Are real estates agencies closing down?

By Emily Ng

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, further restrictions have been put in place in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19. One of these changes includes ceasing real estate auctions and open inspections as of midnight of the 25th of March 2020. 

Real estate agencies in Australia will continue to conduct business from home and adapt their services and utilise technology to support buyers and sellers during this time.  

The Real Estate Institute of Australia President, Adrian Kelly urges that “we need to take the COVID-19 virus seriously” and has called for all agents in the country to “make significant changes to the way they conduct business”. 

Mr Kelly states that “one on one private inspections by appointment must become the norm” and public auctions can still occur via telephone bidding or through an online auction platform. 

Business as usual, but done slightly differently  

Melbourne real estate agent, Daniel Bolton from Fletchers Mooroolbark was a bit ahead of the curve, cancelling auctions and open inspections before they were mandated. Bolton finds that with enough research, every aspect of selling can be done remotely. 

“There’s a tool that does online bidding, online auctions, online private sales, we’re starting to do virtual tours of properties and virtual appraisals as well. I know it sounds crazy but everything is possible” he said. 

Victorian agent, Andrew Milne from O’Brien Realty said that they are also taking extra precautions to adhere to separation and social distancing rules by “sanitising door handles, benchtops, and asking clients not to touch things when they inspect a home”. 

Advice for sellers 

For those who do need to sell their home during this time, Agent Courtney Antico from Richardson & Wrench Bondi Junction says that it’s all about being careful about choosing the right agent. 

When interviewing agents, Antico suggests asking about their off market strategy and overall selling strategy in this market.

“You will know straight away whether this agent is confident in their approach and whether they have a solid plan from what they’re saying."

 

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