Guide To Buying A Property

Handy tips when buying your new home

If you're buying a house, whether it's for the first time or the third time, this checklist will come in handy.

1. Set a budget

First, talk to your bank or mortgage broker regarding your finances and determine how much you can borrow and have to spend on a property.

2. Prepare a list of needs and wants

Bearing in mind your budget:

  • Where do you want to live?
  • How close do you need to be to services such as supermarkets?
  • Consider which schools you are interested in - some may be zoned
  • What style of house would you like?
  • How many bedrooms, bathrooms would you like? Do you need a big section?

3. Find an agent

Find an agent with whom you feel comfortable and with whom you can communicate easily.  It's a good idea to work with the same agent in each company, that way they know your requirements and can call you when new properties come onto the market. Find a Tremains agent here.

4. Find a solicitor

Ask friends or colleagues to recommend a solicitor. Some solicitors have a set fee for conveyancing and some charge by the hour.

5. Write a property checklist

When you are out looking at open homes, or viewing a property with an agent, be sure to check the following:

  • Size of living areas, bedrooms, kitchen and storage. Also check outside areas
  • What condition is the property in? Is it sound and is there anything that needs to be done to it? If so, what are the likely costs?
  • Do you need any specialist reports such as a building report?
  • What is the water pressure like? Be sure to turn the taps on in the kitchen and the shower to check
  • Is the home insulated - walls, ceiling or both?
  • Which chattels remain with the property and which will go with the vendor?
  • Will your furniture fit in the home?

6. Different methods used to sell a home

When you buy a property, there are a number of different methods used by vendors to sell their home. You'll need to be familiar with these methods because they affect how and when you make an offer. Go to our Ways To Buy A Property page for more detailed information.

7. Making an offer

By law, all written offers irrespective of price must be presented to a vendor. Your Tremains agent will be there to work with you offering advice and guidance throughout the offer process.

You will need to sign an Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Property - download it here - a standard agreement approved by the Real Estate Institue of New Zealand and the Auckland Law Society used throughout New Zealand.

Your offer is not unconditional until any special conditions have been met. Once an agreement is unconditional, neither the buyer nor the seller can change their minds.

8. Special conditions

Special conditions can include:

  • Cash out clause - a buyer can come in with a cash offer and over-ride the existing conditional offer
  • Conditional upon a specialists report
  • Conditional upon the sale of the purchasers property
  • Conditional upon an existing agreement
  • Conditional upon a LIM report
  • Conditional upon finance
  • Conditional upon builders report
  • Conditional upon solicitors approval

9. Paying the deposit

The deposit is due to be paid when agreement is reached with you and the vendor unless otherwise stated in the agreement. The deposit is paid into an audited trust account and is only released when it has been legally authorised.

We'll hold the keys to the property until your solicitor advises us that settlement has taken place.

10. Final inspection

It is your right in the standard terms and conditions of the agreement, to carry out a final inspection as close to settlement date as possible. Ensure the propety is in the same condistion as when you first inspected it. Your Tremains agent will arrange this for you.

11. Settlement day

Settlement day is generally moving day. In general the vendor moves out in the morning and the new ownders move in the afternoon. However, you can get the keys to the property only when you have paid the money over. Liaise with your solicitor, the vendor and your consultant.