Inspections by appointment, a safe and simple answer

Date: 14 Sep 20

Media Release

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria is calling on Government to allow one-on-one inspections of properties to help save many Victorians from financial distress and homelessness.
When people sell, buy or rent a property, they are making some of the most significant financial decisions of their lives. Often these decisions are made from necessity. The REIV is seeing firsthand the financial devastation many people are facing when they cannot sell their asset.
The REIV is calling on Government to allow one-on-one private inspections by appointment so that people can physically see the property before they commit to a considerable investment. Without inspections, buying and leasing cannot proceed, keeping many people out of appropriate housing and pushing many vendors and investors to the brink.

One-on-one inspections with an agent will allow people to buy/ sell/ lease under COVID-Safe guidelines. The industry already has measures and protocols in place to ensure safety of all involved and has already done this during stage 3.

These measures include; only one person at a property with an agent to supervise and assist, disinfecting and cleaning before and after inspection, face coverings, no touching of surfaces during the inspection and importantly ease of contact tracing as contact details of every person inspecting the property are available with the agent.

There is no dispute that the health and safety of the community is a priority, and the roadmap out of the lockdown must ensure the safety of all Victorians. However, the impact on the mental and financial well-being of people is being ignored. People who have saved and invested in an asset like property are unable to sell or lease to tide over these difficult times.

The real estate industry, on behalf of all impacted Victorians, asks that you allow real estate transactions to resume in a safe and measured way.

Emma Nicholls, Mother of 2, Property Seller: “We are a family with two kids under 4. We sold our house a few months ago with a long settlement period and the expectation of buying soon. We support and respect the need to keep Victorians safe, but the extended restrictions make it impossible to inspect and purchase a home. Our sale settlement is coming up soon and we have nowhere to go. As a family of 4 with a houseful of furniture, I can’t imagine how stressful and unsettling it’s going to be for everyone when we have nowhere appropriate to live.”

Comments attributable to Gil King:

“We understand that the larger gatherings at public auctions and open houses are a risk. That is not what we are asking for.  Private one on one inspections are absolutely safe.”

“While online auctions can occur, they simply aren’t because people cannot see the house they want to buy.  The Victorian property market has come to a standstill with zero auctions over the weekend.”

This is about people, buyers, vendors and tenants alike. Allowing private inspections means that the market will be ready for revival when the time is right.”
Comments attributable to Leah Calnan:

“The real estate industry has been prepared with systems, processes and procedures to allow safe inspections by appointment.”

“We see everyday the impact this hard lockdown is having on our tenants and owners; we cannot expect people to lease or buy without seeing the property.”

“It will be a legal nightmare to have someone buy or rent and then want to exit the contract when they eventually see the property.”

Media contact: Andrew Kilmartin – 0418 395 346