Over 10,000 properties to choose from every month

Connect with local experts

Running for more than 20 years, NZ Realtors has grown to become the largest group of independently owned and operated real estate agencies in the country.

Collectively, we have more than 10,000 real estate listings available across the country each month, with a wide variety of residential, lifestyle, rural, commercial and business properties to choose from at any one time.

NZ Realtors helps buyers connect with the best and most appropriate salespeople in whichever region they’re looking to buy. Through our national connections, we can put you in touch with the best local experts. Our network structure gives property investors the ability to identify more geographically diverse portfolios.

We also offer the expertise to manage your portfolio, with the service of more than 490 property managers and assistants who already manage over 35,000 properties combined.

The buying process

It’s essential to find out as much as possible about the buying process before you begin. Here are some things to consider that will help buying a new home or property as simple as possible.

Buying made simple

The buying process and how it works

NZ Realtors agents have a lot of experience in helping people find a new home or property. Here are some of the steps in the (usual) buying process.

Organise your finance

Before you commence looking for your new home it’s important to find out how much you can afford to borrow. Speak to your bank, financial institution or a mortgage advisor about how much you can borrow and what you are comfortable paying back. Once you know how much money you can spend, stick to your budget and be realistic. Remember to factor things like legal fees, building reports, insurance, moving costs and any furniture or appliance purchases into your home buying budget.

For help with your budget it is worthwhile looking at Sorted or NZ Family Budgeting Services.

Get pre-approved for a home loan

Contact your bank, financial institution or mortgage broker about getting a pre-approval for a home loan. This is when a bank or financial institution agrees, in principle, to lend you a certain amount of money. Your application for pre-approval will be assessed on the strength of your application and ability to meet your home loan commitments now and in the future. It’s important to spend the time to prepare information required to have the best chance or getting your loan approved.

Having pre-approval puts you in a better position to negotiate on price and time, helps speed up the mortgage documentation process and you’ll be able to bid with confidence at auctions.

Get independent legal advice

We recommend you get independent legal advice. Finding the right lawyer is an important part of the buying process and they have the training, experience and knowledge to help you through the buying process.

You could ask friends if they can recommend a good lawyer, look in the Yellow Pages under Lawyers, Barristers or Solicitors or contact the New Zealand Law Society.

Research

Think about what you are looking for in a property. Make a list and prioritise the list into “must haves” and “nice to haves”. Take into consideration your needs for the future. Are you planning a family? Do you intend to have pets? Consider:

  • Location and proximity to amenities like transport, schools, hospitals, shops and work
  • Price range
  • Type of property – house, townhouse, apartment, unit
  • Property size – land and home, bedrooms, garage, storage
  • Garden
  • Views
  • Swimming pool
  • Built in BBQ.

Everyone has their own way of searching for a property. To broaden your search, drive through an area and surrounding suburbs, refer to local newspapers and the internet. Take the time to inspect a reasonable number of homes to give yourself an understanding of the market value of the properties and area you’re looking at.

Check out the property

Before purchasing a property, it is important for find out as much as possible about the property and the land before you buy it. We recommend that you consider viewing or commissioning specialist reports such as a Title Search, Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and Builders report – prepared by a qualified property inspector.

Offer and acceptance

Before you make an offer, we recommend you involve your lawyer, get sufficient property checks done and, if you are making a conditional offer, decide on the conditions.

There are two types of offers: Conditional: Where one or more special conditions on the purchase, such as subject to finance, LIM and builders report. The sale is not complete until the special conditions have been satisfied within the stated time. Unconditional: No special conditions are being placed on the purchase.

Your offer is accepted once all parties have agreed to the terms and the contact has been signed by all parties. You will need to pay a deposit to the real estate agency who is required to hold the deposit in an audited trust account. The deposit is released to the seller when the agency is legally authorised to do so.

If you are buying at auction you can only make an unconditional offer.

Pre-settlement inspection

It’s prudent to undertake a final inspection prior to settlement to ensure that the property is still in the same condition it was when you negotiated to purchase the property. You should check that any repairs agreed upon have been made, all the chattels included in the contract are still present and that the previous residents did not cause any damage when moving out of the property.

Settlement

Your legal and financial representatives will keep you informed and look after the settlement day details for you. Settlement day is the date on which you pay the balance for the property and usually it is the same date the keys are handed over to you and you take possession of the property.

Choosing a real estate agent

Knowing which real estate agent to choose when buying a home or a property can be difficult, especially if you are a first time buyer. There is more to choosing a real estate agent than just money. Here’s our checklist of things to consider when looking for a real estate agent.

