We have all the tips and tricks when it comes to buying a home all on one page!
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When you come to Harcourts in search of your perfect property, your personal real estate consultant looks to establish your goals and set about achieving them for you. It is their job to listen to what you want and to work for you with care and consideration at all times.
Your real estate consultant will guide you through the process of buying a house, providing evidence on property values, potential, finance options and legal requirements.
It is all part of the extra effort service. And best of all, it’s all entirely free of charge.
Finding your home
Your Harcourts real estate consultant will begin by showing you suitable properties, which are on the market right now. You will see photographs and detailed descriptions of all the properties we have listed which meet your requirements.
When you see something you like, they will arrange a visit.
Your real estate consultant will be keeping an eye out for suitable properties online, in the newspapers, new listings that come up – even, if necessary, approaching the owners of properties you like which are not currently on the market.
Of course, working with a Harcourts real estate consultant does not mean you can only look at properties which are listed with Harcourts. Your personal consultant will be happy to deal with other real estate companies on your behalf.
Your wish list
We often hear "but the agent didn't listen to me!" While this may be true of some agents, your Harcourts consultant is trained to listen – not to talk.
Knowing your requirements early really helps us help you. Sometimes however, your circumstances and priorities can change. We will check with you to ensure we remain on track.
Facts that help us in finding you the right property include:
It is important that we know the absolute most important features you want in a property and will not compromise on. They may include:
These requirements are unique to each buyer. Also give some thought to features you most definitely do not want in a property.
Searching for properties
Many buyers search the internet prior to viewing properties.
You can use the Property Search function to the left of this page for a comprehensive search facility which will provide you with property details and multiple photos of each property.
Your consultant will show you those properties that best fit your requirements. This will be at times to suit you and the owner of the property. You will be kept informed of all changes relating to the properties you have viewed and you will be advised of new properties as they come on the market. Talk to your consultant about how you want to receive new property information i.e. via email, text or phone call.
Inspections of properties take time. We recommend you do not rush or disregard too quickly. Try not to judge a property from the outside only. Some properties have little or no street appeal, but have much to offer inside. An inspection will confirm your first impression or will pleasantly surprise you.
When you find a property that interests you, let your consultant know straight away. Even if you are not yet ready to make an offer your consultant will need to register your interest, especially where another consultant or agency is involved.
When the right property presents itself be prepared to make an offer. We will encourage you to do so as many people have found their perfect home and missed it because they didn’t take the opportunity when it was available to them.
Many sellers open their homes to group viewing during the marketing of their property. Open Home times will be advertised in the property advertisements. It is normal practice for the consultant to meet you at the door to register your name and contact details. You will then be free to inspect the property at your leisure. The consultant will always be available to answer any questions and provide information on the property or area. If you have a consultant working with you, ring them when you see an Open Home advertised and they can arrange an introduction or escort you through. After the Open Home the consultant will ask for your feedback on the property.
Going to contract
When you are ready to write up a contract, the next step is to decide on the price you wish to offer the seller and under what conditions you wish to make the offer. Common conditions of sale are: subject to finance, a builder's report, sale of another property, solicitor’s approval of the contract or specialist inspection or approval.
You will be provided with details of relevant sales in the area and advised of any price guidelines that are available for the property.
The offer will be prepared on a standard REINZ Sale and Purchase agreement which is approved by the NZ Law Society. Your consultant will fill in your requirements and then ask you to sign the required number of copies. One copy will be left with you at the time of making the offer. Once this process has been completed your sales consultant will check whether any other interested parties are putting in an offer. If this is the case then you will be kept fully informed (see information on ‘Multiple Offers’ in the next section).
The seller can accept your offer, reject it or counter sign it. Counter signing usually occurs when the seller is not satisfied with the price offered and/or conditions included and subsequently alters them. The contract will be brought back to you for your consideration. If you accept, you initial the seller’s alteration and the property is under offer to you subject to any conditions that the contract may contain. Alternatively you also have the right to counter sign. Your sales consultant will continue negotiations between you and the seller until you are both in agreement.
This process does not occur when buying at auction. (See information on “Buying at Auction” in the next section.)
The dangers of offering too low
Once they find the property they wish to purchase many buyers are tempted to “start low” with their offer.
We understand, but would not be giving you complete service if we did not warn you of what can happen.
1. The seller could feel insulted, and become difficult to negotiate with from then on.
2. The seller may think you are a bargain hunter “having a go” without serious intention to buy and dismiss your offer altogether.
If you are serious about purchasing the property it is wise to make a genuine offer that reflects your serious intentions and appreciation of the true value of the seller’s home.
Common conditions of sale
Along with the standard terms of the Sale and Purchase Agreement both buyers and sellers are able to insert further terms and conditions of sale. When writing in any special condition the key parts are who is going to do it; what are they going to do; when are they going to do it by; what standards will apply; what happens if it is not satisfied and who can waive it.
Once an inserted condition has been satisfied notice will be provided to the other party usually by the solicitors involved.
A condition can be either satisfied or waived. If you have inserted a condition but it has not been met by the required date you can choose to waive that condition. If the condition is neither satisfied nor waived then the agreement will be terminated and any deposit paid by you shall be immediately refunded.
