Some ideas on being a smarter buyer or seller

by Alistair Helm in

In addition to my articles here on Properazzi I also working with John Bolton at Squirrel, the property and mortgage experts. I am contributing some regular articles on subjects of interest to property buyers and sellers.

Here are a few more of theses articles which I think are of value especially to buyers and sellers : 


Access to finance to buy a house is not a right, shame though that is! 

Regardless of whether you find yourself in a position of having the now more appropriate 20% deposit to qualify for a mortgage or not, the fact is; access to mortgage finance is not a right. You need to treat it as with anything you want in life - as a challenge, which if you prepare appropriately for you will be more likely to succeed at. 

Also the new Reserve Bank LVR changes do not mean you cannot get a low deposit mortgage, they are available to the right borrower, so be the right borrower

Read more.... 


Buy First, or Sell First? 

It will be a situation you have been in potentially, finding the home of your dreams and you have not even got your property on the market or even in a suitable condition to sell!  

So the question is, is it better to be on the market with your own home and then start looking to buy or vis versa? Naturally there are pros and cons. Here are a few

Read more... 


The value in a property file

The standard documents that are considered critical in the property purchasing process are the legal title and the LIM, however I would add to this list the property file. This collection of documents held by the local council is a virtual treasure trove of valuable information, records and documents that amount to the potted history of the property. Well worth the time and minimal cost in examining and reviewing

Read more.... 

Advice for property buyers

by Alistair Helm in

In addition to my articles here on Properazzi I am also working with John Bolton at Squirrel, the property and mortgage experts. I am contributing some regular articles on subjects of interest to property buyers and sellers.

I thought I would highlight my most recent articles which I think are of value especially to buyers at this time and state of the property market: 


Auctions - some thoughts on psychology

If you have ever attended a property auction you are sur to have though about the best way to approach bidding and the right tactics to use to win on the day. I was watching an intro video to an auction recently and it finished by saying "good luck" in today's auction - I thought you should never rely on good luck. So here is an article about what I see as the psychology of bidding at auctions and some tactics to try - not full-proof or guaranteed for success but worth going for!


As a buyer what should you expect from your agent?

I think we all know (or we should know) that agents work for vendors because they are retained and paid by the agent a commission on the successful unconditional sale of their property and therefore always have the vendors best interests uppermost. For the buyer it is very important to know what to expect from an agent in the NZ property market, so here are some tips and advice in this article now published on the Squirrel website



Don't hibernate as winter weather approaches - be a smart buyer

We are a nation of propert hunters who love to flock round open-homes on sunny afternoons, as a serious buyer don't get drawn into this behaviour, be a contrarian, pound the streets on cold rainy wet winter days as this could be the best time to search for property and is a smart time to buy. Property sales don't fluctuate much over the winter months despite what you may think and whilst many sellers wait until the spring weather arrives before listing their house, there are many houses to choose from that get listed during the winter months, many by people who are to use the phrase "seriously motivated" to sell - have a read of the full article 


Blink and you’ve bought a house

by Alistair Helm in

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Not quite that literally; but the fact is you may have bought the house you live in or another house previously with a decision made in the blink of an eye!

During a recent vacation I reveled in reading the bestseller Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and was fascinated by the examples and facts around our human abilities developed over time to make highly effective decisions with very little time or available information.

It reminded me of the many times that over the years people recount that the moment they stepped into a house at a viewing or open home – they knew this was the home that they wanted.

In a world so rich with information it seems almost at odds with logic to be making such a massive and financially significant decision based on an emotional gut-feel. People do and people will continue to do this.

Whilst I have no factual data I am sure that on reflection people collectively spend more time evaluating holiday options or the next large screen TV than they would do in finding the next house – why is this the case?

For one thing, the market for property is not a "perfect market" - that is to simply say not all the property is available to buy at any one time. When I search for a TV, I can be sure in using the web that I can see all of what is available and know that I can buy what I want. With houses, the very house I really want may well not even be on the market so you have to accept a limited pool of available property and then there is never the case that there is “4 of number 45 North Street in stock today” – there is only ever one house – once sold it is gone.

Property is also one of the most infrequent purchases, some people buy just one or two houses in their lifetime – others (the more typical buyers) may buy 5 in a lifetime. This infrequency has two consequential impacts. Firstly infrequent activity tends to lead to not being able to develop and refine skills, and then secondly such infrequency leads to a suppression of the traditional buyers remorse. We psychologically don’t really want to dwell on the purchase decision; as to change your mind once you have made your decision and committed to buy a property it is very difficult to back out or switch houses after a couple of weeks, unlike the buyer remorse with clothes, equipment or even a car!

To add to this analysis of buyer behaviour I came across a great piece of analysis from Redfin in the US. They are a smart tech-focused real estate company who often undertake analysis of their extensive database. This recent analysis titled “In home search, Men are from Mars and Women from Venus… Sometimes” found that men are more likely (71%) to be more analytical about home purchase than women (58%). Further insight showed that men view around 11% more listings in detail and have 8% more saved searches and view 38% more information about inspections, lenders and lawyers. So this would support the hypothesis that men are more objective and analytical about the home purchase, yet as we know women tend to be more influential in property purchase decisions.

I think in summary to quote a piece from the book Blink “We live in a world saturated with information. We have virtually unlimited amounts of data at our fingertips at all times, and we’re well versed in the arguments about the dangers of not knowing enough and not doing our homework. But what I have sensed is an enormous frustration with the unexpected costs of knowing too much, of being inundated with information. We have come to confuse information with understanding.

There is a wealth of information about real estate and property, however that is never the deciding factor - it is a key part of the decision making process, when it comes to the final decision all of us when buying a home tend to let our heart rule or head.