10 Sep 2021

REBAA supports Victoria's cry for one-on-one property inspections

Victorian buyer’s advocates are warning of bank valuation shortfalls impacting buyers who are basing their appraised price on virtual inspections.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) President Cate Bakos said many buyers and vendors were in a difficult or desperate position to buy and sell, resorting to virtual inspections as their only option.

REBAA has thrown its support behind the REIV’s ‘Locked down & Locked out’ campaign launched this week calling on the State Government to ease restrictions and allow one-on-one property inspections for consenting property buyers and sellers.

Ms Bakos warned home buyers could be signing up to significant losses if they later choose to relist their home on the market, when allowing for stamp duty and selling costs.

“Limited ability to conduct analysis from an in-person inspection could result in a buyer missing some important compromises in the dwelling,” she said.

“A bank valuer could feel differently about the buyer’s appraised price from their virtual inspection. Banks may take issue with the price paid, and we could see valuation shortfalls impacting purchase attempts.”

Melbourne buyer’s agent Mark Errichiello said the one-on-one private inspection method had been successfully tested during 2020 without any known adverse effects on the community.

He said the proposal to allow inspections in person at vacant, unoccupied properties once the 70 per cent vaccination threshold had been reached, was too limiting.

“It only provides access to 5-10 per cent of the market at best. People need choice, it contradicts affordable housing efforts,” said Mr Errichiello.

“Housing is an essential service. We need, air, water, food and shelter to live. Removing the choice on shelter puts people in a compromised and distressed position. 

“Many landlords are also frustrated with vacancy loss due to a reduced market and extended days online with minimal number of tenants willing to act remotely based on virtual tours and images alone as the only option.”