Choose your agent

Checklist for choosing a real estate agent

Get recommendations

Ask any neighbours, friends, family or colleagues if they have a real estate agent they can recommend in your area. Many realtors rely on referrals and repeat businesses so tapping into this network is a great start and can be a great way to get non-biased insight into prospective agents. If you come up empty-handed, try attending a few open homes in your area to meet the real estate agents marketing them. You’ll also be able to gain an understanding of how they operate. Alternatively, go back to basics and use the Internet, phonebook or local papers to find a shortlist of realtors in your area.

Do your research

Once you have several real estate agencies on your list, do some research to discover whether they will be the right agent for you. Have a look at their website and property listings to see roughly how many homes they have on their books at one time, how quickly on average their properties are sold, and whether they successfully sell properties of a similar type, size or value to yours. This will help you decide how much competition you will face from similar properties and how motivated the agent will be to sell your property. It’s also a good idea to ask about the specifics of how the relationship would work e.g.

  • Whether they will hold open days and/or individual viewings?
  • What marketing they will undertake and where?
  • How often you will meet to discuss progress?
  • When they will inform you of any interest?

The more understanding you have prior to committing to a real estate agent the better decision you can make.

Before you make the final decision, try to meet face-to-face (preferably the agent who will be responsible for selling your property) to ensure you have good rapport. This will be one of the most important relationships you will ever have, so you need to make sure you will get on and will both be working toward the same goal.

Negotiate your terms

Ensure your home will be targeted to the right type of buyer. If your real estate agent doesn’t market your property to the right target audience you could waste time showing your property to viewers who have no intention of buying or who are the wrong fit. Showing a small home to a family or vice-versa, or an inner city apartment to a mature couple is unlikely to result in a sale.

Make sure your real estate agent markets your property in a range of different mediums for maximum exposure. Your property should be listed in local and or national newspapers, real estate magazines or newspapers, in the agency’s window and on their website as well as in at least one New Zealand online property search site. You could also check to see if the agent uses posters/flyers, mobile phone alerts, email marketing/newsletters etc. The more prospective buyers that see your property the more likely you will get a sale, so make full use of all the resources the real estate agent has available.

You may also want to negotiate a time limit to ensure your estate agent stays motivated. If they only have twelve weeks to find you a buyer they’ll have to work extra hard to ensure they earn your commission. This also gives you the option of moving to a different real estate agent if they haven’t delivered enough viewings or marketed your property satisfactorily. Make sure you give a reasonable deadline and have realistic expectations though.

Finally, ask to see your property details so you can check the quality of the photographs and ensure your property details are correct. If you are unhappy with anything ask them to change it.

Ideal real estate agents

In summary you will probably want to consider a real estate agent who:

  • Will listen to you and understand your needs
  • Will be honest with feedback and won’t make false promises
  • Gives you a realistic valuation on your property
  • Knows the area well and understands the local marketplace
  • Has experience selling similar types/size of property
  • Uses several different marketing resources
  • Has contacts outside the local area if you want to attract commuters
  • Shows real motivation to sell your property.

Moving advice

If you have already bought your new home or property and are getting ready to move in here is some handy advice and tips on how to make moving to your new address as painless and easy as possible.

Tips for moving

Moving without stress

Moving home can be both exciting and arduous at the same time. By planning and organising properly, you can ensure that moving properties is a great adventure and won’t have you regretting putting your property up for sale. A major stress factor is moving household items from your old property to your new location. Hiring an experienced moving company can help reduce this stress, as many New Zealand removal companies will provide boxes and pack everything for you.

However, if you are going it alone, here are some handy tips for packing up and moving to a new property.

Plan ahead

Have a big clear-out before packing up your house. Getting rid of things you don’t really need will save time and moving costs. Think about the available space in your new property and measure your larger furniture items to ensure they will fit in your new place and that you’ll be able to get them through the door.

Ask for help

Ask family and friends to help with the move but make sure you give them enough notice. Making sure you have people helping out at both properties can save you time and reduce the risk of problems occurring. Reward everyone with some beers at the end of the day and keep some snacks and drinks on supply throughout the moving day.

Get organised

Don’t leave everything to the last day – packing in a hurry will increase the risk of damaging your furniture or breaking something that is precious to you. Adopting a systematic approach to labelling your household items will also make unpacking in your new property a lot easier. A lot of stress associated with moving house is due to not being able to locate certain items. Label boxes by room so you can put them in the right location and unpack the most important items first. Pack essential items like the kettle, toaster, sleepwear and toothbrushes etc in a separate box and take this in your car, or clearly label it “Essentials – Kitchen” and pack it last so it’s the first thing to be unpacked.

