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Thread: Timeless and useful advices

  1. #1
    Pulsarblu's Avatar
    Pulsarblu is offline God like figure
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    Oct 2005

    Default Timeless and useful advices


    I am reading Money Matters column hosted by Mary Holm on New Zealand Hearld online with great interest and I have learned a lot regarding money issues from the questions from readers and her honest and detailed answers. I think this column will assist in answering many questions pertaining to house ownership, investment and etc for new immigrants like us..

    Here is just one of the many postings on the column.

    link to the column :

    Rocky road to first home

    By Mary Holm

    Q: My partner and myself have been on the rocky road to finding our first home. We have had a few issues to contend with.

    Real estate agents don't seem to want to be helpful in giving any advice if they can see we will go conditional.

    This has happened four times when we have been shown properties and then said if we were to put in an offer we would have certain conditions. We then were given no service or follow up calls from the agents.

    The only conditions we are looking for are as follows: Lim report; finance (we have pre-approval, but you never know); builder's report (we have looked at some new properties less then five years old.)

    We thought that these would be quite standard conditions. But it seems estate agents are looking for unconditional offers.

    We are making a huge decision and think that it would be unrealistic not to have these conditions in place for our first major investment.

    Some of the new properties we were looking at, we wanted to ensure that the company that built them was still in business. We never got a response back from the real estate agent, and after a company search we found they were no longer in business.

    We looked at one property that was a good price and had everything we wanted, but it did say a little TLC was required. We are not scared of a little hard work but when we found out it had a major leaking problem on inspection we were disgusted that it was advertised as TLC.

    Where can we go to get the best informed, unbiased information for first home buyers? We have a checklist and all the things banks provide, but how do we deal with these real estate agents that waste our time and give us the run around?

    Another thing: It seems if you email a real estate agent instead of ringing them they will never get back to you. It seems odd they even offer this service on their websites.

    A: You don't need more information. You're being savvy and reasonable, for the most part. You might get further, though, if you try to see things from the agents' and sellers' points of view.

    Real Estate Institute national president Howard Morley says the conditions you are asking for are "totally appropriate. They're the sort of conditions I would tell my family to be watching for.

    "A building report is a good idea, especially if you suspect leaky housing. And a lot of sale and purchase agreements are subject to a LIM report."

    He's not so sure, though, that ensuring the builder is still in business is a real estate agent's role. An agent might do a search and find a company does exist, "but that might not mean much" if it's in financial trouble.

    "That's not normal for people to request of an agent. If you're worried about leaks and may have to take legal action against somebody, a lawyer would be best to check on the company. If you have an ongoing problem with the builder, that's mostly a legal issue."

    On the house that needed more than TLC, whether you can blame the agent depends on what the agent knew, says Morley. "If an owner tells an agent they've had trouble with a house, that it leaked and has been fixed, that information definitely has to be passed on to anybody who asks." Only to those who ask? "No, the agent should declare it. But if the owner says the house is okay, we can only go with that. Agents are not engineers."

    The same goes for valuers. "I'm a property valuer. We put in reports that we've inspected the property but we can't guarantee what's behind the walls."

    That's why getting a builder's report makes sense.

    In all your dealings with agents, keep in mind that they act for the sellers who pay them, rather than for buyers.

    "If you were the owner of a property and you had an agent working for you, you would want unconditional offers. If there are three offers at the same price and one is unconditional, that's the one that will be accepted."

    However, the market is moving more in your favour, with fewer unconditional offers than a couple of years ago, says Morley. Still, to compete with other buyers, you might try:

    * Asking if the agent already has copies of a LIM report. Sellers are increasingly providing copies to would-be buyers.

    If there's not a copy available, the quickest and cheapest way is to get one yourself from the local council, preferably paying the premium to get it done faster.

    * Telling the agent you have pre-approval for a mortgage. "You can still say your offer is subject to finance. But if you can show the agent your letter from the bank, the agent can tell the vendor, 'These people are 99 per cent sure of getting finance.'."

    "There's nothing wrong with due diligence," Morley adds. "I strongly recommend they continue to do that.....
    Item curtailed due to lack of space.

  2. #2
    leggy2 is offline Junior Member
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    Dec 2005

    Default Timeless and useful advices

    excellent cheers Pulsarblu- I am looking to buy my first home and this is top info. :icon_biggrin:

  3. #3
    selchie's Avatar
    selchie is offline All Knowing Deity
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    May 2005
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    Default Timeless and useful advices

    Yes, thanks for the info on Money Matters and the sample article. There are little differences between NZ and US real estate methods and terminology, so getting familiar with the kiwi way is useful.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s


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