Covid Update: Your Real Estate Questions Answered


Image via Associated Press


Following last Sunday's State Government announcement and some clarification for businesses on Monday, Victoria has moved into Stage 4 lockdown in Greater Melbourne, and Stage 3 in Regional Victoria, taking the state's real estate industry into uncharted territory.

This week has seen the closure of many non-essential businesses and industries in the Greater Melbourne area, including real estate. With Stage 3 restrictions reimposed in Greater Melbourne in July, the previous April lockdown ensured Buxton were fully prepared for a seamless transition to virtual and online methods of business.


What does Stage 4 mean for real estate?

Basically, the traditional methods of transacting real estate have moved to online and digital forms, this does not mean we have ceased operating. Agents are working remotely, and offices are still answering queries. Prospecting, appraisals, inspections and auctions are taking place virtually.

Can I still buy/sell a house during Stage 4 restrictions?

YES, however, in Melbourne, property inspections and auctions can only take place digitally—that is, online or virtually. Regional Victoria may conduct one-on-one private inspections under strict Covid 19 guidelines. Auctions may only take place online.

Can I move into a house during Stage 4 restrictions?

YES, if you already had a tenancy agreement in place, or a settlement period will be completed during this time, you may move into the property but must adhere to Stage 4 lockdown requirements such as wearing a face mask or maintaining social distancing

Services directly related to the end or start of a lease may be fulfilled. These may include final inspections, key collections and end-of-lease cleaning. Tenants may move in our out of a property, but must adhere to Covid 19 requirements (eg wearing face masks, social distancing measures).

Services directly related to completing a property settlement may take place. This can include final inspections, key collections and final cleaning.  Buyers and vendors may move in to or out of a property, but must adhere to Covid 19 requirements.

If I live in Melbourne, can I still travel to Regional Victoria to view a property (or vice versa)? 

NO, prospective buyers and tenants can only view properties virtually or online.

If I live in Melbourne, can I move in to my new home in Regional Victoria (or vice versa)?

YES, if tenancy agreements or settlement periods were in place prior to Stage 4 lockdown, tenants and buyers are permitted to travel between the areas to move in to their new properties, but must adhere to Stage 4 restrictions. 

I'm currently building a house - can that continue during Stage 4?

YES, building may continue, however, the construction industry is now under strict Stage 4 guidelines and must be adhered to at all times.


All things considered buyer demand has exceeded our expectations with more people spending time at home and online. Portals such as and have recorded huge increases in enquiry and our own website has seen a 14% increase in web traffic since Stage 3 lockdown restrictions were reimposed in July. 

The last few months have shown that Melbourne’s property market is a resilient one, with plenty of activity taking place albeit in a more digital fashion. Buxton’s property sales were up 21% from June, and tellingly, our July sales saw an increase of 36% compared to 2019. Property is being sold differently but effectively. Despite our initial fears of what this unknown would bring, there have been plenty of positives that have challenged the traditions of how we do business. 

There is no denying that Stage 4 will take our community into uncharted territory, however, Buxton are confident that our preparation for the online environment will enable us to comfortably operate digitally.