How to view property while social distancing
We all know our priority right now is to maintain social distancing. But while we all work together to stop the spread of Coronavirus, we know a lot of people are wondering how they can continue on their property journey – especially with the recent announcement around open homes.
Whether you were just starting to research and visit a few opens – or if you had been entrenched in the market for three months or more, here are our top tips for viewing and researching property in the current state of play.
- View properties online
The great thing about looking for property is that all properties are always listed online so you can get a solid understanding of the home, its features and location from simply viewing the listing on the real estate website or on property portals like Realestate.com.au or Domain.
“All properties that are for sale or lease are always listed on our website and on many of the other property portals, so you can get a really clear view of what the property is like just by scrolling these sites on your phone."
"Most listings include images, floorplans and often video tours of the home too so the listing alone gives you a really good understanding of whether the property matches your criteria,” says Nick Boyd, Head of Growth for Hockingstuart.
- Explore the suburb virtually
Typically, during the house hunting period, part of your research would include sussing out your would-be neighbourhood. But with the Government advice firmly encouraging us to stay home unless necessary to go out, you can also research suburbs using online guides and suburb search tools.
“Sitchu.com is a website that offers up to date suburb guides helping you to learn what its like to live, eat, drink and play in a suburb,” said Nick.
“It’s a great resource if you’re looking to move to a new suburb you don’t know much about, and it even offers a suburb search tool which can help you to find the ideal suburb to suit your lifestyle if you’re not sure where you’d like to move yet.”
- Virtual tours and FaceTime walk throughs
These days, a lot of properties offer virtual tours which can often just be viewed from the online listing page itself, but if not, many agents are now offering FaceTime or personalised video walk throughs to allow people to view the property from home.
“Obviously with the increasing sanctions around social distancing we have started using a number of new ways of showing our clients around properties while still ensuring they feel comfortable and safe.
“FaceTime or video is one such easy way many of our agents are still allowing people to look at property, without actually having to be there in the flesh,” says Nick.
- Private inspections
Private, by-appointment only inspections are still available and can be organised on a case by case basis. It’s important that all social distancing guidelines are followed during a private inspection though so prepare for things to be a little different.
“Across Hockingstuart we’re still offering private inspections, but all the same social distancing rules apply, meaning people viewing the house stay at a distance from the agent and can’t touch surfaces, etc. You also should not attend a private viewing at all if you are feeling unwell or have recently been overseas,” says Nick.
- Watch live auctions
Even though traditional auctions are no longer taking place, you can still get an idea of what’s happening in the property market and auctions around you by watching them live online. Some offices and agents are running live auctions via Facebook or other websites, so keep a lookout on your local agent’s social media pages.
“It’s amazing what we can do with social media these days. Although we are all working out how we work in this new normal, we want buyers to know that if they wish to buy, we are still here and all the technology is available to allow them to do so,” says Nick.
For more information on property and online viewing options in your area, please contact your local Hockingstuart office or agent.