Real estate in level two

Thursday 7 May 2020

Open homes. Rental viewings. Auctions. They look to be on the cards again soon, with the country heading towards alert level two.

By The Landlord

On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern outlined what life at level two will look like – and it will mean a return to slightly more normal times.

Not completely normal though: the guiding principle remains to “play it safe” and that means physical distancing remains critical.

While the Government’s decision on when to move to level two is not due until next Monday, REINZ has welcomed the Prime Minister’s guidance as a step towards getting businesses moving.

That guidance also clarifies what level two will mean for real estate activity.

Under level two, all real estate activity will need to take place with a minimum of one metre physical distancing at all times.

Hygiene etiquette – eg: cleaning high touch areas regularly – will have to be adhered to and agents will need to ensure contact tracing of all clients can take place.

But the following real estate activity will be possible at level two:

• Real estate firms and property management companies can open their office(s).

• Open homes/rental viewings of less than 100 people can take place.

• Sale and purchase/listing agreements can be negotiated and executed in person.

• Auctions of less than 100 people can take place.

• Inspections by professionals (eg: building inspectors, valuers) can take place in person.

• Pre-settlement inspections can take place.

• Settlements and moving house can occur, including between regions.

• Property management functions may be carried out in person.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says getting the real estate profession up and running in a manner that is more “normal” than in the past six weeks is a huge step.

It’s one that will be warmly welcomed by buyers, sellers and real estate agents across the country, she says.

“Over the past few weeks, we have been mindful of the need to protect New Zealand from the effects of Covid-19, but now is the time to get the country up and running, in a safe manner, as quickly as possible in order to minimise the economic impacts on the country going forward.”

Norwell is looking forward to finding out when and how the country can move to level two and says that REINZ will be issuing final guidelines as soon as possible following the announcement on Monday.

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