BUYERS still active in the Geelong property market should be reassured homes will continue to trade despite bans on auctions and open homes, agents say.
Virtual inspections and online bidding platforms have come into their own as local agents grapple with strict social distancing measures.
Some got on the front foot last weekend, introducing live streams of inspections and auctions, with buyers able to bid remotely from the safety of their couch.
Many auctions scheduled for this Saturday have switched to private sales, although McGrath, Geelong agent David Cortous said his office planned at this stage to live stream the call of its two auctions from outside the properties, without bidders or a crowd.
Potential buyers have to register with the agency to bid remotely through Auction Now.
Mr Cortous said many peopled tuned in for the first trial of the technology on Saturday.
He said the agency would continue to run auctions remotely this way, either from the properties, or an office type location if legislation changed.
“It came across really well,” he said.
“You can bid from your phone and the penciller, who normally has a pen and paper, has an iPad.
“As a bid comes in they actually put it into the system and if someone is at home they can bid.”
McGrath is among many Geelong agencies that have already adopted the online bidding platform Openn Negotiation.
It allows qualified buyers to put forward offers from the first day of a campaign, with all bids visible online for the competition to see.
“The world has changed dramatically very, very quickly but real estate is resilient,” Mr Cortous said.
“We are still listing and we are still selling. Real estate is not a short-term investment, it’s a medium to long-term investment.”
Realestate.com.au yesterday launched a new digital inspections feature for properties listed for sale or rent.
Newtown agent Dale Whitford said it would give buyers the options of doing a virtual walk-though or they could still arrange a traditional private inspection.
“Properties will still transact,” Mr Whitford said.
Bellarine Property had promising results after switching its 50 scheduled open homes to live streams last weekend to protect vendors and buyers.
Bellarine Property, Barwon Heads agent Levi Turner said with 40 per cent of its buyers coming from outside the area, the early call made sense.
“Over 550 people watched those and out of that four private inspections have been picked up,” Mr Turner said.