22 September 2021

Looking to sell? Don't let a pandemic hold you back

| Katrina Condie
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The property market remains hot, despite COVID-19 lockdowns in Canberra.

The property market remains hot, despite COVID-19 lockdowns in Canberra. Photo: Independent Property Group.

Canberra real estate agents are looking forward to a second weekend of private real estate inspections after restrictions were eased last Saturday (18 September).

For the first few weeks of lockdown, agents had been restricted to virtual walkthroughs and extensive use of images that satisfied some buyers but left others uncertain about whether they should proceed with a major investment.

Real estate agents are now back conducting in-person inspections by private appointment, although only household members will be permitted to attend an appointment with one agent. All parties must wear a mask and check in.

Independent Belconnen principal Matt Peden said the changes will benefit both buyers and sellers.

With photographers and building inspectors also now permitted in homes, Matt said the changes to inspection are another step in the right direction for the property industry.

However, despite a relaxing of the rules, Matt says some property owners remain hesitant about listing right now.

He said anyone thinking of selling during the lockdown should be reassured by the current processes and trust their agent’s local knowledge and expertise.

“The market is still red hot and there is a shortage of stock, so it’s still a fantastic time to sell,” he said.

“Online auctions are going ahead – with great results – and there are a number of ways to conduct online or virtual appraisals without having to attend the property, so vendors can rest assured they’re in good hands.”

READ ALSO: Buying off the plan can be a stepping stone to your forever home

Matt says there is no excuse to delay listing your home for sale, with virtual, contact-free appraisals proving a valuable real estate tool during COVID lockdowns.

Independent has an online appraisal request form to get an instant estimate for their property which can be followed up with a sales consultant for more detail.

Agents can meet with vendors via Zoom or Teams hook-ups, with listing information provided using slides and visual aids while they’re talked through the selling process from listing to settlement.

“We’ve had to adapt our appraisal tools for Zoom meetings and, with our market knowledge and comprehensive market data in front of them, most people are confident to list their homes for sale,” Matt said.

“When it comes to viewing the home for the appraisal, we have a number of options that we’re using, including live Facetime or video walk-throughs on the owner’s device. People can send us photos or, if they don’t have access to technology, they can ask a family member to help out.

“We’re now allowed to attend the property to give access to a photographer as well, which gives us another chance to view the property.”

Matt says Independent agents can also offer remote, kerb-side style appraisals based on Google Earth images and past sales; however, the research is often not timely given the fast-moving, booming market.

“We can give people a range, considering whether the property is in good or excellent condition and based on sales over the past three months,” he said.

“But even then, because of the strong market, the figure we’re giving them is probably the worst-case scenario – unless the property is in really bad shape.”

While it’s not business as usual due to COVID restrictions, Matt says, outstanding results are being achieved because of the high demand for property in Canberra, and with the return of one-on-one inspections, he believes those thinking of selling will now be more confident to enter the market.

READ ALSO: Limited real estate inspections resume, boosting buyer and seller confidence

“This is certainly a massive confidence boost for any vendors hesitant to sell their properties virtually,” he said.

With online auctions and pre-auction sales still achieving record prices – often within days of listing – Matt says it’s an interesting time to be in real estate.

“Handing those keys over and seeing the buyer’s faces on settlement day is not the same, but it’s still very exciting,” he added.

Contact Independent Property Group to request a contactless, virtual appraisal or find out how to list your home for sale in the hot Canberra market.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.

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