The Covid-19 lockdown has impacted the real estate market but that doesn’t mean there’s no activity at all. Stay informed with these essential property tips
As we all retreat into our homes for the four-week coronavirus lockdown, the importance of our own private sanctuary is highlighted as never before. The real estate market like all businesses in New Zealand will be affected by the closure of everything other than essential services, however that’s not to say that the shutters have gone down and there will be no activity in the market at all.
Those who have recently negotiated to buy or sell a property and have yet to finalise the sale should discuss the next steps with their lawyers. The Ombudsman has put legal processes in place to ensure that conveyancing will not be affected and still go smoothly, and it is essential that you check on these provisions and keep fully informed.
Talk to agents
Real estate agencies have been preparing protocols in accordance with level 4, and are set up to work from home using technology that means that they can negotiate and complete sales contracts online without any need for personal contact.
Buyers who have inspected properties that have already been extensively marketed and are keen on taking the next step towards purchasing should ring their real estate agents to discuss how to proceed.
All open homes have been cancelled but many agents have the facilities to take you on a conversational virtual tour to answer any questions you may have about the house layout, chattels, etc, which you would normally clarify with another inspection.
Individual agents will update you on selling procedures.
If you had been anticipating selling your property over the next few months, you can get an online appraisal. Many agents specialise in particular areas so can still give you an accurate idea of what your property is worth, and how it sits in the local market.
Do your research
For those looking to buy in the near future there are still many properties listed and this is the perfect time to fully acquaint yourself with the market. Use the extra time to look at what’s available not just in your preferred areas, but also widen your search to see what surrounding suburbs may offer in terms of value for money, facilities and amenities.
Now that we are all spending most of our time at home it’s an ideal opportunity to assess how your present house works for you and your family and establish your priorities when looking for a new home.
Prep your home
And if you are wanting to list your property, all that time freed up from not attending sports games, visiting family or going out with friends can be well utilised around the house. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to make the average home its well-presented best to take to market. There are many jobs you can start on such as tidying up the garden, clearing gutters and making small repairs outside.
Inside you can start on a Marie Kondo mission and get on with de-cluttering. Assess your priorities for work that will need help from tradesmen later on. Take an objective look at the décor – what needs a coat of paint, rearranging furniture for good traffic flow, easy ways to give rooms a quick makeover. You can search the internet for inspiration, look at what’s available online and be ready to put it all in place once restrictions have been lifted.
Words by: Sarah Beresford. Photography by: Bauer Syndication, Georgeclerk/Getty Images.