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Charlton Property Tips

Cut the cost of your mortgage

Here are some tips for trimming the cost of your mortgage from our partners at Mortgage Express.


As a property owner, paying off your mortgage before you retire is important. Once you hit retirement age, the last thing you want is to still be saddled with debt. Here are some ways to help reduce your total mortgage and essentially help you pay less for your property.


Shorten your term
Reducing your mortgage term to 25, 20 or even 15 years shaves thousands of dollars in interest off the total. Even reducing it by one year can save you money.

For example, if you borrow $500,000 at 4.00% interest over 30 years, your interest on a principal and interest loan amounts to $359,348*. Shorten your mortgage term to 25 years and you reduce your total interest to $291,755*. Of course, this means your regular repayments will increase, so make sure your budget can accommodate this or you’ll need to alter your spending habits.


Make additional payments
If you can’t afford to shorten your mortgage term, keeping a portion of your mortgage on a variable rate or having a revolving credit mortgage, which works much like an overdraft, may be the answer.


Look out for refinancing deals
Look for refinancing offers with more flexibility or a better interest rate. Be sure to factor in any costs for refinancing when considering this option.

It’s worthwhile reviewing your mortgage on an annual basis to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Your mortgage specialist can do a financial health check and help you find savings.

If interest rates drop, keep repayments at your current level, rather than be tempted to spend the savings. By doing this, you’ll shave off a substantial portion of your loan principal.

Each product provider has different policies and costs around paying extra amounts off your loan, so get in touch with your local mortgage Express adviser to find out more. You’ll find additional tips and tools at mortgage-express.co.nz/mortgages or call 0800 226 226



While all care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no warranty is given as to the accuracy of the information and no responsibility is taken by Mortgage Express Limited for any errors or omissions. This publication does not constitute personalised financial advice. It may not be relevant to individual circumstances. Nothing in this publication is, or should be taken as, an offer, invitation, or recommendation to buy, sell, or retain any investment in or make any deposit with any person. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt within this publication.

*This is an indicative amount only based on the loan amount and interest rate selected. The calculations assume a constant interest rate for the life of the loan, however rates will change over this time and as such the calculations are a guide only. A Disclosure Statement is available on request and free of charge.



Should you sell first or buy first?


When you’re looking for a new home, one of the first things you need to consider is the order of events – do you sell your existing property before you buy, or after? Here are some factors to consider before taking the plunge.


Buyer’s market or seller’s market?
When buyers are plentiful, but properties aren’t, homes generally sell quickly. In a seller's market, there is less risk associated with buying first and then selling your existing home. However, sellers in this kind of market may be less likely to accept an offer that is conditional upon you selling your home, so you could end up owning two properties for a period of time.

The average time it takes to sell a property varies from region to region and from month to month, so it’s important to talk to your sales consultant to get advice about current market conditions, recent comparable sales in your area and the possible demand for your property before making a decision to buy first.

Keep in mind also that in a seller’s market there will be more competition, so you can expect to pay top dollar your new home.
The good news is that you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from finding the right house to buy before selling yours.


Do you know how much you can spend on your next property?
Until you sell your property, you may not know exactly how much you’ll have to spend on your next one. In a buoyant market, you could easily have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the value of your own property. Your sales consultant can help you get a realistic picture of your property value by preparing a comparative market analysis of what similar properties have sold for in your area in recent times.


Are you a cash buyer?
If you choose to sell first, you will instantly become a cash buyer and be in a much stronger position to buy as soon as you find what you want. Do your homework on the market and area that you are looking to buy in so you’re ready to buy when the right property comes up.


Have you found your dream home?
Buying a new home is an emotional decision. If you want to follow your heart and buy that dream home before selling your current home, make sure you’re well informed. A good sales consultant will provide quality advice for your unique situation. If you are looking for a very specific type of property and it becomes available, it could be a good move to snap it up even if you haven’t sold your home, but there’s
no downside in getting expert advice before you do.


Are property prices are going up?
If you’re in a rising market, it could make sense to buy your new home first and negotiate a longer settlement. Your current property could potentially rise in value during the settlement period, allowing you to earn more when you sell it.


Are property prices falling?
Falling property prices can work in your favour as well if you can attract an interested buyer before prices drop further, leaving you free to purchase your new property at the lower end of the market cycle. However, falling property prices are also an indication of a slower market so it could take you longer to sell your existing property.

At the end of the day, your best course of action is to work with a real estate professional who can provide you with the local knowledge and insights you need to make an informed decision for your specific circumstances.



The five essential marketing tools for your property


The decision to sell is made, but how do you ensure potential buyers know your house could be their dream home? Here are five top marketing tools to help you get the best possible result for your sale.


