COVID-19 is having a major impact on world economies. However In Australia the process of buying and selling a home can still take place without major interruption providing common sense precautions are applied.
For example, most of the interaction with others during the buying and selling process can be conducted remotely via phone or over the internet and there is little need for direct personal contact.
Real estate agents are also taking great care to protect the health of their buyers and vendors by ensuring diligent cleaning and disinfecting between inspections of properties.
From the information provided by the public health authorities transmission of the virus is via “droplets” and “aerosols” from an infected person showing symptoms to another. Maintaining an adequate social distance from an infected person is the best method of preventing spread. This should be a minimum of 2m but more is better. The virus can also remain alive for many hours on a hard surface if the conditions are conducive. Hence regular cleaning and correct/regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol based hand rubs are so important. As is covering nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing and avoiding touching face, nose and mouth. Because there is so little known about COVID-19 at this stage we feel it is prudent to be over cautious. So avoiding contact with people who are symptomatic is good practice at this stage.
As far as the building inspection is concerned, while at the moment it is safe to attend the pre-purchase building and pest inspection of the home you are buying, it is not necessary, as the ABIS report you will receive is comprehensive and we are always available on the phone or via email to answer any questions you may have. If you do wish to attend please only do so if you are confident you are not infectious. This applies to colds and flu as well as the COVID-19 virus. And of course, current health guidelines apply including avoiding shaking hands and other physical contact including touching surfaces such as countertops, door handles and railings in particular.
When we make the booking with the agent and/or vendor to conduct an inspection on your behalf, we will check that there is no one at the house currently in quarantine or self-isolation. If this is the situation, we will need to reschedule the inspection for a later date when occupants are not infectious or have been medically cleared to be in contact with others.
Finally, you can be assured that all of our inspectors have been well informed of current health guidelines for your safety and will only conduct your inspection if they are in good health themselves and not showing symptoms of any illness. In addition, they too will minimise both personal contact on site as well as contact with any surface in the building being inspected.
Although these precautions may seem excessive, we believe they are important as part of our responsibility in taking care of our clients and each other, and would like to thank you for your understanding and assistance.