It is still possible to buy and sell property, but the rules have changed.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of the ban on traditional open house inspections and auctions means that the property market now enters unchartered territory.
The bans were announced in the latest rules and guidelines aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Of the many houses already on the market, some may have been needing to sell in order to fund prior property purchases. These are the sellers who may be most put out.
Retirees who may have been preparing to downsize may have also had their plans scuppered by the announcement, wondering how they will be able to sell their own property and purchase another.
Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president Adrian Kelly said the industry supported the government’s move and would find a way to continue through the crisis.
“While it is not business as usual … there are still ways of conducting inspections and to auction property” said Mr Kelly.
“Innovative and flexible agents should make better use of technology.”
While a long way from being the traditional practice; however, online property auctions have established a footing in the Australian market.
Australian real estate agents have sold more than $830 million in property on the Openn Negotiation platform since it started in mid-2017.
The Openn Negotiation platform is a fully-automated, transparent real estate bidding platform.
The service is delivered via an app so there is no physical meeting at an auction gathering, all of the legal documents are completely automated and there is no need for an agent to meet personally with a buyer or a seller.
Openn Negotiation’s chief executive Peter Gibbons said there had been a significant increase in inquiries since the Prime Minister’s announcement.
“We’ve seen a 350 per cent increase in registrations for our online learning in March. We expect that to grow.”
Most real estate agents also offer virtual tours of properties as standard practice these days, but it is yet to be seen if purchasers will be happy enough to buy without seeing a property ‘in the flesh’.
Would you buy or sell a property entirely online? What do you think will happen to the property market in the current climate?
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