In the height of the lockdown home opens were banned across the state, and even when they recommenced it was with smaller numbers, with private inspections the only way to go for some buyers.
Now with eased restrictions in place, things have started to return to normal, according to Realty Lane Director and Property Consultant Daniel Gonzalez.
“We have found the property market go back to normality since the COVID-19 restrictions were eased in Western Australia, and with a rise in buyer activity we are noticing an increase in the number of buyers attending our properties,” he said.
“For example, we had a new property launch last weekend which saw 24 groups through the first viewing.”
Mr Gonzalez said part of this was because of the precautions and hygiene practices put in place by agents.
“All Realty Lane agents ensure safety and care is taken at our home opens, and we have found that consumers are happy to attend home opens again,” he said. “We are not experiencing any concerns from the public.”
However, Mr Gonzalez said whether or not a property was better suited to a home open or a private inspection really came down to the property itself.
“Both private inspections and home opens are successful,” he said.
“As an agent, you just need to make a decision as to which option will be more effective for the campaign and your client.
“It becomes more of a strategic decision to ensure we are creating competition and leverage to get the best outcome for the seller.
“More often than not, we find that this is best achieved through a home open.”
Mr Gonzalez said home opens might be an easier way to go if you were selling.
“We don’t find that there is an advantage in having private inspections versus home opens, if anything, we find home opens are more convenient and easier for the seller when you factor in the time and energy they spend in getting the property ready for inspections,” he said.
However, for buyers, private inspections can be a worthy tool in the arsenal.
“Private inspections are a great tool when we are representing architectural properties that require us to share with the buyer an insight into the detail and ethos behind the design,” Mr Gonzalez said.
“By arranging private inspections, we can ensure we personally educate and enhance the buyer’s connection and understanding of the property through this experience.”
One aspect that has changed, however, is people’s awareness of off-market properties, according to Mr Gonzalez.
“We are finding that buyer’s ready to buy now are personally contacting us to get access to off-market properties and wanting to view properties before the rest of the market,” he said.