A real estate agent says his employees are working seven days a week to keep up with the record-breaking number of sales during COVID-19.
Richard Baini, from Sydney’s Richard Matthews Real Estate, says properties in the city’s inner west are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars each day over the asking price as people rush to pick up bargains during the pandemic.
In one sale in Campsie, a block of six units sold for $425,000 over the $2.8million asking price on Thursday after being on the market for just 11 days.
In June, Mr Baini also sold a townhouse in South Strathfield for $1.2Million which is a new record for the suburb .
He told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Sellers are still able to meet their expectations and buyers aren’t being forced to pay what they were in the boom of 2017. I think buyers are actually happy with what they’re paying.
The recent sales are a positive sign for the property market still struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 which forced lockdowns across Australia in March.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, government restrictions forced real estate agents to stop inspections and open houses and shift their businesses entirely online.
Mr Baini and his business partner Matthew Everingham told their staff they had a full-time job regardless of how COVID-19 impacted their business.
In return for job security, the team of 22 people surprised the owners and offered to work increased hours across a seven-day roster. As a result the agency saw strong sales during March and April as many of their competitors struggled to stay open.
‘I don’t know what happened after we told our staff but they came back to us with appreciation and said we want to include Sundays regularly now and it began from there,’ said Mr Baini.
‘COVID-19 was the great unknown for us, I was calling auctions from the reception of my office over the phone and recording the bids on my computer through an online auction program.’
Now business is nearly back to normal with Sydney’s current restrictions allowing open houses and auctions to operate with social distancing in place.
Mr Baini sold six properties in 24 hours last week and said houses in Strathfield, Georges Hall and Burwood areas have all sold above their reserves.
A three-bedroom home on a 600 sqm block sold for $895,000 in Georges Hall on August 8. It was $65,000 more than the listed price.