Victorians sending properties under the hammer have been urged by the state government to “seriously reconsider” and move to safer methods, with huge crowds still gathering to watch.

Vendors are being urged to cancel upcoming auctions and sell their properties via private sale to assist with social distancing measures.

While auctions are permitted during the coronavirus shutdown, state justice department spokeswoman Michelle Osborne told the Herald Sun that could change.

“Vendors and agents should put social distancing rules in place, as well as seriously consider moving their processes online or to a private sale where possible,” Ms Osborne said.

But Melbourne agencies are pushing ahead with auctions, with 1366 scheduled this week, according to

Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Leah Calnan said those with auctions already booked should consider whether they could move bidding to an online platform or conduct the auction by registration to help control crowds.

“Moving forward though, properties that are coming onto the market need to seriously consider the timing and whether private sale might be the most suitable method.”

She said agencies were prepared for any further changes, with technology set to play a major role in helping buyers inspect virtually, bid and even sign contracts.

Agencies have brought forward a number of upcoming auctions to this week.

Ray White Ferntree Gully agent Michael Nguyen said they chose to sell 6 Norman St in The Basin ahead of schedule at a Monday night auction because there had been plenty of buyer interest.

The house sold under the hammer in front of more than 100 people for $1.33 million.

A number of other agencies reported crowd sizes of about 80 to 100 people at auctions last weekend.

Full Circle Property Advocates director Rob German said vendors would be “mad not to seriously consider a pre-auction offer” providing it was within their price hopes.

The buyer’s advocate added the private sale method needed to become more “transparent” for those making offers if it were to become more commonly used.