Be patient and understanding

It’s better to accept that things may not go completely to plan, and be pleasantly surprised if the day goes well. There is so much to plan and remember that there’s always a chance something will be forgotten. Try to keep smiling and treat your helpers and family with kindness. If you start to feel stressed don’t take it out on them. You don’t want the move to your new property to start off without any arguments!

Don’t try to lift everything yourself

Avoid accidents and injuries by packing smart and ensuring you have the right equipment for moving your boxes. Don’t be tempted to pack more into a box than can be lifted comfortably. If it’s too heavy either get some help to lift it, use a trolley-cart or simply repack it into several boxes. On the other hand, under-filling boxes can cause objects to move around and get damaged, so add extra padding to stop items from moving around.

Give yourself plenty of time

The more time you allow yourself for the move the less stressed you will be if unexpected problems pop up, and the more pleasurable the moving experience will be for you and your family.

Moving to a rural property

Purchasing rural property in New Zealand is an increasingly popular choice among people looking to slow down and enjoy the tranquillity of a rural location rather than endure the hustle and bustle of city life. If you’re considering a move to the country, we hope this advice will be helpful if you are new to rural life.

The term lifestyle block is given to a small rural property with the specific intention of being a hobby farmer/grower. These types of rural property are ideal for people making the move to a rural lifestyle without committing to a substantial amount of land and learning to run a large agricultural business.

Many Kiwis also discover a new side to New Zealand when they move to a rural location, as smaller communities tend to be friendlier and more inviting than bigger cities where you can live next to someone and never know their name. There will be fewer amenities in rural areas, such as shops and schools etc, so ensure you have the resources you need in the area and you can fend for yourself if you can only get to the supermarket once a month, for example.

Living in a very remote area can be isolating, so if you’re a very social person, consider moving somewhere closer to a township so you won’t feel completely cut off from society.

Moving house needn’t be a stressful experience as long as you plan ahead.

FAQ's about buying

Here are the more common questions that are frequently asked when buying a home or property in New Zealand.

Buying FAQ's

Frequently asked questions on buying

Do I need a Land Information Memorandum (LIM)?

It is recommended that you get a LIM if you are buying a property. The standard Agreement for Sale and Purchase includes a LIM report condition, provided you select it on the front page. A LIM provides current and historical information the council holds about the property. It will show if existing works have received council consent and whether the council requires any remedial work. A LIM also provides information you need to know, such as: potential erosion or flooding; drains; rates information and classifications relating to the property. But remember, the LIM provides information only about those things reported to the council – not those that haven’t been reported.

Can I buy a property at auction subject to conditions?

Auction sales and purchases are unconditional. A buyer cannot attach conditions to an auction purchase. Once the bid is accepted and the auctioneer’s hammer has fallen the sale will be unconditional and must go ahead.

Should I get a builder’s (or engineer’s) report on the property?

It’s a good idea to get a qualified property inspector to provide a report that will tell you about the condition of the property. The standard Agreement for Sale and Purchase includes a builder’s report condition, provided you select it on the front page. We recommend you choose a property inspector who has professional indemnity insurance and carries out their work in accordance with the New Zealand Property Inspection Standards.

Who searches the title to the property?

Both buyers and sellers should ask their lawyers to search the title. Buyers should identify everything registered against the title that might affect their use and enjoyment of the property – e.g., easements including rights of way. Your lawyer will also check what needs to be removed from the title before you settle, such as the seller’s mortgage. Sellers should, among other things, check their property details are correct.

What is buying or selling by tender?

Buying or selling by tender is when prospective buyers prepare and submit confidential written offers for a property to the real estate agent for the seller’s consideration. There is no reserve price, but there may be a price guide. Buyers can offer less than this.

If buyers wish to submit a tender, they ask the real estate agent for a copy of the tender documents. Read them carefully, including conditions or amended clauses. Buyers will be asked to fill in a standard Agreement for Sale and Purchase and submit it before the close of the tender. Buyers should get their lawyer to check it before they sign. It’s a legally binding contract and buyers cannot simply change their mind after it has been signed. There will be a deadline for tenders to be submitted, usually to the real estate agency offices.

Following the tender closing deadline, the real estate agent will present all tenders to the seller who can weigh up offers and conditions and decide which, if any, they want to accept. The seller can reject all tenders.

Once a tender is accepted the buyer is now in contract with the seller and can work through any agreed conditions of sale towards settlement. If a tender is rejected the prospective buyer is under no legal obligation and able to pursue other purchase options.