Some common conditions of sale are:
Inserting these clauses allows you to sell your property before purchasing. Use the appropriate clause to allow you time to sell your property or for an existing contract of sale to become unconditional in all respects.
Each of these conditions should be clearly worded and the dates for confirmation made clear.
A multiple offer situation is when more than one party is interested in making an offer on a property.
Harcourts has formulated a system to handle multiple offers that is fair to all parties concerned.
You will be asked to sign a multi offer form before the negotiations begin.
The seller is notified and a time is set so that all offers can be presented to the seller at the same time. These offers are usually presented to the seller by the Harcourts office manager.If you are a buyer and your agent has informed you that you are in a multiple offer situationyou are advised to put forward your best price and as few conditions of sale as possible as the seller will accept or enter into negotiations with the most favorable offer.
Paying the deposit
Once all parties have signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement you will be asked to pay a deposit. This usually equates to 10% of the purchase price.
We can refer you to a Mortgage broker who can assist you with this.
Once paid, this deposit is held in a Trust Account until the contract is confirmed i.e. becomes unconditional in all respects. It is then paid to the seller. If the contract does not become unconditional the deposit will be repaid to you
Buying at auction
Buying at auction avoids the often prolonged waiting of the traditional offer/counter-offer negotiation process and uncertainty of what another buyer may be offering. During an auction bids for the property are called in an open arena on a given day and time. If your bid is accepted you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you have purchased at true market value.
An auction is an exciting environment where everything is out in the open. You can see your competitors and have confidence that others place similar value on the property as you.
Let your consultant know if you are interested in an auction property so that you will be kept informed if a pre-auction offer is made and given the opportunity of submitting an offer or bidding if the auction date is brought forward.
Your consultant will be able to provide you with an interested bidder’s information booklet on the particular auction property.
Frequently asked questions about buying at auction
Q1. Do I have to have cash to bid?
Yes. To bid at an auction you need to acquire pre-approved finance so that you can bid with no conditions of sale. A 10% deposit is required on the day of auction; the balance due on possession date.
However it is often possible to extend the possession date to allow you more time to organise your funds or sell an existing property. Talk to your consultant so they can arrange this with the sellers and auctioneer.
Q2. How do I find out how much the property is worth?
The more property you inspect in the area the better you will become at determining approximate values. If you need help ask your consultant for guidance. They can refer you to homes of similar type and price for comparison. You may also opt to pay for a registered valuation. Remember pricing real estate is not an exact science as come auction day what the seller needs to move on and the emotional desire of other bidders will determine the end selling price. We recommend you arrange a little extra finance just in case.
Q3. Can I make an offer before the auction day?
Some owners may consider selling before auction day, some may not. Usually the offer would need to be a very good one to convince a seller not to hold the auction. If an acceptable pre-auction bid is tabled all interested parties are contacted and given the opportunity to also submit an offer or bid if the auction date is brought forward.
Q4. What is a seller or vendor bid?
The conditions of sale state the seller has the right to bid themself. This can be compared to a counter offer during private negotiations. This bid may be used by the auctioneer to start the auction or bid during the auction to build bidding momentum. The auctioneer will disclose all vendor bids and will not bid on behalf of the seller once the property’s reserve price has been reached, that is a price sellers are prepared to sell for.
You don’t need to wait until you’ve found a property before you arrange finance. It’s a good idea to find out first just how much you can borrow – that way you know what price bracket to start looking in and what level of repayments you’re comfortable with.
The problem that most people face today, however, is “which home loan is the right one for me?” There are so many options when it comes to banks, products, rates, terms and fees. With the purchase of such a large investment, you need to be confident that you have made the right financial choice.
Property purchase costs
Financial fees vary greatly, depending on such matters as what percentage of the property value that you will be borrowing, the amount of the loan, the amount of the purchase and which bank you are borrowing funds from. If you speak to your local Mortgage Broker or Bank representative you can quickly ascertain approximate costs for your particular circumstances. Possible expenses you may incur are:
Completing the purchase
Before settlement your solicitor will undertake the necessary searches with respect to the property and your financier will prepare the mortgage documentation.
On settlement your solicitor will exchange with the seller's solicitor:
Within a few days of settlement your solicitor or financier will register the necessary documentation and mortgage transfer with the Land Titles Registry.
Possession of the property usually takes place on the settlement day although the seller and buyer can agree for these dates to be different.
For the property investor
Investing in real estate long term is one of the most secure and financially rewarding investments you can make. We can make taking care of your investment easy.
Harcourts understands that you want your property tenanted for the best return possible and you want to relax with the knowledge that your property is being looked after.
Harcourts Property Management consultantsare industry specialists in the areas of appraising and renting your investment property. They understand the growing residential rental market and most importantly they understand the needs of property investors.
Trained Property Management consultants are able to advise on how to attract the very best tenant for your valuable asset. conduct regular property inspections, keep abreast of rent increases, follow-up late payments, organise maintenance and repairs on your behalf and most importantly send you regular reports on all matters regarding your investment.
www.tauporentals.co.nz for all your Property Management requirements.