Harry and Sally found the home of their dreams.  They knew there were others wanting to buy the property, so they hastily signed an unconditional offer, which was accepted.  Once their initial excitement died down they realised they had not done any research into the property.  They didn’t even have finance organised!  They later discovered that there had been unauthorised extensions completed on the house, but because they had not been carried out by the present Vendor there was little they could do about it under the contract.  If they had called us first, they would at least have been alerted to the potential issue.

Buying or selling a property is likely to be perhaps one of the biggest transactions you ever make and potentially one of the most nerve wracking!  We have compiled a list of 5 tips to hopefully make the process a whole lot easier and less stressful for you:

1. Make sure your agreement is in writing

With more and more private sales occurring, particularly through means such as TradeMe, you need to be aware that a verbal agreement to purchase a property is not enough.

2. Talk to us before you sign anything!

We will be able to talk you through the conditions you may want to put in your Agreement for Sale and Purchase.  The conditions you put in your contract are very important as they allow you to make sure all bases are covered before you commit to anything.  We can discuss with you the conditions that you may want or need in your agreement before you sign the agreement and lock yourself in.

3. Finance – can you afford this place?

If your purchase is dependent on you being able to obtain finance, it pays to talk to your bank or mortgage broker in advance.  Check your eligibility for mortgage finance and whether you can afford the repayments.  You don’t want to be forced to buy a house you really can’t afford!

4. Do your homework

Find out as much information as you can about the property.  If you don’t obtain a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) report (and we highly recommend that you do) you can look at the Council records for the property.  Many Councils also have online databases which can be very useful.  Ask neighbours about the property and the area.  Ask the agent as much as possible.  They may have valuable insights and knowledge.

5. Check everything is working

Before you sign the contract, test all of the appliances on the property and the condition of the chattels that come with the property.  Make sure the oven is working, the lights are working and the toilet flushes.  This might seem unusual, but it is not uncommon for issues to arise on settlement about broken appliances.  If you didn’t check that they were working at the time you signed the contract, then you can’t come back after you have taken possession to say they are not working.