Some people regard real estate agents as a pack of liars and a proposal before parliament which would require real estate agents to tell the truth about properties they’re marketing might just formalise that thinking. What’s more it would appear the REINZ are against the proposals saying changes to the status quo could open the floodgates to complaints. Now that’s a good look! Personally I don’t see what the REINZ’s problem is. In my experience most real estate agents will substantiate any aspect of a property before telling you about it and if they don’t know the answer to any specific question, will go find out for you. Don’t believe me? Fair enough. I did say ‘most’ real estate agents not ‘every’ real estate agent! The reality is this – as a prospective buyer the onus is on you to check out the property and make sure you’re happy with every aspect of it before committing 100% to the purchase. Remember what you learned in 5th form economics – caveat emptor. Don’t rely solely on what the real estate agent says. Even if they are a decent bloke their interests are not the same as yours and you need to make your own enquiries. Things to check can include
  • Price – consider getting a registered valuation. Yes, it’s an expense but at least it’s an independent opinion. The bank may require one anyway.
  • Property title – Who else has an interest in the property? What kind of tenure is it?
  • The construction – what sort of shape are the buildings in?
  • Council records – is the building permitted, consented? Where do the drains go? Are there any specific restrictions imposed on the site?
  • Collateral – will the bank accept the property as collateral for your loan?
  Doing these checks could save you from buying a lemon. For that reason we tend to favour sales which are conducted ‘by negotiation’ because they give you the opportunity to make an offer subject to checking the place out. Then if the checks don’t stack up you’ve got a legitimate exit.  
About Campbell Hastie

Cam is one half of Auckland based mortgage brokers, The Go 2 Guys.

He makes a living by sharing what he knows about mortgages with people, arranging mortgages for people and then insuring people.

He doesn't claim to know everything about mortgages himself which is why he teamed up with David Mercer — hence the ‘2’ in Go 2 Guys.

He writes posts regularly on his blog and has been told he has an ability to share his knowledge in a simple and sometimes memorable way.

Feel free to comment and ask any questions. Contact Campbell Hastie m: 027 697 7789.

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