As New Zealand is back under the Covid-19 Alert Levels we are following the advice and regulations from our industry leaders and what this will mean for us, our clients and our customers.
All of our real estate agents are well versed and up to date on happenings in our industry and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the information below.
Alert Level 3 – Auckland
If a virtual appraisal is not possible, agents who can comply with the strict health requirements may visit a property to conduct an appraisal if the vendor and any tenants agree.
All discussions about marketing plans, disclosures and how the listing will progress must be by phone or video call to minimise personal contact.
Marketing a Property
Professionals (for example, photographers, videographers of home stagers) who visit the property must comply with strict health requirements. If the property is tenanted, the tenants approval is required.
It is recommended that the property’s occupants are not present when the professional visits.
Another option is for vendors to take their own photos and videos of the property, but this should be discussed with your agent first.
All discussions regarding the agency agreement or the sales and purchase agreement must be done remotely.
Contracts must be signed electronically. Contactless pickup or delivery for the contract can be used if absolutely necessary.
Open Homes/Private viewings
Open homes are not allowed at alert level 3.
Prospective buyers should view a property online (for example, by video) wherever possible. If this isn’t possible or practical, private viewings are allowed at alert level 3 under strict conditions.
Professionals Visiting the Property
Professionals (for example, building inspectors, valuers and engineers) can visit a property to conduct activities that cannot be carried out remotely. If the property is tenanted, the tenant’s approval is required.
Professionals may only visit a property to do an inspection if that inspection is a condition of an offer that has been accepted by the vendor.
Professionals who visit the property must comply with the health requirements set out by the REA & REINZ as well any industry-specific or government guidance relevant to their role.
Auctions can only take place by phone or online bidding methods.
A pre-settlement inspection can take place. Buyers must meet all health requirements when visiting the property.
If the property is tenanted, the tenants approval is required.
Buyers and sellers can move house if they follow the government guidance – https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19/how-were-uniting/
Moves can occur between regions at level 3.
A later settlement date is recommended where possible.
Vendors/purchasers should talk to their bank or financial services provider in the first instance.
These can still be confirmed during lockdown provided no travel/face-to-face meetings are required.
If the condition(s) cannot be met during the Alert Level 3 period, then both the buyer and seller should take legal advice and either extend the condition until after the lockdown period or cancel the contract.
The party’s lawyers will make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this.
Switching selling methods
If you wish to switch selling methods for example switch from an auction to private tender during lockdown, please seek guidance from your real estate agent and lawyer as to whether and how this can be facilitated.
Alert Level 2 – Outside of Auckland
Your options if you’re selling or thinking about selling during COVID-19 alert level 2
Alert level 2 is getting closer to business as usual, but there are still important considerations around hygiene, physical distancing between people and being able to trace anyone you have been in contact with.
For general information about the current COVID-19 situation, please visit covid19.govt.nz.
Summary of activity at alert level 2
- You can hold open homes, private viewings and auctions at alert level 2 if requirements for gatherings, hygiene, physical distancing and contact tracing are followed.
- Property inspectors, valuers, engineers and tradespeople can visit properties at any time during alert level 2, with the consent of the property occupants.
- During alert level 2, buyers and sellers can move house (including between regions).
- If you’re selling a tenanted property, you may be affected by the new protections against terminations during this time. For more information, visit the Tenancy Services
- You can find information about staying safe and well at alert level 2 on the govt.nz website.
The following alert level 2 health guidelines must be adhered to, always.
- Keep at least 2 metres away from anyone you don’t know, both inside and outside.
- People shouldn’t visit your property if the occupants are unwell, are self-isolating or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
- Limit the number of people visiting your property at the same time to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
- Your agent must collect the full contact details of everyone who is visiting your property in case these are needed for contact tracing.
- If you are an at-risk person (for example, you are over 70 or have a pre-existing medical condition), you are encouraged to do as much as you can by phone or video call rather than in person.