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Pent-up demand expected under Level 3, says realty boss

Owner of Century 21 New Zealand, Tim Kearins, says under Level 3 property viewings can happen by private appointment with restrictions.

“With most of the country set to go into Level 3, our agents south of the Bombay Hills are anticipating they’ll see quite a bit of pent-up demand,” says one New Zealand real estate boss.

Owner of Century 21 New Zealand, Tim Kearins, says his agency is looking forward to safely turning a lot of enquiries during Level 4 into some measured action.

“New Zealand’s real estate sector has operated very safely and effectively in Level 3 before. For at least most of the country, we’re looking forward to doing so again,” he says.

Traditionally, Level 3 means auctions can take place online or via phone bidding. Property viewings can happen by private appointment and with restrictions, as can pre-settlement inspections, settlements and moving house.

Discussions with agents on agreements, marketing and the listing process must occur via teleconference or over the phone, not in person. Property appraisals by agents, however, can happen with strict protocols in place but ideally should be carried out remotely.

Mask wearing, social distancing, strict hygiene practices and contact tracing requirements will also firmly feature.

Mr Kearins says Century 21’s website and listings have enjoyed some great traffic during the nationwide Level 4 lockdown over the past fortnight.

“Our agents have been fielding plenty of enquiries about listings and giving virtual appraisals via video calls. However, Level 3 will be when many buyers feel more comfortable to make decisions.

“Although it will take an appointment, with strict protocols in place, buyers will at least be able to view properties in person. That will make a real difference to seeing more transactions inked,” he says.

The Century 21 leader says lockdowns have proven that a property’s online marketing is more important than ever.

He says the likes of drone footage, video walk throughs, virtual tours, floor plans, stunning photographs and a strong social media presence are critical when prospective buyers are largely house bound.

With the number of competing listings at record low levels, interest rates at rock bottom, but prices still very strong, this spring will prove a great time to market your property, he believes.

“Real estate under Level 3 is very doable and so we’re expecting a busy time. This spring could be the sweet spot for those selling with demand still high but supply incredibly low. With these dynamics, I wouldn’t be waiting until summer to sell. I’d be listing right now,” says Tim Kearins.

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