COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
These are general FAQ references. Your salesperson or property manager is available to answer further questions. This is not meant as legal advice and we recommend consulting your lawyer as required.
At Harcourts, our priority is supporting our clients and the community throughout this challenging time. In order to help you understand the current state of play and make informed property related decisions, we have put together a series of frequently asked questions for your reference.
No physical public auctions can be called whilst we are in alert level 4. If you have an auction scheduled during this time, your sales consultant will have been in contact to make alternative arrangements.
Property viewings & open homes:
These are not considered essential services so cannot take place in person during the lockdown. Online viewings are possible.
In lockdown, vendors and purchasers will not be able to move in and out of their houses. For this reason, The Auckland District Law Society is recommending that settlements be deferred until after the Alert Level 4 restriction is lifted. We recommend you contact your lawyer to make the appropriate arrangements if you have not already done so. Please note that our finance team along with most lawyers will be working through this period – the problem occurs with being unable to complete final inspections and unable for occupants to move during level 4 status.
Making an offer:
In most cases this will still be possible using online signature tools such as REINZ’s flexisign.
Conditional contracts can still be confirmed during lockdown, however should a condition not be able to be met due to the lockdown (e.g. if a physical inspection is required to complete a building report), then seek the advice of your legal representative to either extend the conditions or cancel the contract.
Should I keep my property on the market?
Absolutely… you’re about to have the benefit of a captive audience – people living in lockdown. Some will be discovering their current home does not fit them anymore, so they will be looking online…we will make sure we have your property looking good for them to view. Our sales teams will be building registers of all parties who enquire ready to show through your property as soon as life after lockdown begins.
Can I still get my property appraised?
We are unable to offer market appraisals by physically viewing your property, while in Level 4 Lockdown. However, we are able to offer you a virtual consultation without needing to physically visit your home. We can do this via FaceTime, Zoom and various other live streaming platforms, combined with information we have access to online for your property.
We welcome you to contact us, we can provide you with information as required. A physical inspection of the property will then need to be carried out once we are able to.
How is paperwork signed remotely?
We already use digital contracts to facilitate sales in a seamless manner and will continue to do so throughout this time.
What are you going to do to mitigate the risk of exposure to Coronavirus during private inspections of properties?
We will be exercising the utmost care when it comes to hygiene, social distancing practices and Government regulations when hosting private inspections of properties, once we are able to.
We will put the following procedures in place:
- Maintaining healthy social distancing (at least 2m)
- Keeping attendees at the appointment to a minimum
- Advising attendees to refrain from touching surfaces within the property where possible
We also request buyers refrain from attending an inspection of an unoccupied property if they have:
- Tested positive to, or have symptoms associated with Coronavirus
- Recently been in contact with someone diagnosed with Coronavirus
- Recently been overseas or agreed to any self-isolation conditions
How do the current circumstances change the way my property would be marketed?
At Harcourts, our agents are committed to providing our clients with a tailored marketing strategy regardless of the current market conditions or challenges the community is facing. We will ensure your property is given every opportunity to be seen by all potential buyers through a tailored marketing campaign. It is now more important than ever to promote your property to a targeted group of buyers and also showcase as many features of your property as possible.
In addition to listing your property online through traditional channels such as property portals, we can help you achieve a tailored campaign by;
- Taking additional photos to include all rooms and key features of the property
- Shooting a property video to help give buyers a better feel for your home prior to inspection
- Utilising new technology to do a property 3D scan
- Hosting your property on the Harcourts website attracting more than 150,000 visitors per month
- Utilising Harcourts own targeted digital marketing product which will showcase your property to a highly targeted audience
- Sending your property out via a targeted email to our database of buyers who have expressed an interest in properties like yours
- Making direct contact with our pool of active buyers on our database
Note: Some of these will not be possible until alert levels are removed.
Speak to one of our local property marketing experts to discuss your bespoke marketing campaign and how you can reach the right buyer during this time.
Why is Harcourts so well positioned to sell my house during this time?
Our team is always focused on working in an adaptable and innovative way, as a result they have responded well to the changing environment. We are very well positioned to face the challenges of any restrictions and will continue to adapt that way we operate as required.