The Real Estate Authority, the government agency responsible for licensing and regulating the real estate industry, has set up an information website for people that are buying or selling property.
The REA says the need for an independent source of information for buyers and sellers was highlighted by a Nielsen survey it commissioned, given half the respondents said they lacked the knowledge and information they needed when buying or selling. (The REA was formerly known as the Real Estate Agents Authority).
The new website, www.settled.govt.nz, has information on a wide range of issues people might encounter during the buying or selling process.
Its key recommendations for buyers include advice such as:
- We recommend you hire a qualified property inspector before you make an offer.
- Find a lawyer or conveyancer before you start looking at properties.
- The real estate agent will answer your questions, but remember they work for the seller, not the buyer.
The advice is expanded with sections on why it's important to get legal advice before you sign anything, how to find a suitable lawyer, and the importance of using a qualified property inspector when considering buying a property.
There is also a section outlining how to deal with real estate agents, and there's a check list of what to look for when inspecting a property.
REA chief executive Kevin Lampen-Simth said the REA's research showed many people thought property transactions were confusing and that it was difficult to find reliable information.
"This lack of knowledge means many buyers fail to do the appropriate due diligence when purchasing a property, exposing themselves to significant potential risks," he said.
"The Settled.govt.nz website is an interactive resource with impartial and clear information to help them feel more confident and make better decisions."
You can receive all of our property articles automatically by subscribing to our free email Property Newsletter. This will deliver all of our property-related articles, including auction results and interest rate updates, directly to your in-box 3-5 times a week. We don't share your details with third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time. To subscribe just click on this link, scroll down to "Property email newsletter" and enter your email address.