Relieved Perth real estate agents plan home opens for this weekend
Perth real estate agents are breathing a sigh of relief after the West Australian government included WA government home opens and display village inspections involving up to 10 people among newly permitted gatherings.
In recent weeks, pre-booked private viewings with agents have been the only inspections allowed.
Chanel Majeks, a sales representative for Fremantle’s Dethridge Groves, said the agency had been using videos, videoconferencing appointments and private inspections and was perhaps better placed to do so than some other agents because it had always catered for a strong contingent of east coast buyers.
But while there had been a lot of activity showing people were accessing the online resources, this hadn’t translated into many bookings for private viewings, particularly for higher-end homes.
She said there was no underestimating the importance of people feeling comfortable to attend home opens, so the easing of restrictions was warmly welcomed.
“There is always going to be an emphasis on letting people look through, get a feel for the home,” she said.
“Like anything that’s a big investment you want to know there is a good sense of where the property is, in proximity to local restaurants and things like that, how light works in the home, even … the height of fence tops for example, or where the storage is.
“People will always want to see that for themselves.”
Ms Majeks planned to speak with vendors by mid-week to organise home opens for this weekend.
Her team would be making hand sanitiser available, staggering the number of people coming into the property, encouraging people to avoid touching anything at the properties, and of course not to attend if they had been unwell.
They had also eliminated handing brochures out, or asking people to manually enter details on the register of attendees (which the state requires). Instead agents would enter attendees’ details directly on to their tablets to avoid any physical contact. All brochures and contracts would be sent electronically.
Real Estate Institute of WA President Damian Collins said with sales transactions sitting at a record low of less than 300 per week in Perth in recent weeks, this was positive news.
“There are many people who are still required to buy, sell or rent a property during the COVID-19 pandemic and this decision will help remove some of the limitations to viewing a property and will be a positive step in helping to increase transactions,” Mr Collins said.
“While Western Australia seems to be past the worst of the outbreak, we still take the current restrictions seriously and will be working closely with our members and the government to ensure that we do our part in helping to reduce the spread.
“The cautious relaxation in restrictions coupled with the announcement to provide rental assistance for those in financial stress, is most welcomed by REIWA and we hope this is the beginning of things starting to look up – not just for real estate but for the wider WA economy.”
REIWA looked forward to working with the State Government on other initiatives over the coming months in relation to COVID-19 support, including the Commercial Code of Conduct.