Online presence

More than 80 per cent of  Kiwis look online to find properties for sale so it’s essential your property has a presence on the worldwide web. Consider how to get the most exposure, and include plenty of details so potential buyers can put serious thought in. Your real estate agent can run through the sites that will give the best bang for your buck and advise on how best to describe your property.


Great images

Make sure your home looks pretty as a picture to attract the maximum number of buyers to come and view it in person. The first encounter many will have with your property is by viewing photographs online, in real estate magazines or agency windows, or in the property section of the local paper, so it is crucial they make a good first impression. It is worth paying for a professional photographer who can ensure images are taken from the right angle, get the lighting right and show your home at its very best, as those pictures (and video, if you want to go a step further) may just prompt a future buyer to fall in love.


Street signage

A ‘For Sale’ sign outside your home may feel a little old-fashioned in our virtual world, but it’s important to catch the attention of those who may not actively be looking for a new property, or those who always have an eye on your street or neighbourhood for the dream home. People hunting for property use up to four extra resources on top of online research, including sale signage, magazines and brochures, and agency window displays, so the more places you shout ‘For Sale’, the better.


Open homes

The actual look and feel of a property is something that can’t be construed through photos alone, so holding open homes and private viewings is key to marketing your property. Giving prospective buyers the chance to walk through your home, imagine themselves in it, and get a feel for the surrounding neighbourhood will ensure you have some serious buyers in the mix when it comes time to sell.


A great agent

Word of mouth and personal recommendations count for a lot when it comes to making a major purchase such as a new home. A committed and enthusiastic real estate agent will be able to tell people about your property, put the word out to other agents who might have interested buyers, and follow up with potential buyers about their intentions. An approach like this will make sure you have reached as many people as possible, and make you feel secure that, in turn, you get the best price possible.



7 Easy Tips That Will Help Sell Your Unit


If you’re preparing your unit for sale or maybe just thinking about listing your unit the approach you take may need to be a little different to preparing a house for sale. 


Tip 1 – Always work with a unit and apartment specialist
Make sure your sales consultant has sold a number of similar properties before. It takes a very specialised skill-set to have success selling a property against others that are very similar and it’s often a much more difficult process than selling houses.
This is why it pays to use a sales consulant who knows the area well, and is well-versed in selling units.


Tip 2 – Start working with your sales consultant early
Make sure to choose your sales consultant and start working with them in advance of the property going on the market.


Tip 3 – Advertise if the unit is pet friendly
Not all body corporates allow for pets within a unit, but it pays to do your research. Generally, units aren’t allowed a blanket ‘no pet’ policy unless it has been voted on and passed by owners, so make sure you find out, as the ability to own a pet can attract a much wider pool of buyers.


Tip 4 - Make your unit stand out from the crowd
When selling a unit or apartment within the inner city suburbs or even in a coastal community, your main competition often comes from other units almost exactly the same as yours – it can be really difficult to get an apartment to stand out from the crowd. So focus in on your apartment’s most unique feature. That may be the view, the size, or a recent renovation. Work out what your winning factor is and make sure your sales consultant concentrates on it in their photos, the title of the advertisements and the written copy – your buyers need to be totally aware of the reason to buy your apartment over any others.


Tip 5 – Add small, appealing touches during open homes
Styling your apartment for inspections and marketing photos is essential to have it stand out from the crowd, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. The first obvious step is to declutter, then it’s a matter of working with your sales specialist to figure out which small touches will make all the difference to buyers. Think of adding bright, decorative pieces like throws, cushions and flowers, and make sure candles are lit and soft, appropriate music is playing during open homes.


Tip 6 – Make the most of your sales consultants time
Make sure to have two sales consultants at your open homes, this is something you can request through your sales consultant. One consultant should be at the front of the building and another upstairs in your apartment. Your lead sales consultant should be with the buyers talking through all the features and benefits – not standing at the door.


Tip 7 – Give potential buyers as much information as possible
Giving buyers as much information about the unit as possible is a good idea so they know exactly why it is that your apartment is the one for them over a similar one. This should include a detailed property booklet complete with a floor plan to answer questions a buyer may have about the unit. When it comes to marketing a unit that’s near a beach or local community, it helps to detail these benefits of buying in a particular area. This could be including the walking time to the beach or park, and other community amenties such as cafes, public transport options and shopping hubs.


Choosing the right sales consultant, and working with them early are the first key steps to successfully marketing and selling your unit. To find your local Harcourts agent click here https://charltonrealty.harcourts.co.nz/Meet-the-Team



Healthy Homes Standards - What you need to know



There is some trepidation amongst private sector landlords at the prospect of meeting the new healthy homes standards for rental homes that have been set by our Government. However, we must not lose sight of why these minimum standards have been created and what they will ultimately achieve.


