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Real estate: Covid homebuying tactic that has changed real estate forever

Covid-19 has turned what was a ‘no-go’ buying tactic into a smart move that could give you the edge in purchasing your next home.

The pandemic has played a key role in creating a real estate market across the country we have never seen before and likely never will again.

But as we hopefully put the worst of Covid-19 behind us, with Sydney out of lockdown on Monday for what residents are being told is the last time, and Melbourne set to follow suit, some major components of the way things have become, will remain.

Ray Ellis, chief executive of First National, Australia’s third largest real estate agency, believes buyers and sellers’ willingness to ingratiate themselves with easier and expedited ways of transacting have change property in the country forever.

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This incredible home in Raby Bay was sold sight unseen.

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For more than $2.5m

A major part of that is the eagerness of property intenders to buy their new home ‘sight unseen’.

That’s right, Covid-19 has turned what was a ‘no-go’ buying tactic into a smart move that could give you the edge in purchasing your next home.

According to Mr Ellis, First National has witnessed a five-fold explosion in homebuyers not physically touring a property before purchase – a new state of play that is set to stay.

“Pre-Covid, if we were selling 20 houses in a certain suburb, maybe one of those might have been sight-unseen,” he said.

“But now we are selling four or five a month that way.”

“People just don’t want to miss out. When that new home is about family happiness or a key lifestyle driver, buyers are comfortable buying it without physically walking through it. Everyone has re-evaluated what is most important to them and if they find a house that fits the bill they are going after it.”

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This Yamba home on the NSW north coast was also bought sight unseen.

The rapid advance of technology, including FaceTime home tours, Google maps, online reviews of other houses sold in the same area, community blogs and cutting edge platforms such as, have made it simple for buyers to do their homework on their potential purpose and be comfortable and confident they have all bases covered.

The real estate industry’s take-up of technology has also made it easier for buyers and sellers to be confident in their life altering home moves.

“There are a myriad of online tools that work hand in glove with facilitating the transaction and our agents play a key role in that,” Mr Ellis said.

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A buyers stuck in Singapore bought this Cleveland, QLD home.

“The good agents know what prospective buyers are looking for when they are viewing a home online, the know how to present the home. We become your tour guide but also your friend. There’s also a whole raft of legislation and contracts to abide by and it’s also critical that the agent explains that.

“The traditional way of buying – you like the how the home looks from the street, you like the roses – that’s all gone. Agents have always been the local expert, but in the last five or six years agents have moved with technology. We didn’t know that Covid would come along but the technology we embraced as an industry put us in a great position to adjust.

Mr Ellis said that strengthen relationship with technology had helped to propel the rise in regional migration. Buyers, from interstate or overseas simply couldn’t look at numerous houses in person, hundreds or even thousands of kilometres from where they live, so they had to do so via the internet. And have felt comfortable and confident doing so.

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