Central Coast real estate agents are adapting to new changes after on-site auctions and open houses were banned on Tuesday, in a new government measure aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
Private buyer inspections will be the new norm, minus the handshakes.
Agents are also conducting open house tours via video.
Agent Aaron Reibelt from George Brand Toukley said that it wasn’t such a bad thing.
“We’re back to the good old days of private buyer inspections, a much better way to buy or sell a property in my opinion,” he said.
“I would say private buyer inspections have a much higher percentage success rate anyway.”
Some auctions will go ahead, with McGrath offering a live streamed auction portal where buyers can bid just by logging in.
Matthew Dawson from McGrath Ettalong has a popular listing in Woy Woy that he says should go to auction online on 4 April.
The renovated property at 5 Rothwell St is in walking distance to the train station and has a bidding guide of $675,000.
Ray White Thompson Partners at Gorokan will also go ahead with scheduled auctions, using online platforms and telephone bidding.
Their next round are set to go ahead on the 3rd of April, with a very well presented home at 16 Woodlawn Dr, Gorokan going under the virtual hammer.
“We’ve always done phone bidding anyway at our in-room auctions, there isn’t much that you can’t do remotely,” agent Adam Hilder said.
Other agencies are choosing to change their auction campaigns to private treaty sales.
With the recent changes, The Daily Telegraph reported that there will likely be a dramatic drop in the number of listings, but experts warned lower transaction volumes would not necessarily mean prices would drop.
My Housing Market economist Andrew Wilson recently said that “discretionary” sellers would be largely insulated from changes in the market because they could postpone their sales if need be.
Lifestyle agent Ingrid Osborn from Gittoes East Gosford said that her office would not let their vendors accept ‘ridiculous prices’.
“The main thing we are focusing on during this time of uncertainty is finding something for buyers who are in a position where they need to buy now,” she said.
“I’m using a 3D walk-through program that would allow buyers to commit to sales without even visiting the property.”
The general consensus among agents is that the market is still a safe place for buyers to invest, provided they have a secure job.
“With extremely low interest rates for investment, and the stock market a bit scary, Australian real estate is a safer bet,” Darren Smith from Capital One Real Estate said.
“People who work in government roles, teachers, police, council workers, firemen or nurses will be in a great position. At the end of the day if you buy a house, you own a house. You can live in it or rent it out if you need to. With shares and the company goes broke, you have worthless paper.”
The Prime Minister was not clear on how long the restrictions would be in place.