For most Kiwis, buying real estate in New Zealand is the biggest financial transaction they’ll ever make. First time buyers are likely to find the process of buying a house in NZ both thrilling, yet somewhat overwhelming.
It’s not surprising that even people who are buying a second or third home can be intimidated when so much money is involved. Every detail of the process becomes of paramount importance.
Finding the right property, negotiating a price, and securing financing are just a few of the steps buyers will have to go through. Fortunately, they don’t have to go through these steps alone.
Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced buyer, an LJ Hooker agent can help you make sure you find the right property to suit your needs, as well as your budget.
There is a common misperception that real estate agents only work for sellers. While it’s true that most sellers rely on an agent to market their property and negotiate the price, buyers also need a representative on their side.
This is especially true for first-time buyers and those who are new to the area. Anyone can benefit from having the skills of a real estate agent at their disposal.
Contact an LJ Hooker agent to help you buy a house today. You will get our agent’s time, expertise, advice, and support. The following are some of the main benefits of hiring an agent when buying a house in NZ.
The seller’s real estate agent always represents the seller’s interests first. He or she is focused on getting the seller’s desired price and showing the home’s advantages to every prospective buyer.
A buyer’s agent, on the other hand, is focused on the buyer’s needs and matching the buyer to the perfect house. In addition, the buyer’s agent negotiates the selling price and the terms of the contract on the buyer’s behalf. When you work with an agent, you won’t need to communicate directly with the seller or the seller’s agent, and you won’t have to deal with any conflict over the price or the terms of the agreement.
Another significant benefit of working with an agent when buying a house in NZ is that an agent has a lot of information about the property and location that the buyer may not be able to access.
An agent is able to research the history of the house and find out it whether it has had any serious fire, flooding, or other types of damage that could affect its structural integrity and future maintenance needs.
In some cases, agents have found out that a house was involved in some dubious or other criminal activities in the past.
This information has an impact on the buyer’s decision. A knowledgeable agent can help you avoid making a decision you’ll regret in years to come.
When a buyer is new to an area, it’s especially important to have a real estate agent who can provide insight into the quality of life in the neighbourhood where a house is located.
An agent is aware of the factors that affect life in a community, these can have an impact on the desirability of a given location for a client. An agent can steer the buyer toward a community with residents of a similar age, for example, or to a neighbourhood with amenities that will benefit the buyer’s family. These might include proximity to a good school, parks, a library, or other public services. In addition, an agent can provide information about future planned developments that could affect the quality of life and value of a property in a given location, such as an anticipated change in traffic patterns or plans to develop a natural area near the neighbourhood. An agent who has experience in the local community can provide a big-picture view that newcomers would not otherwise be able to see.
Another reason to hire an agent when buying a house in NZ is that the agent knows every step in the process of any type of sale, whether a private treaty, tender, or auction.
This is especially important for first-time buyers who have no experience with real estate transactions. The agent will make sure the buyer knows exactly how the process works and what he or she is expected to do as well as provide valuable advice about getting financing, organising a home inspection, new survey or other detail involved in purchasing a home. An agent who works in the area often has connections to other professionals and can get work done quickly.
Finally, a good real estate agent is like a matchmaker, finding the right property to fit the buyer’s lifestyle.
Agents are well suited to do this because they have a huge database of possibilities to work from. Buyers can drive around and look for signs, and of course, they can peruse online listings, but an agent may know of homes that are not yet available online and because of their local knowledge and connections may be able to shed more light on the property than is visible in an online listing. Thus, when a buyer presents a list of “wants” and “needs” for their new home, the agent has the tools to research and quickly come up with possible matches.
Buying real estate in NZ is a complicated, multi-step process. It involves a lot of time, effort, and of course, paperwork. A real estate agent can walk you through the following steps and make sure all the details are in order.
For most people, the first step in buying a house is to figure out how much they can afford and how much they can finance. Most lenders are able to pre-qualify a customer for a loan based on some basic financial information. Once you have a maximum amount to borrow, you can calculate what you can afford in monthly payments. You also need to make sure you have enough cash on hand or in equity from the home you plan to sell in order to make a deposit.
Once you have established an affordability range, it’s time to start thinking about houses. It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you want in a house and identify which ones are absolute requirements and which are desirable extras. Most people need a certain amount of space and number of bedrooms, for example, and these factors are probably non-negotiable. Other characteristics, like the quality of the neighbourhood and local schools, typically rank very high as well.
Contact a real estate agent when you already know what you’re looking for so they can show you houses that meet your criteria and budget.
At LJ Hooker, our agents know most local areas and are able to accurately assess market value, steering buyers away from homes that are overpriced or whose value is likely to decrease due to maintenance needs or changes in the neighbourhood.
Once you’ve made a decision, the agent will take you through the process of making an offer based on an appraisal of the home’s market value.
If the sale is a private treaty or tender, the real estate agent will submit the offer on your behalf and then negotiate the terms of the sale. Your agent can help you decide on any conditions you may need to add to the agreement, which may include repairs to the home or sale of your current home. If the property is sold at auction, then the agent will typically accompany you, make sure you have everything you need, and advise you on your bid.
The last step in the process of buying a house in NZ, is the settlement.
In order to settle the transaction, you will need to hire a solicitor. Typically, your real estate agent will recommend one if you don’t already have someone you want to use. On the day of the settlement, the solicitor will ascertain that there is no other claim to the title of the house and that the property is appropriately insured. Then the final payment will be transferred to the seller, and you will be able to take possession of the home.
Buyers need agents who will represent their interests and advocate for them in negotiations, so finding the right agent can often be the key to a smooth and satisfying purchase. Most people choose an agent based on a specific recommendation or knowledge of the agent’s good reputation. However, even the most recommended agent may not be the best fit for you. Bear in mind that you don’t have to work with the first person you contact. Make sure the relationship is a good fit, and take the following tips into consideration.
There are some agents who work exclusively with buyers and some who accept dual contracts, so the first thing to look for is an agent who will represent your interests in the negotiation. The seller’s agent will always prioritize the seller’s interests even if he or she is ostensibly representing both clients.
The most effective agent for a buyer is someone who knows the local real estate market well.
Look for a company that has been in business for a long time and has an office in the area where you want to buy property. An agent who knows the market will be able to offer helpful insights about how well a home is priced for its condition and location and also what life is like in the neighbourhood or community where the house is located.
Most buyers find that they work best with an agent who is experienced with the type of property they want to buy.
Thus, home buyers should look for an agent who focuses on residential properties and has been in the business long enough to have connections that will be helpful to the buyer, such as lenders, home inspectors, and solicitors that the agent knows and can recommend.
A good real estate agent is a good listener who pays attention to what the buyer wants and makes sure the buyer has realistic expectations. A good agent will also respect your wishes in terms of the negotiation process and be as assertive or as laid-back as you need in order to make the deal with as little stress as possible for you.
LJ Hooker is a real estate company that has been in business for 90 years. We cover the whole Australasia region, meaning that we have agents with expertise in the area where you are planning to buy. In addition to experienced and highly qualified agents, we also have cutting-edge technology tools that help us provide our clients with realistic appraisals and in-depth information about properties.
If you’re ready to start looking to buy real estate or invest in property in New Zealand, contact us to find an LJ Hooker agent where you want to buy. Our agent will help you with everything from finding a house and getting financing to getting the home inspected and making an offer. We are also happy to work with buyers who are interested in investment or commercial properties.