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New Age of Selling & Buying a House during COVID-19

New age of buying or selling

The buying and selling landscape is rapidly changing with the affects of COVID-19 being felt across the world.


  • How will property sales and rentals continue during the COVID-19 crisis?  We go online of course.
  • Digital Inspections being offered by agent, as well as digital auctions – you can continue on your property journey, just with a slightly different feel.
  • Coutts are offering eSignature services, electronic exchanges and video conferencing to get the right advice.
  • The NSW state government have just passed emergency measures regarding changes to residential leases which affect anyone selling a home with a tenant in it.

With new restrictions being released constantly and the latest affecting agents in relation to public auctions and open for inspections, real estate agents are having to adapt rapidly to keep up.

Open for inspections

Open for inspections are not longer permitted, however private viewings are.  In the meantime real estate websites and agents are moving digital. is releasing a feature for digital inspections which will shortly be available across their platforms, see the article here  This will allow for inspections on sales and rentals to continue while respecting social distancing guidelines.

If you make an offer following this kind of inspection and your offer is accepted then you move forward with your purchase in a relatively normal way, however with a more digital experience than before.


While public auctions are not permitted due to the infringement on social distancing guidelines, online auctions mean this can be overcome on platforms that are already up and running.  These platforms allow for the auction to be run in real-time with bidders present, some even have the capability to allow for an electronic exchange of contracts once the hammer falls.

What about seeing your conveyancer if you can’t leave home?

That’s ok, this is where Coutts have you covered, we are offering our services via email, telephone and video conferencing.  There is no reason to not have the right advice before you move forward with your purchase or sale.

How will I sign the Contract if I can’t see the agent or my conveyancer in person?

eSignatures are here and ready to be used.  At Coutts we have the capability to issue documents to you via email for signing via eSignature platforms.  This means you can sign your documents anywhere on any device.  This is secure and safe, not witness required!

Once the eSigned contracts are received, an electronic exchange will be undertaken ensuring both counterparts are identical.  In fact, the eSigning process almost guarantees this to be the case as no pages should go missing in the digital world.

What do I do if I have bought a property where the tenant was supposed to move out?

With the new emergency measures that have been introduced, unfortunately this will mean that if a tenant chooses not to vacant that the vendor has no legal right to commence any action to remove the tenant from the property for a period of up to six months.

This means the purchaser will need to decide whether to settle with the tenant or to negotiate to extend the settlement in order to wait until the tenant vacates.

Similarly if you are the vendor, and you have sold a property with a tenant in and the tenant chooses not to vacate, you will need to negotiate to either extend the settlement or for the purchaser to accept the property with the tenant in there.

How to stay up-to-date on your matter without dropping into the office?

In our normal service you will receive emails from us at various stages to keep you informed, however Coutts is now going one step further with our own App.  If you start a sale or purchase with us, you will receive a link to our app with login details.  This will allow you to track your matter from any device, even at midnight!

We look forward to working alongside the Macarthur agents and brokers to keep clients informed during this rapidly changing environment.


Carina Novek

As a Licensed Conveyancer, Carina specialises in property law. She has over 20 years experience in conveyancing and is the perfect person to help get you into your first home today!

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:

Carina Novek
Associate Senior Licensed Conveyancer
1300 268 887

Contact Our Coutts today.

This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.

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