The real estate industry doesn’t have a great image, with only two out of five people surveyed being confident of its professionalism. The new settled.govt.nz website aims to not only help Kiwis with buying and selling, but also to raise the profile of the industry.
What should you really be looking for when you visit an open home? Can you spot a leaky home? How do tenders work, and can you afford it?
A new website launched today by industry regulator the Real Estate Authority (REA) spells it all out.
Settled.govt.nz answers all the questions you may want to ask before you buy or sell a house. And it has been welcomed by Consumer NZ deputy CEO Karen McDonald.
“Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions many Kiwis will ever make, with the potential to hugely impact their life. An independent resource, such as settled.govt.nz goes a long way to help Kiwis make informed decisions, and help them avoid blunders that could cost them dearly in the long run.”
But the website also aims to raise the profile of the industry, which rated poorly in a recent survey by the REA.
The survey showed that just two out of five Kiwis are confident the real estate industry is professional. About one in five is confident it’s transparent.
In 2017, real estate agents providing incorrect or misleading information topped the issues raised in consumer complaints and inquiries to the REA. Failure to disclose defects or other important information about a property was the second most common issue raised. Advertising faux pas, poor customer service, and incorrect sale and purchase agreements rounded out the top five.
McDonald says a recent Consumer NZ survey shows how heavily decisions around home ownership affect people’s lives. “Three in five homeowners with a mortgage were just getting by or finding it difficult on their present income, and a third had cut back spending on essentials such as groceries or power.”
Settled.govt.nz provides five-step information modules on buying and also selling a home. These include detailed information about leaky homes and problem building materials, private sales, marketing, auctions, sale and purchase agreements and finances. There are extensive checklists of what to look for during a viewing, how to present your home for sale and how to deal with offers.
Much of the information is provided in quiz format, but the answers are immediate and accompanied by explanations.