10 Sep 2020

REBAA calls on Victorian premier to allow private inspections

Australia’s largest buyer advocacy group is calling on the Victorian premier to reconsider its position on lockdown restrictions so that private inspections can recommence in greater Melbourne.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) president Cate Bakos said Sunday’s announcement by premier Daniel Andrews to extend the Stage Four lockdown restrictions to October 26 had stunned many buyers and sellers alike.

“During the past five-weeks our case numbers have dropped significantly in our quest for suppression of case numbers, but it seems our premier now wants eradication of the virus completely,” said Ms Bakos.

“The real estate industry has essentially been on hold for almost six weeks now, with all physical buyer inspections banned. The prior Stage Three restrictions allowed buyers a strict one-on-one appointment, with full ID disclosure and mandatory protective safety wear a key requirement. Since Stage Four restrictions commenced almost six weeks ago, vendors have been unable to have any prospective purchasers inspect their homes.

“We’re calling on Premier Daniel Andrews to reconsider the Government’s position so inspections can recommence based on careful one-on-one appointments, with careful record keeping of every buyer inspecting and PPE wearing mandated.”

Ms Bakos said buyers would be broadly unwilling and unwise to consider purchasing a property from a video inspection only.

“It’s not fair to rely on this type of decision-making,” she said.

“There are many buyers and sellers out there caught in the crossfire who have bought and sold, now needing to transact in order to avoid financial losses or homelessness, who are very distressed.

“Some have time pressures and are facing significant potential financial losses. We just don’t understand how it isn’t safe to carefully coordinate a one-on-one inspection with strict safety precautions, yet it’s safe for two baristas behind a bench to serve hundreds of coffees per day to customers who can queue up. The rules seem incongruent.”

Ms Bakos said she hoped it would be less than seven weeks that physical property inspections resumed and urged homebuyers to be patient.