Frequently asked questions

Buying or selling a house?

There are a number of options for buying and selling a house, so it’s important to be informed. Here are some tips from Curtis & Co to help you on your way. Please talk to us about what best suits your needs…


Buying a property at auction

The auction process is an open and transparent way of selling with cash buyers competing with each other on the auction day. Usually there is a three to four week marketing campaign in the lead up to the auction date. Auctions take place on site by an experienced real estate auctioneer. A vendor can sell pre-auction if they want to. There is a moderate additional charge to our standard fee for auction marketing. Find out more about the auction process here https://www.settled.govt.nz/buying-a-home/making-an-offer/buying-by-auction/

Deadline sale

A property is offered for sale with no price indication and a deadline by which offers need to be received by. Properties being sold by deadline are usually marketed for three to four weeks before all offers must be submitted. The vendors reserve the right to accept an offer at any time before the set date. The deadline sale method allows maximum flexibility around negotiating and accepting offers. Find out more about the deadline process here https://www.settled.govt.nz/buying-a-home/making-an-offer/buying-by-deadline/

By negotiation

In a negotiated sale, there is no end date for offers, and potential purchasers make offers based on what they think the property is worth. The property is available to both conditional and cash purchasers and the vendor has the ability to optimise the sale price. In a multi-offer situation, all offers are presented together and the potential purchasers are advised to put in their highest and best offer as they may not get another opportunity to negotiate with the vendor. The vendor can then decide to negotiate with one of the buyers to achieve the best terms possible. The vendor is under no obligation to accept any of the offers. Find out more about the negotiation process here https://www.settled.govt.nz/buying-a-home/making-an-offer/buying-by-negotiation/

Selling in the Canterbury market

As a Canterbury resident selling in a complex market there is extra documentation that you may need to prepare before putting your house on the market. Documentation includes insurance details eg: whether existing insurance cover can be transferred to the new owner or if a new policy will need to be obtained, a signed off EQC scope of works document if earthquake repairs are complete, a building report (if appropriate) and a deed of assignment which gives permission to pass over legal rights to the access EQC information pertaining to the property, and any other relevant earthquake damage or repair information.

Readying your property for sale

The first thing to do is step outside your home and look at it objectively.

  • Contrast and compare – go to open homes in your area, look up properties which have sold recently, ask us for a free property appraisal and for advice on real estate activity in your area
  • Think about who your home is going to appeal to – talk to us about what first home buyers are looking for, young families or investors – we hear first-hand what people are looking for, so we are in the best place to advise you on how to maximise your property’s potential
  • Depersonalise and declutter – space is a huge selling point, so you want to show off what you’ve got. Start packing early, have a garage sale… removing ‘stuff’ will make rooms look bigger. You want potential buyers to imagine themselves at home so tuck personal objects and photos away.
  • Let there be light – a bright and sunny space is always more attractive. We can help you identify quick and effective ways of energising your home. It could need a lick of paint, a clear out of jumble or you could remove some old blinds that have always been there. Fresh eyes make all the difference – so don’t hesitate to ask us for advice.

The Sale Process

The process of selling property is regulated by legislation and follows a regular pattern.

  • The first step is to seek a property appraisal, where an agent inspects the property and talks you through the overall process
  • The next step is to decide on your preferred method of sale and a marketing strategy with your agent.
  • When an agency agreement is signed, a real estate agency guide is provided and you will need to fill in the property listing details and schedule open homes. This allows potential buyers plenty of notice. Open home visitor details are recorded, as well as comments and feedback.
  • When interested parties make offers you can negotiate the best price and conditions with the help of your agent
  • Other real estate agents will assist with potential purchaser conditions, finance, building inspections etc.
  • Once a buyer is identified, a contract of agreement is drawn up between the two parties, a copy of the real estate sale and purchase guide is provided and a copy of the agreement supplied to property lawyers on both sides.
  • Once conditions are satisfied, usually after a 10-15 day period, the purchaser confirms and pays the deposit.
  • Once the sale is confirmed, a sold sticker goes up on the ‘For Sale’ sign at the property and on-line listings.
  • The property then settles on the agreed date and the keys to the property are handed over so the new owner can take over the property.

Still can find the answer to your Questions? Contact Us.