How much will it cost to sell my home?

It’s one of the first questions many homeowners ask and we are here to help.

We understand that at this stage you may not be ready to interview agents quite yet, but you probably want to start gathering information, like:

  • How much commission do you charge?
  • How much will I need to spend on advertising?
  • What are houses around me selling for?
  • What is the market like right now?
  • Is it a good time to sell?
  • What are the next steps in the process?

Click on the link below, fill in the ‘request a quote’ form and we will send you a commission quote specific to your property, along with marketing recommendations, a pre-sale checklist and a report showing recent sales near you.

This is a no-obligation, free service.

Click here to request a quote…

I need to sell my property. What improvements maximise value?

When it comes to selling your property, you get one chance at achieving a premium price. Most owners realise this, so well before they get anywhere near running open homes and well before they get to their moving date, they start asking questions like:

“What do I need to do to get the best possible price when I sell?”

“How far do I need to go with renovations/improvements? Can I sell my home as-is?”

“Will I over-capitalize if I do ‘x’?”

In the initial planning stage, most of our conversations with owners centre around finding the answers to these all-important questions. At relatable, we have been through this process a few times, having sold more than 600 Wellington houses during our combined careers. As a result, we have a feel for what matters to buyers, what adds value and what will help create a bidding frenzy for your property.

In our experience, there are 5 key areas to focus on that will provide you with the best possible return on time and money invested when it comes time to sell. No matter what kind of property you own.

Click here to keep reading…

My tenants are moving out. Should I sell my investment property?

You have just received the dreaded call that your tenants are moving out. Is now the right time to look at selling your investment property?

The short answer is… Not if you can help it. You probably bought your investment property with the long-term goal of making some capital gain and/or providing yourself with a semi-passive income of sorts. Hopefully, that is what has been happening. If your property is negatively geared (ie. losing money each week) then hopefully you have at least experienced some capital gain over the past few years.

Time and length of ownership are your best friends when looking to obtain a return from any form of property.

However, there are scenarios where selling an investment property could make sense.

Click here to keep reading…

What should I offer?

Always the toughest question to answer. Our best advice is that you should physically visit 20+ properties in your area of interest before you make your first offer. If the salesperson isn’t proactive you may need to follow up later to find out what each one sold for.

When viewing a property, ask the salesperson what they believe are the most comparable recent sales in the area – drive past those houses and make your own conclusions.

Now you are starting to develop a feel for the market. Next step: Read about our 5 step home valuation method.

What conditions should I put in my offer?

The key checks to undertake on any property are:

  • Title search (get your solicitor to do this).
  • Building inspection report
  • LIM report (from Wellington City Council).
  • Finance approval.

Optional: Meth test, Council archives search, engineers report (sometimes recommended by your building inspector).

You should either complete these checks before offering or make sure you have conditions in your offer to cover anything you haven’t finished yet.

Clause wording: REINZ useful clauses booklet (.pdf)

Should I get my own builders report?

Often, owners will provide a builders report to show transparency and to help buyers complete their due diligence. It is our advice that you still engage your own building inspector to complete a report on your behalf as well.

Having the owner’s report available can give you confidence that you won’t be wasting your time and confidence to move forward, however, the safest approach is to organise your own inspection as well.

How long should I make my conditions?

In a busy market, the majority of offers that are accepted by owners are either unconditional (eg. the buyers complete all their due diligence before offering), or they are subject to 5 working days for the completion of things like a builders report, getting finance approved and checking the title.

You can put down whatever time frame you like, eg. 5, 7, 10, 20 working days. Owners look closely at the length of time allowed though so if you want to make your offer attractive it is important that you keep this time period as attractive as possible while still allowing enough time to complete all necessary checks.

How do I choose a settlement date?

Ask the salesperson what would suit the owners best. For most people, quicker is better (3-4 weeks being the norm), but sometimes owners favour a longer settlement (3-4 months+), especially if they still need to find a home to buy.

How much of a deposit will I need?

This can sometimes be confusing to buyers. The bank will require you to put down a deposit, usually anywhere from 5 – 20% as a minimum, before approving finance.

Agents will ask you to specify a deposit amount on your sale and purchase agreement to be paid when your offer goes unconditional (ie. when it gets accepted, or once you have completed your due diligence and are happy with everything).

This contract deposit doesn’t have to be the same amount as the bank deposit. In fact, you probably want to make it as low as possible without affecting your chances of having your offer accepted so the money stays in your account gathering interest until settlement.

The standard contract deposit is 10%, however, there is no legal rule that you need to pay this much. Owners like to see a deposit, so putting down ‘nil’ will make your offer far less attractive, but often a 5% deposit is ok.

Whatever you agree to – make sure you have immediate access to those funds. You Kiwisaver balance may be making up part of your bank deposit but you can’t use this as part of your contract deposit, as the funds usually won’t come through until settlement.

So, if your 20% bank deposit is made up of 5% personal savings and 15% kiwisaver funds, then the biggest contract deposit you could agree to would be 5%.

How can I make my offer more attractive?

  • Attach a hand-written letter to the owners, or record a short video and send it to your salesperson.
  • Use uneven numbers.
  • Complete your due diligence before you make your offer or use short condition timeframes.
  • Offer just above a round figure. Eg. Offer $501k instead of $499k. The difference is small in the scheme of things but looks so much better on paper.

Read more here: How to win a Tender

What should I look for in a property?

If you want to secure a home that will sell well in any future market and avoid buying a lemon, these are the features we would look for:

  • Good sun
  • Decent access
  • Some outdoor flow (or the ability to add it)
  • Potential
  • Solid construction
  • Proximity to local schools, transport options

Read more: 5 questions to ask yourself before buying your first home

Should I use a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker can help you get the best possible deal and improve your chances of getting approved in the first place. They are there to negotiate on your behalf and present your ‘case’ to the bank in the best possible light. Plus their service is free. They can also help with advice on how to structure your mortgage (eg. to fix or float) and how to pay it off as quickly as possible.

What does a mortgage broker actually do?

They help people arrange mortgage finance to purchase a property. A mortgage broker works with a range of different lenders (including all the major banks, except Kiwibank) to find the best deal for their client. They also work with a number of smaller, non-bank lenders who can often come to the rescue when a traditional bank says ‘no’.

The service is free. The lenders pay the mortgage broker a commission once the mortgage is settled. A mortgage broker is viewed as a distribution channel by the lenders (similar to how they would view their branch staff etc). The benefit you get is that a broker can deal with any bank and can save you time and effort shopping around to find the best deal.

Note: A broker can often negotiate discounts for you as well, even from your own bank (as either a reduction in your interest rate, or a cash incentive, or both). They have the advantage of knowing what special deals each of the banks are prepared to do at that point in time, that are not public knowledge and are not advertised.

Can I make an offer below asking price?

There is no wrong offer amount. Offer what you think the property is worth.

Every owner who is on the market should be excited to receive an offer. Anyone who has owned a home that has taken a while to sell will attest that it is far better to have offers that you turn down than to have no offers coming in at all.

How do I know when it's the right time to buy?

“Timing the market is a fools game, whereas time in the market is your greatest natural advantage.”
Nick Murray

You should buy a property if you know you’ll be able to afford to hold it for the next 5 years and beyond (even if interest rates fluctuate).

It’s the people that only hold a property for 1-2 years that end up getting caught out. Real Estate markets fluctuate over the short to medium term (1-4 years) but generally improve over the long term (5-8 years being the length of each cycle). You need to be able to hold on if you want to see any capital gain.

Read more: 5 reasons why you are better off buying

What if my question isn't on here?

No problem. Send us an email with your query and we’ll do our best to help.