If you're a Canberran looking to buy a house right now, pre-recorded virtual inspections are the only way to take a peek inside your dream home in the ACT. But across the NSW border it's a very different story.
Under the ACT's current lockdown restrictions one person can attend a home to conduct a building report or to photograph a property, however prospective buyers are not permitted to attend an in-person open home.
But in regional NSW, buyers can attend one-on-one inspections by private appointment.
Brad O'Mara, principal at Ray White Queanbeyan, has listings across both ACT and regional NSW.
Right now his agency has one listing in Oaks Estate that can't be inspected in person, while just a two-minute drive down the road, a property at Uriarra Road in Queanbeyan is open for one-on-one inspections for NSW residents.
He said the disparity between jurisdictions is leaving Canberra buyers feeling frustrated.
"In that first week of the Canberra lockdown, it rattled a few people," said Mr O'Mara.
"We were still getting people travelling cross-border for what was inspections at that point, of which we cited car plates and licenses and refused people to make sure that we were compliant with the ACT."
For sellers, the lack of consistency is making it an uncertain time to put a house on the market.
Stephanie and Tyson Zarew recently listed their four-bedroom Googong home with White Rhino Property Queanbeyan and are witnessing first-hand how two different sets of rules is impacting the market.
"We only listed last Thursday and we had interest but it was from Canberra buyers, so we didn't end up going ahead with an open home last weekend, we couldn't because of the restrictions, so this weekend we have NSW buyers coming through one-on-one," said Ms Zarew.
"We may get interest from NSW buyers this weekend, so we can't say if it will be here next week still or not, but obviously there is less interest if we can't have both markets come and actually visit it."
We've proven in the past how well we can do one-on-one inspections, we did it last year.REIACT CEO Michelle Tynan
White Rhino Property Queanbeyan principal Gavin Van Zyl said a large percentage of buyers in the region come from the ACT.
"It's unfortunate that they can't come to view the homes because obviously it's a very big financial decision to make on something that you haven't actually physically seen," he said.
The Real Estate Institute of the ACT (REIACT) is currently working alongside ACT Government to ease restrictions for home buyers, which would see the rules better aligned to NSW.
REIACT CEO Michelle Tynan is hopeful one-on-one inspections will be able to recommence in the next week or so.
"We've proven in the past how well we can do one-on-one inspections, we did it last year," she said.
"The proposal that we're putting forward to government also has very different safety standards within it to meet the challenges of the Delta strain."
Ms Tynan said buying property sight unseen can pose a "big consumer risk issue".
MORE PROPERTY NEWS
"It's the biggest purchase of their life...how can we accept or sustain people purchasing property sight unseen?" she said.
While offers from Canberra buyers are still coming in, Mr Van Zyl said restricting people from viewing properties is "absurd".
"If shelter is not an essential service, I'm not sure what is," he said.