By Emily Hutchinson
Having anticipated the recent bans on auctions and open for inspections, realestate.com.au has launched a new virtual inspection tool which will allow buyers and sellers to remain in business.
On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a nationwide ban on auctions and open-for-inspections, in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Social distancing regulations have prompted the ban on house auctions and open-for-inspections.
Having anticipated this, realestate.com.au has launched its Digital Inspections feature, which will allow agents to use videos to showcase listings to potential buyers and renters who cannot attend an inspection in person.
The new feature appears under ‘Inspections’ in Buy and Rent listings on realestate.com.au and will be available on the app in the coming days.
Agents can use the tool to record a walkthrough of a home, and there’s no need to invest in high-tech camera equipment, either, as a simple phone camera will do the job perfectly.
“We want our customers and consumers to know that the property market is still open for business and we’re doing everything in our power to support them and the long-term success of the industry,” says REA Group Chief Sales Officer, Kul Singh.
Singh suggests more digital technology is on its way to further help the property market and keep the community safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Digital Inspections is the first of our new features to help the market adapt to the evolving conditions.
“We all have a responsibility to flatten the curve when it comes to the spread of COVID-19, and we are focused on helping our customers continue to operate their businesses in a safe environment.”
There is already digital technology in the marketplace for auctions, however REA Group CEO Owen Wilson says agents and buyers also have other paths of negotiation they can take.
“It may become more common place for agents to use expressions of interest and private treaty methods to support buyers and sellers as an alternative to traditional auctions,” he says.
Wilson adds, thus far, it’s hard to know how COVID-19 will impact the property market, but there’s no doubt there will be some impact on the confidence of buyers and sellers.b
“Just how far that goes, remains to be seen.
“While realestate.com.au has started to see a bit of a drop in search activity generally, activity to the Buy section of realestate.com.au is up 8% on last year, while clearance rates over the weekend remained strong.
“The banks are still lending; they have access to a $90 billion stimulus package from the RBA and the interest rates have never been lower and we have been told they will be staying low for a very long time.”
Originally published as Open-for-inspections go online as property market shifts to virtual