The NSW government are easing restrictions for real estate, with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announcing that in-person Auctions and Open For Inspections are allowed. This is a great sign that the industry has done well to adhere to the restrictions up until now, but the job isn't done yet, and now is not the time to test the patience of government or authorities.
So what does it mean for opens and auctions? The media release by NSW Treasury defines the expectations on agents during these events. For opens and auctions, our advice is to still act in the same way as private inspections as much as possible.
- Minimise inspections to the maximum number of people that you can manage and supervise in the property at one time. Suggest that occupants or owners not be at the property during inspections
- Minimise the need for doors to be opened i.e. keep all room doors open through the house so people do not need to use door handles
- Have disposable gloves and hand sanitizer available. People can sanitize their hands upon entering and then use the disposable gloves if they require to open anything. Another option is that only you open doors/drawers/windows
- Email flyers and other information to people and don’t use print outs if you still do
- Clean the premises afterwards, especially the areas that you or the participants have touched
- Make sure that you make it clear to all participants that if they are unwell the inspection will not go ahead
- Use digital platforms where possible to discourage physical contact
- Register everyone that is turning up for inspections/auctions. Keep these records for future reference. It might even be best if you require that anyone pre-registers with you before being allowed to come to an inspection or auction
- Always remember the 4sqm rule per person at auctions and inspections
- If anyone is showing symptoms of illness upon arrival, they should not be admitted
- For outdoor auctions, try and do them in an area that you can control who is coming in to the property
The onus is on you to manage the people at these events. Agencies, as a business, will incur much higher fines from the authorities than individuals. We believe that any penalties and their amounts, up to $55,000 for a business breach, will be a direct correlation to how well you have attempted to make sure that you and the participants adhere to the rules in place.
With these being the first lot of restrictions to be eased, the industry and how we perform, will be under intense scrutiny, and any misstep by a few could cause the restrictions to be re-introduced.
EAC will continue to monitor the situation and as more information and direction is provided, we will work with our partners to provide our members with guidance on these issues as much as possible.
The EAC Team