Currently there are almost 600,000 households in rental accommodation in New Zealand and they tend to be older and of poorer quality than homes that are occupied by the owner. Source: www.hud.govt.nz

These measures will improve the standard of housing in New Zealand and will improve the health and wellbeing 
of New Zealanders.There are five healthy homes standards that all rental properties will need to comply with by 1st July 2024, and sooner if you have a change to a tenancy after 1st July 2021.


Let’s look at each standard:


Heating Standard
A fixed heating device must be installed that can achieve a temperature of at least 18 degrees Celsius on the coldest of days. This temperature is a standard recommended by the World Health Organisaton for the minimum indoor temperature. It is important to note that this requirement is only for the living room of the property. It is anticipated that in most cases the fixed heater will be 
a heat-pump or wood burner for the larger living rooms, however a fixed electric heater may be enough for smaller rooms. If you have existing heating at your property, it may not meet the new standards if it’s inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy to run. Examples of these are un-flued gas heaters, open fires and electric heaters (excluding heat pumps) – depending upon home size and the number of heaters provided.

An online tool will be available later this year to assess the requirements for heating the living room at your property. 
Your Harcourts property manager can perform this assessment on your behalf and advise you of a recommended course of action, if any. Harcourts and Noel Leeming are working together to bring our clients a special deal* with regards to purchasing heating devices.

Insulation Standard
Properties managed by Harcourts are set to meet the 2016 insulation requirements by the 1st July 2019 deadline. However, under the new insulation standard, there is a new group of rental homes affected. The minimum level of ceiling and underfloor insulation must now either meet the 2008 Building Code, or for existing ceiling insulation, have a minimum thickness of 120mm. These affected rental homes will already have approximately 70-120mm of ceiling insulation, so the requirement is to increase this to a minimum of 120mm where required.Adequate insulation provides health benefits through minimising heat loss and is key to maintaining a warm, dry and healthy home.

Ventilation Standard
Ventilation is an important factor in preventing mould which can result in respiratory illnesses and worsening asthma. If that isn’t bad enough, mould can damage properties and belongings. Under the new standards, all kitchens and bathrooms must have mechanical extract ventilation. In addition, all living rooms, dining, kitchen and bedrooms must have windows that can be opened.
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is calling for the Government to make an exemption for shower-steam domes, arguing that these are cheaper and quicker to install than an extractor fan and don’t have an ongoing cost to run. Harcourts works closely with REINZ and will ensure that we are abreast of any changes to this standard.

Your Harcourts property manager is connected with a team of tradespeople including electricians and will be able to arrange the installation of any mechanical ventilation required. In addition, through our partnership with Noel Leeming, we will be able to provide discounts on kitchen rangehoods for our clients*.


Moisture Ingress and Drainage Standard
Properties must have adequate drainage and guttering, downpipes and drains. If there is an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier (if possible to install) that will protect the home from rising moisture.



Draught Stopping Standard
We can insulate and heat our houses; however, this is ineffective if we do nothing to prevent draughts. Guidelines will be made available as to how we can best prevent draughts, however the standard states that landlords must stop any unnecessary gaps or holes in the walls, fan and don’t have an ongoing cost to run. Harcourts works closely with REINZ and will ensure that we are abreast of any changes to this standard.

Your Harcourts property manager is connected with a team of tradespeople including electricians and will be able to arrange the installation of any mechanical ventilation required. In addition, through our partnership with Noel Leeming, we will be able to provide discounts on kitchen rangehoods for our clients*.

Once we have further clarification on the new healthy homes standards, and when the online tool to assess heating requirements is available, your Harcourts property manager will perform an assessment of your property, with professional assistance 
if required.


We can then advise you what work if any, is required to meet these standards. As we typically inspect our rental properties every three months, we are taking note of what standards your Your Harcourts property manager will then work with you to formulate a plan to action the required work to an agreed timeline. Be aware that the final date for complying with the new healthy homes standards is 1st July 2024, however if you have a new tenant or a varied tenancy after the 1st July 2021, you will only have 90 days 
to comply.


We anticipate that now the healthy homes standards have been set, savvy tenants will be asking to have these requirements met when looking for new rental accommodation. If the property they are renting does not comply on the 1st July 2021, you may find them looking for properties that are compliant with the new standards rather than having to remain in a damp cold home for another three years. If your tenants leave and new tenants move in, you will only have 90 days to complete any work.

Smart property investors will want their property to be attractive to prospective tenants and/or retain their existing tenants and will therefore be planning to meet these standards before July 2021.



How to choose a great neighborhood

Moving to a new town or city can be overwhelming, particularly if you're trying to choose a neighbourhood to buy a home in. While it’s true that what a great neighbourhood looks like can differ person to person, all great neighbourhoods do share some common factors that are universally appealing. Here we explore 10 signs the neighbourhood you live in (or would like to live in) is a good one.


