Open Today

by Mal James & Gina Kantzas

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

The property markets have ground to a halt in lockdown, until today, due to the banning of one on one inspections. That specific ban for homes already listed has been lifted as of today, Monday 28th September; so effectively we are beginning to reopen the markets.

  1. Existing homes on the market
  2. Homes already listed and prepared
  3. Homes needing no presentation
  1. Homes needing an agent to go through to appraise or list
  2. Homes needing presentation and photography, that don’t have it
  3. Non residential properties


If you wish to sell and you haven’t got an agent, or photographer or presentation furniture etc. then there will be issues – as agents do not yet have permission to go through your home.

Private Inspections ARE BACK: 1 on 1 private inspections are now allowed and effectively every agency is open for business as of today, Monday.


Media/Industry/Government sources say Open for Inspections can be

  • 1 Agent
  • + 1 Member of Household
  • + Partner/Spouse
  • + Children
  • Under a Covid-19 safe plan
  • Maximum 15 minutes
  • Buyers can go outside 5km but not into regional Victoria
  • Understand It
  • Keep it Current
  • Share it with Co-workers




  1. Ask are the buyers AND sellers feeling ok
  3. Keep records of all visits (date, place, name and phone and email)
  4. Ensure physical distancing at all inspections
  5. Avoid interactions in enclosed spaces and touching
  6. Provide and Use Sanitiser
  7. Wear a face covering and prevent buyers who do not wear them from entering
  8. Minimise visits by better qualifying (finances, driveby done, ready to buy)
  9. Don’t be tricky and try and circumvent rules.
  10. Respect our community as we could be super spreaders from home to home.

It’s pretty simple

  1. Download Form (link below)
  2. Principal or Director to Sign
  3. Employee to sign
  4. Carry at all times + Photo ID (both can be electronic)

Auctions: Still online only: This is actually OK. Street Auctions are really a method of sale almost exclusive to Melbourne. The rest of Australia and in fact the world operate real estate markets, without the dominance of auctions. AND effectively we are not dominated by Street Auctions, as you may think. In Melbourne more homes are sold by other methods of sale even in Melbourne, than by auction.


In market runaway years like 2015/16 on homes above $4m, less than 20% of homes sold under the hammer at auction. Other methods include off-market, EOI and private sale


Auctions can be Zoom, but they can also be phone or email with a deadline. They can also be best offer in etc. EOI is a form of auction.


Private Sales with a set price: Feel like they will increase as methods of sale.


Off-market: Some sellers will still take this course whilst the market remains a bit “vague” to them. The bonus is you don’t declare your hand. The negative is you could well get lost in the swamp AND what do you do, after the agent leads are exhausted? (you Multi-list of course in the first place). Next year is very much a case of nobody knows.

Inner Melbourne Market Segments. Our best guesses:


Under $2m – Quality homes: There is no history to say that prices will see any long-term systemic drops going forward. Yes they may not rise over the next few years AND yes in the GFC there was around a 10% drop, when buyers felt their job status was in jeopardy.


HOWEVER this price segment recovered quickly (for quality homes with land, Inner Melbourne) and went past any drops before some buyers noticed and got going again.


Our advice if it feels good – buy it. If it doesn’t move on, as there will be more:


$2m to $5m – Quality homes: Good stock will be scarce and will turn over at a quicker rate than after the first lock down. There was momentum before the 1st and 2nd lockdowns and that pent-up demand should be still there, as children don’t stop growing, lives change and so on.


How long will this positivity last? Our best guess is this is the most fickle of the three markets currently.


Our advice is engage an expert that can help you BUY and SELL – co-ordinate both deals at once – minimize the risk of no home or losses on either side of the equation. Ring your agent or ring us if you feel you need some help – Gina 0457 835 255.


In this market its not about buy or sell its about BUY AND SELL. Its about ALL Changeover.


Over $5m – Quality homes: There are logical reasons relating to this market slowing – but of course who knows for sure


  • Loss of overseas demand (how temporary will that be)
  • Business owner uncertainty (buyers and sellers)
  • Lack of motivation or need on the part of the sellers


Our advice is engage a buy sell agent that can make buying or selling happen quickly if circumstances allow, but not in such a way as to harm $ and emotion if they don’t


She or he has the experience and stickability for some time and in a balanced manner, should other circumstances prevail.


