Editorial content

Buying And Selling Your Home Post COVID-19 In PNG
Updated on: June 7, 2022, 2:30 a.m.
Published on: April 24, 2020, 10:16 a.m.

Buying And Selling Your Home Post COVID-19 In PNG

Seahaven Apartments, Port Moresby


While the pandemic continues to blanket the property market with uncertainty, the market in general seems to mature into the new restrictions for on-site buying, selling or renting property.
Of course, the environment has become a bit of a taunt where transactions are concerned. But no matter how stressful it may appear, the best part of it all is that the market remains open for business; transactions are ongoing, though not as hyperactive as it was before.

Nevertheless, riding the resilience of the property market; let's consider how you can groom your house to sell post COVID-19, and what you should look for as a buyer or renter amid social distancing measures:


Tips For Buyers And Renters
1. Search online

Covid-19 has immediately thrown into perspective a bedrock of new beginnings; none more so than working from home in place of office spaces, and the imminent use of 360 degree, high definition, virtual walk-throughs for buyers and renters.

Although not yet headline news in PNG, virtual viewings offer potential buyers and renters a 3D perspective of the property of their imagination.

As a buyer or a renter, if you can’t feel it, touch it and smell it, virtual tour it!

A reality overseas, and one that’s not impossible to adopt here in PNG.


2. Learn to read a floor plan

Sounds new, doesn’t it?

Yes, because as a buyer or renter, a single image along with a short description won't give you an image of what you’ll be buying or renting. When you can read a floor plan, you can understand the size of the property and the layout you’re purchasing.

In other words, if you know the measurements of the floor plan you’re after, you’d be familiar with what’s written on the paper. Otherwise, it would all mean nothing to you in square footage.

Tip: measure up a room at home so you understand space better when you see square footage written down


3. Prepare your mortgage paper

In a buying process, always have your credentials on hand, provided you’ve been pre-approved

You should also have in place some form of ID - whether it could be an NID card, passport, class 6 drivers license, etc, even your name must be consistent on all documents that you will need to offer as proof.

Remember, once COVID-19 recedes and the market goes back to normal, having your paperwork all set and ready to go will increase your chances of being short listed as a likely buyer or renter out of the long list of applicants that are also looking into that particular property.

Top Tips For Sellers
1. Complete all outstanding DIYs

Obviously restrictions are in place for general travel, but there are exceptions. Arrange a trip to your local hardware store for the tools and equipment you will need to finish off those nagging home improvements. 

Get all the tools necessary and get down to business. Fix any leaking taps, replace broken or cracked windows and polish up the unfinished paint jobs.

Tip: When preparing your property for an inspection, declutter every room and place one or two pot plants or picture frames in each room to add some final touches to an empty room. They will be noticed by viewers


2. Enhance your flower beds

You know, it is widely known that there’s no second chance to make a first impression. 

If you have a flower garden, tend to it. Plow it, sweep it, prune it, if you must. Add life to it, and in turn it will add a sparkle to your house.

Whatever DIYs you do in the house, you do the same outside. It’s like finding the reciprocal in a math equation.

Box up and bin the contents of the flower beds and the driveway as well. Ensure the wheelie bin is placed properly and away from viewing eyes.

4. Tackle those exterior jobs

The human brain has the tendency to overlook certain aspects of a person’s surroundings when their specific volumes are inconsistent with what he/she expects to see. 

In other words, our brain’s ability to process every element of the scene before us is unintentionally affected by our expectations. 

Fortunately, this isn’t a deficiency, but a convenient trick played by the brain while it tries to quickly sort out the reality we’re in, in order to find what we are after. 

This is why you have to check every corner of your home’s exterior several times over for incomplete jobs, just to be sure you haven’t missed any clogged gutter, uncluttered driveway, or unpatched holes in the fence. 

Even a beautifully painted front door, porch and verandah can all make a cheerful statement.

Homes without additional maintenance and repair tend to be sold quickly. Incomplete jobs give your potential buyers plenty of reasons to worry about what else you haven’t done to add value to your property. 

This is where your curb appeal efforts spring into importance.

Tip: tastefully painted exteriors can add as much as 20 per cent to a street’s property prices


3. Give video tours 

Unless you’re an excellent storyteller who can easily mesmerize buyers with your words when they call to inquire, give them the luxury of video tours.

A simple video recording done on your smartphone, showing parts of the property that may not show up in photographs has a stunning appeal and better visual picture of your listing.

Rather than engaging in the risk of inspecting a property in person, clients can comfortably avail to the luxury of video tours in the comfort of their home.

Put differently, these videos will give your clients the opportunity to “window shop” while they’re stuck at home.

If you want to make a good impression and get the most interests, this will be your magic bullet. Be entertaining, be welcoming, be fun, be well informed and detailed.

Remember, newly painted and vibrant walls, neat and tidy rooms, and enough furniture in each room to show its purpose; make up the parts of decorating your house, in preparation for that big sale.

Once potential buyers can happily imagine themselves living in the house, without having to worry about additional repairs, you’ve successfully sold your home.


Final thoughts

In a time when social distancing is the order of the day with limited face to face interactions, individuals need to reconsider their approach to buying, selling or renting property. 

The digital world is constantly changing around us, with more efficient ways to go about the traditional methods of property inspections and advertising. 

The lengthy process of arranging multiple site visits and collecting brochures with poor quality images has translated to online advertising with numerous, high-quality images, floor plans and virtual tours, advancing the real estate industry into a different era. 


Moreover, prospects now have the advantage of assessing numerous properties online and shortlisting the most likely investments they would want to lease or purchase. Real Estate agents are also adjusting to the changing times, by reducing the number of open home inspections and arranging individual appointments with prospecting clients. Better still, it is hoped that virtual tours will make the scene, soon. 

So if you’re looking to sell a home in the near future, be prepared to accept that numerous properties will be listed alongside your property, spruced up and ready to go. And if you’re intending to purchase or lease a property, the property owner or agent will be shortlisting applications and looking at the ideal applicants.