Things are evolving at a rapid pace right now in real estate.
On the eve of the four day public holiday weekend, Consumer Affairs issued a ban on Victorian real estate agents conducting inspections of tenanted or occupied properties.
The new rules state that a vendor must permanently vacate a home before allowing any inspections, whilst landlords will require a current tenant to have moved out before allowing prospective new tenants or potential buyers to view their property.
Agents can attend an occupied property alone to film a virtual inspection as long as only one person enters a place occupied by people who reside in the same premises.
Only homes that are vacant can be inspected.
But this also presents a wrinkle as whilst a real estate agent is clearly doing their job to show a home, the buyer is not. They therefore contravene the four reasons you are allowed out of your house, being food and supplies, medical care and care giving, exercise and work or education. If stopped by the police they will be fined.
Additionally, there is no exemption for tenants or occupants to leave their home to allow inspections.
People like to "try before they buy"
Be you a prospective buyer or tenant looking for a new home, most people like to see what you are getting before you sign on the dotted line.
Would you be confident paying hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars to buy a home that had not been seen personally by you or a trusted ally? For most, the answer is a firm no.
What does this mean for the real estate industry?
The likelihood is that real estate sales will be impacted drastically.
Agents were already using virtual inspections tools but in the majority, people still want to personally inspect a home. Only time will tell how deep that impact will be.
Independently inspecting homes for you
For many years I have worked with clients located interstate and overseas.
Those clients rely on our expertise to assess a home on their behalf.
We walk through the home, take photos and videos and provide an honest, unbiased assessment of a home based on their personal circumstances and wish list.
This is not a new concept for us and we are here to support you as we most forward through these trying circumstances together.
We continue to offer our clients our pre-purchase inspection service.
We also provide our clients with pre-settlement final inspections. So if you have already purchased but are yet to settle, we are here to support you too.
We are in this together
As things evolve and constantly change, what remains important is to stay calm and follow the guidelines to protect those we love.
Remember, we are here to support you, whatever that may look like. Stay safe.