Is it possible to sell your house now that auctions are banned?

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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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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 14
  1. 0

    Keen to get your thoughts on this. I was planning to the prospect of buying a house and land package in northern NSW in preparation for retirement. Am 60, only needing a relatively small loan and hoping to use some superannuation savings to pay off the balance when I’ve finished working, in approx 2 years. Ive lost a fair amount of Superannuation like everyone else and do have a Commonwealth Govt job (secure??). I am really keen to get opinions on if and why or why not I should contemplate this at the moment.

    • 0

      Plenty for sale up here in northern NSW – you will like it here. Renting your place out should not pose a problem either. We rented here for 3 years before we bought. Much cheaper here than in the capital city. Just might have to wait a bit till the virus crisis is past.

    • 0

      Couldn’t go any further north than the Mid North coast meself… too hot at times further up.

  2. 0

    Online auctions, virtual tours etc are all very well, but who is so certain of their future that they can buy a house right now? Also prices will be very unstable, so either selling or buying will be risky.
    What about moving in? Removalists? Handling your precious posessions?

    • 0

      The only positive things the interest rate has dropped. That doesn’t help those who were planning to sell properties in the next 6 months – could be a longer wait than that.

  3. 0

    My daughter is in the market for a house. Not sure about virtual tours as she said that you could not see the actual crack etc. Real estate agents glosses up photos to show online to prospective buyers. Be wary

  4. 0

    My daughter is in the market for a house. Not sure about virtual tours as she said that you could not see the actual crack etc. Real estate agents glosses up photos to show online to prospective buyers. Be wary

  5. 0

    I think it will be a good time to buy. You can still do inspections with an agent, just not open homes. So go do all you need to to make sure you want it, get necessary property inspections, searches etc done and buy on a normal private treaty or an on line auction.
    The way things stand at the moment you can still do everything except have people congregating in groups. So no an open homes or no auctions in the flesh.
    Wannabe, if you were keen to buy off plan before COVID19, in my opinion it shouldn’t change it. I’d do it, lock in a good rate with the bank if you can, pay off as much as you can while working, I assume you won’t need to live there for a few years, by which time everything will be sorted.
    Don’t forget you only lose money on super if you take it out at its current low, leave as much as you can in there as long as you can and it will come back up again

  6. 0

    Always remember a real estate agent is not a friend they are there to make money

  7. 0

    The property will crash.

  8. 0

    Appreciating your comments. At the moment my situation is that it is just land to buy and then the house gets built. Just wondering if there would even be tradies able to travel/build given the way things are going. If it gets built could I get tenants in until I retire……so many things to think about.

    • 0

      Building is no problem here, Wannabe. Just do not select a place too far away if you intend renting it out for a number of years, got to be within easy reach of work and shops. Public transport is not that good up here.

  9. 0

    Relax, hunker down and the market will recover – sadly for those who simply want to buy a home and live in it. Been addressing the ‘open economic borders’ elsewhere for a while now.



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