Over the past few days we have been waiting in anticipation to find out what the Real Estate Industry can and can’t do during Stage 4 restrictions.  On Tuesday, it was announced that in metropolitan Melbourne the industry is only allowed to work in an online and virtual capacity. This means all Real Estate offices are to close and all staff must work from home.

All physical inspections for the purposes of selling, buying and leasing are not permitted as of midnight last night.  Online/virtual inspections and online auctions are allowed, however there are very few people that will purchase and lease a property from a virtual tour, therefore in effect, the industry has come to a grinding halt.  We do not have clarification as to what this means for owner occupiers or tenants who are relocating during this time.  The REIV are pushing for this to be a permitted activity but at this stage, this has not been agreed to.  The government have advised that urgent maintenance can be conducted through time and property settlements can still take place.

In regional Victoria, stage 3 restrictions mean that inspections are allowed however they must be one on one, private inspections only.  Auctions are now to be online as well.   As buyers from Melbourne are not allowed to go to regional Victoria to inspect properties, this could present a good time to buy.

This does not mean that our works stops.  Selling Agents will be busy trying to sell their current properties, listing new properties and working on properties to launch in six weeks time.  Buying Agents will be busy liaising with Selling Agents to be kept informed about their new listings.  Property Managers will still be busy in their day to day activities, creatively overcoming the obstacle of no physical inspections but still fulfilling their obligations to their landlords and their tenants.

Stay safe everyone and keep positive.

Kim Easterbrook

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