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New Zealand - Property Search
There are several estate agency chains in New Zealand some of which publish their own property newspapers and all of which have websites. All those working as a real estate agent must be suitably qualified and experienced and registered with the Real Estate Agent’s Licensing Board. It is important to deal only with estate agents that are registered and the Licensing Board can be contacted in order to check the credentials of the agent you are dealing with.
It is common practice to negotiate the price of a property although estate agents work for the seller, so will be trying to get as high a price as possible as they will earn more commission. Fees are usually in the region of 4% of the purchase prices. In order to be sure that you do not end up paying more than you need to you can obtain a copy of the quotable value report which gives an accurate picture of prices in the region.
There are a number of buyer’s agents in New Zealand which can make it easier to find a property. A buyer’s agent has to be a licensed estate agent but is working for the buyer rather than the seller. They are not affiliated to any particular estate agent and can therefore deal with any agency on your behalf. A buyer’s agent can provide referrals to other professionals involved in the house buying process such as a property inspector or a lawyer. As the buyer’s agent is working for the buyer you can be sure that all information relevant to the house is disclosed, even if it is negative. The buyer’s agent will also carry out local searches to ensure that you have information on details which have not been included in the Land Information Memorandum.
Many of the New Zealand newspapers regularly carry listings of properties although buyers should be aware that it can take a week or two for the house to appear in the newspaper from the time it was placed on the market. In sought after areas it is not uncommon for a house to already have offers on it by the time it appears in the newspaper. Newspapers are a good place to find information on open house events but these are usually only advertised a few days in advance.
If using the internet to search for property it is a good idea to check sites every couple of days to be sure that you get the latest information. Estate agents are usually very efficient at adding properties as they come on to the market as this is one of the first steps in trying to secure a sale.
Many people now like to sell their home privately and there are a number of websites for those who wish to list their houses themselves. Some people opt to send out flyers to let potential sellers know that they are looking for a house. This is a particularly useful technique if you are a cash buyer and can proceed quickly as you may just find someone who is considering selling and has not yet listed the property. Sellers who sell privately have no estate agents fees to pay so this can be an attractive prospect.
There is currently no society for foreign property buyers in New Zealand as there are very few differences between purchases by foreign buyers and those carried out by New Zealanders.
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand
The Real Estate Agents Licensing Board
PO Box 1247
Tel: 04 520 6949
Search New Zealand (private sale listings)
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