The government has announced that from Tuesday 28th April New Zealand will move down to Level 3 of the Covid-19 Pandemic Alert Plan for at least two weeks, but what effect does this have on Real Estate?
Our offices remain closed but we have not stopped working for you.
Our staff will continue to work from our homes for the majority of time during Level 3 but will be able to access the branch office if required following the strict health and safety guidelines recommended by the Ministry of Health. Our salespeople will be able to conduct private viewings of properties and meet with clients to conduct appraisals. Our Property Managers will continue to manage rental properties, support landlords and tenants, and run private rental viewings by appointment only.
What is Property Brokers doing to keep our people, clients and communities safe during these challenging times?
We're following the advice from the Ministry of Health as well as the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. For more information on COVID-19, please refer to the Ministry of Health website.
We have the following procedures in place to give buyers and sellers as much confidence as possible in the current climate:
Level 3 restriction
We are responsibly adhering to the Ministry of Health guidelines and have planned how to continue to support our clients with great real estate service and solutions.
Where do I go to get current updates?
We are updating our website regularly and will be sending email updates to our customers as appropriate. We encourage customers to contact their salesperson, property manager or branch should they have any concerns or questions that they need to discuss. For up to date COVID-19 updates, please refer to the Ministry of Health's website health.govt.nz
Are you aware of the rules?
Residential Sales, Rural and Lifestyle Sales, Open homes and property viewings.
How are open homes being managed now?
Open homes can now be completed by private viewings or online via virtual tours and video conferencing software - which means that people can physically view a property by appointment only with the sales consultant, or, if they feel more comfortable in doing so, they can view online so they aren't required to leave their homes. Have a look at the listing you are interested in on our website to see high-quality photographs, floor plans as well as interactive tools and virtual tours. Speak to the salesperson by phone for more information and guidance.
These can still only take place via phone or online bidding methods during Level 3. Phone bidding is available as a usual option with all our auctions. Speak to your salesperson to make arrangements. If vendors don't want to sell by auction, there are other sale methods available; these include negotiation and tender - talk to us about how we can meet your needs.
During level 3, pre-settlement inspections can now take place and settlements can proceed if all parties are happy. As the travel restrictions have now eased slightly, purchasers and vendors who are moving into, or out of a property within the same region will be able to do so. The party's lawyers should make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this.
Tenanted and rural property sales
During level 3 physical property inspections can only occur by private appointment to reduce the number of people in the property at any one time. While settlement can occur, vendors and purchasers may encounter difficulties when trying to get mortgage instruction, Authority & Instruction as well as other legal forms signed and issued. Deferring settlement may still be the safest option. It would be advisable for all parties to seek and follow the advice of their lawyers.
Vendors and purchasers should talk to their financial services provider or bank in the first instance.
These still can be confirmed during Level 3 restriction, provided there is no travel outside of the region. A face-to-face meeting may occur, following strict guidelines and by maintaining social distancing at all times. If the condition(s) cannot be met during level 3, both buyers and sellers should take legal advice. The condition could be extended or the contract cancelled. Both parties’ lawyers will ensure that appropriate contract amendments are made to facilitate this.
Pre-settlement inspections can now take place in person following strict Health & Safety guidelines providing no travel outside of the region is required, or via video conferencing.
Anti Money Laundering
We believe there will be few cases where our ability to fulfil our obligations under the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Funding of Terrorism Act will be impacted by Level 3 restrictions. Should this occur, however, our salesperson or AML Compliance Officer will work with you to identify a workable solution.
For the latest Property Management updates, please click here.
Need to talk to someone to get some more information? Get in touch with us on 0800 367 5263 or contact us here.