BACK OPEN: Agents applaud return to open house inspections
THE weekend tradition of open houses will resume in Coffs Harbour on Saturday but with a coronavirus twist.
Real estate agents are taking the first tentative steps towards normality with properties opening their doors to the public.
But strict social distancing will be enforced to limit the numbers of people inside at once and there will be plenty of hand sanitiser.
Agents said it was a complete unknown how many potential buyers would venture out to view the homes on offer.
Many agents are listing a reduced number of properties to test the response.
Raine and Horne principal Christine Clarke said her agency would open five houses (three in Coffs Harbour and two on the Northern Beaches).
Four of the properties had been specifically selected because they were vacant, therefore eliminating the issue of working around occupants.
"We are not anticipating dozens of people at this early stage but it's really hard to say because we are living in different times," she said.
"There's no history to gauge how people will react."
Ms Clarke said sellers were eager to test the market but were not 'desperate' to offload despite the impact of the coronavirus shutdowns.
Nolan Partners principal Melissa Nolan said she expected most of the first open house visitors would be more than just lookers.
"Deal wise the numbers are down but the buyers we are taking through are the really genuine ones," she said.
Nolan Partners will host nine open houses this weekend compared to the average of about 15 pre-coronavirus.
Ms Nolan said she anticipated properties to hold their prices because of the reduced stock available on the market.
Both agents have outlined strict social distancing procedures limiting the number of viewers allowed into the property at once, depending on its size.
Hand sanitiser will be provided upon entering and exiting and people will be advised not to touch hard surfaces such as door handles.
The properties will also be cleaned and sanitised before and after the open house.
The Edge principal Jason Burnett said his team would wait another week before reviving the weekend tradition.
"We are taking a cautious approach because we've actually had a good run by appointment and with our virtual tours," he said.
Some of the properties to view on Saturday May 9.
Raine and Horne
7 Pitt Square, Coffs Harbour Open Sat 9th 11.00-11.30
9 Logwood Place, Coffs Harbour Open Sat 9th 10.00-10.30
22/306-310 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour Sat 9th 12.00-12.30
6 Merinda Avenue, Sapphire Beach Open Sat 9th 12.30-1.00
9.15-9.45 5 Gumtree Glen, Sapphire Beach
10.00-10.30 13 Red Gum Circuit, Sapphire Beach
10.30-11.15 7 Stingray Creek Road, Moonee Beach
10.40-11.10 9 Red Gum Circuit, Sapphire Beach
11.30-12.00 35 Heathmere Close, Moonee Beach
12.30-1.00 5 Outrigger Place, Safety Beach
1.15-1.45 3 Humpback Crescent, Safety Beach
2.00-2.30 16B McIver Lane, Woolgoolga