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Victoria's real estate professionals have pleaded with the Andrews government to allow one-on-one property inspections as the state continues to be locked down.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) said that by allowing one-on-one inspections made by appointment, many Victorians will be saved 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,” an open statement from the body said, adding that “without inspections, buying and leasing cannot proceed, keeping many people out of appropriate housing and pushing many vendors and investors to the brink”.
According to the REIV, one-on-one inspections with an agent will allow people to buy, sell and/or lease under COVID-safe guidelines.
The measures that were already in place by the industry in stage 3 of the lockdown include allowing 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 ease of contact tracing, with contact details of every person inspecting the property logged with the agent.
“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,” said REIV CEO Gil King.
“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.”
These latest calls from the REIV come after Victoria reported zero deaths for the first time in months on Tuesday, 15 September. That being said, case numbers increased, with 42 new cases reported that same day.
Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.