I have gone through three property purchases in New Zealand until now, and I cannot say that I am any expert, but I thought I would share some of my experiences.

It is possible to find the property yourself or alternatively you can buy through a buyer’s agent for a fee (sometimes called “dog spotters” in New Zealand). I have bought through Buyer’s Agents and by myself.

If you are looking for a property the first place to start looking is the Internet. I used realnz.co.nz mostly but there are many other sites that are also good.

If you find a property you like, either send an email or call the agent directly. Agents are usually very slow to respond to email, especially in country areas. Also with the realnz.co.nz they are very slow to remove properties that have been already sold.

I strongly suggest finding a property on a website, then call the agent to tell them you are interested. If the property has already been sold, ask if they have any similar properties available. This is how I found my first property in New Zealand. It had yet to be listed or advertised and the owner was accepting “any offer”.

Some of the questions you might like to ask the agent:

– is the property owner occupied/vacant/let
– if currently let, for how long, quality of tenant
– rental income
– rates
– land size
– any work/repairs that need doing on the property
– how long it has been on the market for
– why owner is selling

It can also be a good idea to ask bout the current market sentiment in the town or city, and possibly the current renta demand. Not all agents are honest of helpful, but at least you can try and get some more information from them.

If the property is available and you would like to purchase it, you then need to submit an offer. How much you offer is entirely up to you. Try not to feel pressured from the realestate agent. Put the offer in writing and email or fax it to them.

Include any conditions in the offer, such as ‘subject to finance’, or ‘subject to a satisfactory building inspection’. Consult with your solicitor if you require further assistance with this.

To be continued…