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How Coronavirus Has Changed Real Estate Forever

20 October, 2020 / Category: Blog

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by Lauren Staley

Covid-19 has changed real estate for the foreseeable future. Here are some of my observations on what things look like from the inside.

It will come as no surprise that the world of Victorian real estate is dramatically more difficult to navigate than it was before Covid-19. As an industry, we were granted an early mark on being able to offer one-on-one inspections but even this process has its implications.

Higher buyer qualification is the first. Agents only have the time to chaperone genuine interest. Unlike a ‘normal’ open for inspection where agents may see up to 30 parties, now agents are focusing on 4 to 8 groups each week. There’s fewer people but it’s still far more time consuming and arduous for the agents’ part, and translates to them taking good offers early.

This results in the second implication that we’re witnessing, which is shorter campaign times. The underlying trepidation that exists in everyone from agents to vendors and buyers, is showing up in this new sensibility of ‘anything goes’. Auctions, expressions of interest and private sales are not operating in a ‘business as usual’ way – properties could sell any day from the time they’re listed and advertised.

As an example, two properties we were due to inspect were listed as ‘under offer’ the morning of the scheduled inspection – they’d only been advertised less that seven days beforehand for online auction. Nervousness is driving the desire to wrap things up quickly.

While I appreciate that many hate an auction, it is the most transparent way of buying a property. The current situation is removing that transparency, which is a big part of why I was driven to write this article. Buyers need to know the game – the climate that they’re buying into – and how to play it. It is different. Who knows for how long. Buyers need to know how to ask the right questions of agents to get the best results.

Less transparency can be frustrating for buyers, as in the above example, but it can go the other way too. We also recently secured a home for a client pre auction with one offer and the agent didn’t look for other interest.

If you’re looking to buy, or know someone who is – get in contact. Our knowledge and experience of working through this time has given us great insight into how to be strategic in the current climate, which is a long way away from what we’d consider ‘business as usual’.

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