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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.

Our strength is derived from our structure: a collective of strong, independent and professional realtors who are experts in their respective home markets.

Collectively we currently sell more than 23,000 properties every year, including nearly one in every four residential properties in New Zealand. Our expertise goes beyond residential sales and property management, including lifestyle, rural, commercial and business sales.

The selling process

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

Selling made simple

The selling 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) selling process.

Know what you want

Before putting your property on the market, it is a good idea to set out your objectives so that you and your agent are clear on your objectives. For example, you may be looking to achieve the best possible price; you may need to sell and settle within a certain timeframe or you want to keep inconvenience to a minimum.

Do some research to understand the current property market. Knowing the current market gives you an indication of what sort of properties are being sold, how quickly and for how much.

Get independent legal advice

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

Listing

Once you have selected an agent they will prepare a listing agreement for you to sign. The listing agreement gives the agent the authority to act for you when selling your property.

Listing agreements include details about the legal address of the property to be sold, the official owners, method of sale, price (if applicable), marketing budget, period of the agreement and the fees.

Take the time to read and understand it before you sign it. Make sure details such as the address of the property being sold, your name(s) and contact details are correct.

Marketing

Your agent will come to you with a recommended marketing campaign. A marketing campaign will usually be a mix of print and online media, signage and letterbox drops.

Ensure you approve the photographs and text to be used in the marketing campaign. Standing out from the crowd is essential quality photographs are used and the text describes your property well.

Offer and Acceptance

Your agent must present all offers to you regardless of price. Salespeople are skilled negotiators and will work with the buyer, on your behalf, to get the best possible price for your property.

An offer is accepted once all parties have agreed to the terms and the contact has been signed by all parties. The buyer 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.

Once an offer has been accepted, and any conditions agreed to have been met, the offer becomes unconditional. Neither the buyer or seller can change their mind.

Settlement

Settlement is the actual date at which a property is formally sold and ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Your legal and financial representatives will keep you informed and look after the settlement day details for you.

Once financial settlement has occurred, the keys are handed over to the buyer on the agreed date so they can take possession of the property.

Choosing a real estate agent

Knowing which real estate agent to choose when selling a home or a property can be difficult. There is more to choosing a real estate agent than just money. Here’s our checklist of things to consider when you’re 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.

Presenting your property for sale

Here are some ideas and insights on how to maximise the potential of your home or property when selling.

Help with presentation

Things to consider when presenting your property

Plan to present properly

Carefully presenting your house for sale is a powerful marketing tool that can make the difference between a quick sale and no sale at all, especially in New Zealand’s more competitive real estate markets. Planning how to make the most of your property and making the effort before you put your house up for sale can really pay off, even if it means spending some money on a house you’re not going to be staying in for long. The key to good presentation is making sure your home appeals to the maximum number of people within your target market and enabling prospective buyers to imagine living there.

Removing personal clutter and re-painting in neutral colours are two of the easiest tricks you can use to ensure the house will appeal to a wide range of tastes and preferences. But what else can you do to help make your property more saleable?

Show the true character of your home or property

Make sure your rooms are properly defined for their intended use and incorporate the right furniture so prospective buyers can easily visualise how they will use each room. Think about who your target market is and ensure the house reflects how they will want to use it. If you’ve turned your dining room into a den for your teenagers, or you’re using your only spare bedroom as an office, redefine the room’s core purpose, otherwise buyers may feel that something is missing or the house doesn’t present value for money.

If your furniture is looking out of date or you need to change the purpose of the room, consider renting furniture until the house has sold rather than splashing out on new items that might not be suited to your new home.

Let the light in

Making use of natural light is essential when presenting your house for sale. Adequate sunlight is a pre-requisite for many people buying a house so it’s best to make the most of the freely available sunlight. If your house has dark corners, use lamps and up-lighters to add some brightness, and make sure the decor is pale and furniture fits the room – large pieces can make a room look smaller and darker than it actually is.

If your house has low ceilings, painting the moulding and skirting boards the same colour as the walls can give the illusion of height.

Curb appeal counts

Don’t forget about the outside. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. If your property looks scruffy from the street it will make it even harder to get people through the front door and all your time and effort will be wasted.

Make sure your windows sparkle, the paintwork is in good condition, your garden is tidy and obstacles such as bins or bikes are tucked away from view. Consider parking your car elsewhere on viewing days so you do not obstruct the front of your property.

Sometimes it’s easier to get a third party to inspect the house to see what needs to be fixed. For many of us we become blind to the small problems such as a torn curtain or a garden that is unkempt, but they may turn out to be the difference between prospective buyers taking interest in the property or deciding it’s not right for them.

