The NSW property market will welcome the return of open homes and on-site auctions from 9 May, 2020. Traditional property inspections and on-site auctions will be allowed to be held after a six-week ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing restrictions. 

The return of open homes and on-site auctions

The state’s success in limiting the spread of the Coronavirus has allowed the return of traditional open home inspections and on-site auctions but Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, and Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, are warning there’s no room for complacency and community safety and social distancing must be maintained. “The real estate industry has been adaptable in transitioning to online auctions, property inspections by appointment or online, and now as we make the move back to a more normal mode of operation we must ensure safety measures such as social distancing remain a key part of the process,” said Mr Perrottet. 

What does this mean for me as a buyer?

If you’re hunting for a home, it means you’ll no longer have to rely solely on digital inspections, and will now be able to attend an open home without having to negotiate a private inspection. In order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, you will need to follow social distancing guidelines. We ask that you only attend an open home inspection of a property that you’re truly interested in. This will help us limit the number of people inside a property and maintain social distancing. If you’re planning on bidding at an auction for a property, you will be able to do so in the traditional way. Again, we recommend not attending the on-site auction unless you’re interested in the property. 

Does this change anything for me as a vendor?

The return to traditional open homes and on-site auctions is likely to increase competition in the market and help increase buyer confidence. Real Estate Institute of NSW chief executive Tim McKibbin, said the easing of the restrictions will give the industry a boost. “The market has been severely impacted by Covid-19 in the sense it has frozen … activity has been in hibernation,” he said. “Relaxing (the restrictions) could mean stronger competition for property.” As prospective buyers will be allowed to inspect your property in person, we will maintain strict cleaning and social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. 

How we’re helping to maintain social distancing during an open home and auction

Minister Hazzard said measures must be taken to ensure the safety of home buyers, vendors and real estate agents as traditional face-to-face inspections and auctions return. Keeping in line with social distancing guidelines, we’ll be limiting the number of people viewing a property and attending an on-site auction, as well as following cleaning and safety guidelines and providing hand sanitiser to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. We will also keep a record of anyone attending an inspection or auction in case contact tracing is needed, hold auctions outside where possible, and consider extending the viewing times for inspections to allow all interested buyers to attend in limited numbers. 

While attending an open home, we ask that you continue to follow to the following social distancing guidelines: 

  • Maintaining physical distance of 1.5m
  • Practising good hygiene when inspecting property or at an auction, including using hand sanitiser and covering coughs and sneezes. 
  • Use digital platforms where possible to limit the amount of physical contact you need to make.
  • Avoid open homes and auctions if you have symptoms of illness. 
  • Avoid touching surfaces inside properties to limit contamination of the property. 

While traditional open homes and on-site auctions have been given the green light to return, we ask that you continue to follow the guidelines provided to continue preventing the spread of the Coronavirus and protect home owners and other interested buyers.