Client Update | 22 July 2021

22 July 2021

Here are some important updates on the latest restrictions and how they are impacting the real estate industry. While we don’t have all the answers from Government departments and Fair Trading, we want to assure you that we will always do what is right by our clients, while staying within the current guidelines.

Click on the image below to listen to John Cunningham’s latest video update, or alternatively you can read the transcript below.

Hi, it’s John Cunningham with this week’s update on what’s happening in the Northern Beaches’ real estate scene, particularly around the COVID-19 restrictions that have just been announced early this week. So, we’re hard at work, trying to work our way through those orders to make sure that we can provide our clients with the absolute best advice possible. There’s one word that keeps popping up at the moment in relation to those orders, and that’s the ambiguous nature of some of them. What we’re seeing is that the orders are concentrating on what you are allowed to do, but they’re also therefore leaving a lot of things open-ended as to what you’re not allowed to do. So, it’s been a bit of a minefield for us over the last few days, trying to work through that and get clarity from Government as to what is and what isn’t permissible.

One thing we do know is that we can continue to show perspective buyers or prospective tenants through properties, whether they’re occupied or unoccupied. Clearly that is dependent upon the owners or the tenants’ permission to do so. We want to make that absolutely clear. The other thing we know that we definitely can do is we can exchange contracts. With all those normal things, people can move, they can go from one home to the other. All those legal facilitations can take place. The areas that we’re uncertain around at the moment in relation to the health order is around the maintenance repairs to property that are of an urgent nature or critical nature, and also the maintenance repairs of properties that can be unoccupied, that aren’t occupied, and we, therefore, have permission to prepare those properties for sale.

Now that still leaves a big black hole in relation to whether we can actually have photography done, whether we can have styling done, and all the things that go along with third-party people entering your property. Now clearly, number one decision on that is the owner or the tenant’s decision to allow those things to happen. But we’re going through a process now trying to get clarity from fair trading and from Services New South Wales on those things, because as a business, we’re very, very compliant with what we do. We want to make sure we have a hundred percent compliance and that’s always been our policy. So, the big question is, who is allowed and not allowed in your home? To some people, it’s black and white, and to others, it’s completely grey. So, we really want to make sure that when we provide our clients with the best possible advice, we have that as qualified advice from Government department.

So, there are plenty of questions in the community as to why real estate can still be able to do what it’s doing, and we certainly don’t want to abuse that privilege at the moment. So, stay tuned. As soon as we get further information on that, we will be updating our marketplace. But some great news, over the last three weeks, we’ve sold 30 properties. And again, it’s an amazing outcome through a lockdown to see that happening. But we’ve got fully engaged buyers, we’ve leased I think now 15 to 16 properties in the last two weeks, a little bit slower than the sales environment, but still plenty of activity there. So, people are still keen to make those buying decisions and those leasing decisions and people are keen to sell. So, I think when you marry those two together and we get down to the real nitty gritty of who the clear buyers are in the marketplace, I think we’re doing a great job in making sure that we maximize those opportunities for our buyers and sellers.

So folks, stay tuned. We will update as more things come to hand, but I wish you all the best through these trying times. Stay positive. We know we will come out of it the other end, we know that we will beat this thing if we all pull together and we all comply with those health orders. I’m sure we will get there in a very positive way. Thanks again.