We have activity on 3 homes over $10million buying and selling – it’s not a dead market, but it is subdued.


It’s about edgy, willing to act but patient, self-belief.   Mal 0408 107 988

Markets Now: Today’s start creates some unknowns, as there was some surprise. However, overall it feels like it will be hot and quick for a while, once it gets going.


Pre- Christmas: Feels that will be determined by supply – as it feels the demand is there – but to be frank, like you, we have all been a little isolated from face to face meetings where you can truly gauge the mood.


Next Year: Anybody who tells you they know what is happening next year – good or bad – is a story teller – creative fiction that is.


Yes interest rates are low – but they were low in lockdown and no sales – emotion, not interest rates are the NO 1 determinant in markets and the emotion of next year (good or bad), is as unknown to anybody (including us), as the Grand Final winner is.

Belief: If people think things are getting worse or more stock will come on at end of lockdown, then buyers will wait and sellers may hesitate. There is only emotion in this decision, as logic says it could go either way. There are no guaranteed ups or downs or one is more likely than the other. No macro, its micro on a home by home basis.


Our advice remains. If it feels good – do it. If it doesn’t move on.


Trust: Agents relationships will become very important in getting both sides of the transactions done on a Buy Sell and finding homes that are not advertised.



) 3 not 4 week sale campaigns: If the home is good, there feels an increased chance it will sell quicker. We advise don’t go through a home and then assume a sale day in 4 weeks, as it might well be sold well before then. We can see 3-week selling campaigns happening.


) Banks: More info please Treasurer Josh, but great idea and yes safeguards are still important. Our markets are affected by banks. By all means give a NO (yes is better if safe) Mr or Mrs Banker, but could you take 3 days instead of 3 months to say no please.  This way potential clients can move onto other funding sources and not clog your time or the markets. Think like Maccas used to please – its 72 hours or its free.


) One Price: We think you will see more single price Statement of Information’s – or at least we hope you do. Ran into Trudy Biggin on a walk and she also felt this was the way to go.


We use one price in our multi-list selling.


Ranges feel confusing in this market and therefore even more meaningless as price guides. They feel like they are so old school AND ranges that don’t reflect the seller’s reserves feel so dated. The market will punish BS pricing and ranges feel more and more like BS.


One price is the way to go and that one price should be what it will sell for – WOW what a novel concept to improve trust and fluidity.

To all those still struggling and/or have lost loved ones, we genuinely feel for you and we wish we could do more. It’s not everything, but we can get back to business and


  • get those transactions happening for those that need a home,
  • get taxes back into the economy – stamp duty is around, we think, 30% of all state income collected for police, doctors, teachers and has been close enough to zero this lockdown and
  • get some opportunities for income and more taxes flowing to all those directly and indirectly involved in our wonderful industry.


We continue to strongly support our State leaders on both sides and our own Industry – Thank you Leah Calnan and Gil King for your very good communications.


Thank you for what you are doing and thank you to our health workers and everybody else who’s keeping us tick along in these darker times. Shout out to our supermarket workers and chemists and even our baristas!


We are not political people – we thank Minister Mikakos for her best efforts. You had no rule book or training for this and you tried and you have ethics. Thank you for what you achieved and tried to achieve. We hope your mental health is Ok. You’re a good person.


On a personal note thank you for preventing me from making a big mistake on an article I was about to publish. I have a lot more learning to do. Thank you to: Jamie Mi, Rebecca Edwards, Alice Stolz (big thank you), Phoebe James, Maddie James, Kathy Russell, Randall Smith, Jen Dwyer, Rae Tomlinson and Gina Kantzas for wise, strong and unexpected counsel. The best compliment I can give is, I was determined, thought I was right but trusted you all more.

Great Homes we’ve bought and sold in the last 20 years and why were they great?


Emotion is why?

Emotion is largely unpredictable in individuals and largely predictable in a group on the 3P’s – Price, Property and Position.


This paradox is our greatest learning of our 20 years – our home ratings come from it.


Here are 20 more learnings, through a wonderful jumble of homes, emotions and people in an equally wonderful 20 years (so far).


Enjoy – we still are.