebook, to engage with prospective buyers in real time. Using live streaming services allows us to answer questions from viewers in real-time.
Should I avoid auctions and stick with a private sale?
Although on-site auctions are currently banned under the federal social distancing restrictions, auctions are still able to go ahead online. An online auction operates under the same rules as a public auction, except that it’s held online. We will send buyers a link to an online auction service, such as Gavl or Auction Now, along with instructions on how they can register to bid ahead of time. To bid, buyers must submit their ID and credit card details and be approved by us. Once approved, the platform will put a hold on their credit card. When the auction begins, buyers will be able to place their bids through the live stream, as if they were there in person.
An alternative to the live online auction involves buyers sending off bids, similar to the way eBay works. For buyers who aren’t tech-savvy, there’s always the option of registering to bid over the phone, again, just like in an on-site auction.
How will I get the paperwork done?
Many conveyancers offer their services through email, phone and video call. And when it comes to signing contracts, the documents can be sent via email and signed electronically using eSignatures or a platform such as DocuSign.
Will the value of my property be affected by Covid-19?
It’s hard to predict what might happen to the Australian property market with new developments happening every day. Most property experts have different opinions on how property values will be impacted. Eliza Owen, head of residential research at CoreLogic, says that the level of risk for the property market and the impact on prices is still unclear.
Residential property is less volatile than the share market and in the past, stock market crashes haven’t been linked to drops in the property market. However, the Australian property market tends to respond to conditions such as unemployment, national wages and inflation. Therefore, any sharp declines in prices are somewhat cushioned.
I’ve sold my property, can I still hire a removalist?
As of the moment, yes. Removalists are currently still considered an essential service. With changes and new developments happening daily, it’s always best to speak to your removalist company first about what new measures must be taken to abide by the new social distancing restrictions.
While selling your property might look a little different to the way it did before the Covid-19 pandemic, we are working hard to adapt to the changes and make it possible.