Small details make a difference

When it comes to viewings, many people swear by doing some home baking or brewing some coffee beforehand to give the house a homely feel. But don’t be tempted to use these techniques to cover up problems such as a smelly blocked kitchen sink as most viewers will see right through this.

Whatever you decide to do when presenting your NZ house for sale, make sure that your property appears clean and welcoming, and appeals to your target audience.

If you are looking for NZ houses for sale, the NZ Realtors Network has extensive listings of residential properties for sale throughout New Zealand.

Renovation advice

Renovating your property can add value and increase your property or homes selling potential. Here’s some practical and valuable renovation advice.

Renovation advice

Renovation advice when selling your property

Things to remember

It pays to remember that not all renovations will improve your property’s value! Over-extending, removing important features or adding awkward or small rooms could actually reduce the value of your property.

Renovate to suit the property – large kitchens and additional bathrooms in family-sized homes are more likely to add value, as would adding a garage or off-street parking to a property in a busy, urban area.

If you are extending, try to ensure the addition matches the architectural style of the existing house. Adding a modern extension can look good on an old property, but it may be difficult to sell if it doesn’t appeal to your target market. Similarly, ensure your renovation will appeal to the tastes of the average buyer. Faux Tudor beams might be to your taste but they are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Décor can easily be changed but structural features are costly to put right.

Renovating to sell

If you are renovating to sell, you may be able to do a relatively inexpensive makeover to freshen up the property and make it more attractive to buyers. However, don’t invest money that you won’t get back when you sell the property.

Check the current value, ask a realtor how much they think the home would be worth if it was renovated and what type of renovations they would recommend to get the most bang for your buck. A reputable estate agent should know their marketplace and be able to offer you helpful advice.

Typical ‘makeover’ renovation projects when selling:

  • Lay new flooring
  • Paint kitchen cabinets and change handles
  • Replace aged worktops / sink / taps etc
  • Repaint key rooms (kitchen, bathroom, living room, master bedroom)
  • Fix broken fittings and fixtures
  • Tidy up the garden and add a deck.

Remember to keep the decor fairly neutral so it appeals to the maximum number of people, and style the rooms with the target market in mind. For example, a dining room in a family sized home will probably be in more demand than an office, and all bedrooms should be set up as such.

Parents with larger families might appreciate an en-suite bathroom in addition to the family bathroom so they can escape the chaos and relax. In a smaller property appealing to young professional couples, a home office might be more in demand than a third bedroom or dining room.

Renovating to add value (and then sell)

Here is a list of the ‘more typical’ residential home renovations that add value to a property on the market:

  • Laying new flooring
  • Replacing the kitchen and bathrooms
  • Installing double-glazed windows
  • Converting unused space (e.g. loft, garage)
  • Extending your property.

Setting a budget for renovations

When it comes to budget, it depends on the size of the project and what changes are being made.

Changing some of the fixtures and fittings can be very cost effective and you may be able to tackle some of this yourself to keep costs down. However, making structural changes can cost tens of thousands of dollars and will require specialist trades-people. Ensure you know what your budget is and how much your property is currently worth and likely to be worth after renovating before making any plans.

If you’re planning a big project, it’s wise to use professional contractors and a qualified project manager to ensure the renovation runs to time and budget. If you have no experience, trying to do these things yourself could result in a poor renovation and/or completely blow your budget. Ask friends and colleagues for their recommendations in order to find a good contractor, otherwise, ask the prospective contractors for details of their last few clients and call 2-3 to find out whether their project went well and whether they would recommend them to someone else.

Moving advice

Once you have successfully sold your home or property, chances are moving will become your next priority. Here are some handy advice and tips on how to make your move 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 selling your property. 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.

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 day of the move.

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 be remembered for the 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 selling

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

Selling FAQ's

Frequently asked questions on selling

Who searches the title to the property?

Both sellers and buyers should ask their lawyers to search the title. Sellers should, among other things, check their property details are correct. 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.

What is selling or buying by tender?

Selling or buying 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.

What determines the price of a property?

The best price indicator is what similar properties have recently sold for and similar properties that are currently on the market. Mortgage rates, the economy, supply of property and demand for property can also affect price. Price tends to come down to the price someone is willing to pay at any one time.

Should I spend time and money renovating before selling?

Unless the property is extremely run down or dated, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to renovate. You may run the risk of over capitalising, especially if it is competitive marketing.

We recommend you spend time and money on doing some of the basics:

  • Cleaning the property inside and out
  • Removing clutter
  • Tidy up the gardens
  • Clean your windows
  • Clean paint work – perhaps give a fresh coat of paint in a few areas.

What is an appraisal?

Real estate agents are required to give you an estimate of what your house is worth in the current market – Current Market Appraisal (CMA). A CMA should include examples of similar properties to yours that have sold recently and those that are currently on the market for sale.