When buying a house, this checklist and advice will:

1.  Help guide you through the buying process

2.  Alert you to due diligence checks not to omit

3.  Help prevent you from 'buyer's regret'

4.  Include what buyers look for in a house

Whether you are buying a house from within New Zealand or from Australia, navigating the process can be a minefield so we have centralised key information you'll need including: 

What legal documents and contracts are required such as sale and purchase agreements, AML documents, Property Titles, Plans, Maps and Surveys that would show covenants, easements, boundary lines and verify ownership.

How to establish the value of your offer to buy a house

When to get a pre-purchase building inspection to check weather-tightness, moisture levels inside and under the flooring, methamphetamine, electrical wiring and level of insulation. An inspection will include more however.

How to spot a conflict of interest.


Establish how much your home is worth to sell first

Once you’ve worked out how much equity you can expect from selling your house, you can then work out how much you can afford to pay for your new one.
  • The fastest and no-cost way to find this out is with a free market appraisal by a competent real estate agent. Even better, getting two or three appraisals will establish with greater certainty what you can expect to sell for. 
  • You will need to engage a competent real estate agent who will not only provide an accurate market appraisal, but also work hard for you to get the best sale price, as quickly as possible. Request a shortlist of vetted real estate agents to compare first.
  • You will also need to factor into your budget how much real estate marketing, advertising and commission and fees will cost.
  • Find a professional tradesman you can rely on to conduct repairs and maintenance jobs that will pass a building inspection

You may want to make a checklist of over-due repairs and maintenance or improvements that will help add value when selling your house. Build these into your costs. Be mindful that there are legal limitations around DIY work. If you’re not sure about what these are, just ask. 

What you should know about getting a free property appraisal first.


Without proper due diligence your dream house can quickly turn into a nightmare so make sure you attend to the following checklist

If you need help finding what you need, get in touch, we have it all at our fingertips.

  • Establish how much you should offer to pay and build in costs of improvements that will be needed for example insulation, painting or re-roofing etc. 
  • Work out how much you will need to borrow and whether it's affordable.
  • Understand the method of sale being used and if it's going to auction, find out how auctions work first.
  • Make sure you check all details in your sale and purchase agreement carefully, including any amendments.
  • Is the party you are purchasing from an individual or a company? If a company, it pays to check who the directors are as this will establish any conflicts of interest. This is not common but it does happen.
  • Find out if you need to pay tax.
  • Check what the annual rates cost (if it has been on Air BnB at all, it will be rated accordingly for a year so check the expiry date).
  • Getting insurance cover can be harder since the NZ earthquakes - make sure you can get insurance for the property.
  • Find a trustworthy and qualified building inspector to ensure the building is weather tight and solid - request a list of building inspectors in your location.
  • Ensure there is a Code of Compliance (COC) for unfinished renovations, decks or extensions and repairs.
  • Legal Advice is worth its weight in gold - use a property lawyer to collate all your legal documents. If you don't have a property lawyer, request a list in your location.

Protect yourself by conducting these checks. We have access to the best industry and Government resources at our fingertips so if you need help, get in touch.

Lady on her phone discussing the process of buying a house

Agent Finder NZ can help you find a competent real estate agent for selling a property in any location.





Request a shortlist of real estate agents to compare now.

Agent Finder NZ Awards:

  • Best Estate Agent Vetting Service New Zealand 2018
  • Best Property Advice Hub NZ 2021
  • Best Independent Real Estate Advisors 2022 - New Zealand

Page Updated November 2, 2022 by Trish Willis | Member of Property Institute of NZ (IPAC)

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