Great schools
Even if you don’t have children now, buying a property within an area renowned for great schools has a

very positive affect on property prices. In most places, you generally need to live within a

public school’s catchment area in order to send your child to that particular school, and some parents

are willing to pay top dollar to ensure they live in the catchment area of a great public school.




Low crime rates
This is a pretty universal sign of a good neighbourhood. We all want to live in an area where

we feel safe and secure and savvy property buyers will do their research and look at crime

rates when it comes to moving to a new area, with this information readily available online.




Lifestyle options 
A well-rounded neighbourhood is one that offers different things to different people. This could

mean they’re plenty of nearby cafes and bars for foodies, walking and hiking trails for active locals,

or even local clubs and leagues for engaged community members.




Outdoor activities
Living in an area where residents don’t have to travel too far to get out and about and enjoy

the great outdoors makes an area more appealing. Think of parks, playgrounds, golf courses,

tennis courts, public pools and even nearby lakes and rivers.




Well-presented homes
Not only does a neighbourhood look amazing when each house is well presented, but it also shows that

your neighbours take a lot of pride in their home, a good sign for any propsective property buyer or seller.

This doesn't have to mean you live in a street of luxury properties either, great presentations starts with

a mowed lawn, neat and tidy yard, freshly painted facade and clean, well-mainained footpaths. 




Leafy and well established
Even in inner-city areas, a leafy main road, with well-established older buildings and homes can

look really inviting. It shows the area has a bit of heritage given the age of the trees that line

most streets and the age of the buildings which have been maintained over time.




Family friendly
Aside from great schools lots of factors play a part in making an area appeal to families.

Funnily enough, most are listed above. In addition to these an area which has larger homes

on potentially larger blocks is probably going to appeal more to families than say the

heart of the city, where units run significantly smaller, with little to no outdoor spaces available.




Public transport and walkability
In larger areas being close to public transport is a must with a huge number of commuters

relying on buses, rail and ferries to get them to work every day. Walkability is also a

big factor though, being able to leave the car at home to get to nearby attractions like

markets, shops and cafes makes an area really desirable.




Not everyone loves the idea of travelling into an inner city to have dinner, see a movie or

catch-up for drinks, so residential areas that also boast great local cafes, bars or theatres

are always popular. As are those with great famiy entertainment options such as playgrounds,

sports grounds, libraries and cinemas.




Being close to the shops is not just convenient it can be a drawcard that gets people to visit a neighbourhood.

Weekend markets are popular neighbourhood attractions, as are large-scale shopping centres, supermarkets,

and unique local boutiques.




This weekend, why not look around your local neighbourhood and see what makes your area special. It’s great to be aware of the major selling points in your location, and if you’re interested in buying in a particular area, why not see how it stacks up in the desirability stakes?

If you're looking to buy in an area completely new to you your Harcourts sales consultant will have a good knowlege of the local area and will be able to answer questions about a neighbourhood



How to add value in the kitchen without breaking the bank


If you’re planning on selling your home, the kitchen is a great place to start to add value. The kitchen is one of those spaces that can make or break the sale for many buyers, but before you make the decision to totally gut your kitchen and start again, here are some tips on how to get the best out of your existing kitchen without breaking the bank.


1) Ease and flow 
First ask yourself if your kitchen functions well or are there some things about it that have always driven you crazy. Is the pantry too small, is the dishwasher too far from the sink or the rubbish bin, is there never enough storage or are the cupboards too high? Consider whether moving an appliance or rejigging those cupboards could significantly improve the flow of your kitchen. Also, think carefully about what you are going to include as chattels in the kitchen. Anything difficult to replace that is a key part of the kitchen should be included in the sale if possible.


2) A good clean and splash of paint
One of the simplest ways to freshen up your kitchen is with a coat of paint. Keep it light, airy and neutral – be sure to pick a shade that works with your existing counters and cabinets. Ask for advice at your local paint shop or when in doubt, white is usually a safe bet. A professional clean is a worthwhile investment and should include ceilings and walls. Fly spots and food splatters are big detractors to an otherwise sparkling kitchen. 


3) Update your hardware
Updating your cupboards with new handles can give your kitchen a more contemporary feel, but make sure they are still in keeping with the overall style of the room. A country style kitchen with traditional wooden cupboards for example won’t suit the same hardware as a sleek minimalist kitchen.


4) Declutter storage spaces 
Make sure your cupboards and open shelves are clean, orderly and decluttered. Potential buyers will be looking inside your cupboards, and if they are overflowing it gives the impression that the storage space in your kitchen is inadequate. The same goes for the pantry. Pare back the contents until you have some open space on each shelf. Organise what’s left into a set of matching food storage containers rather than lots of open packets. To make space you may need to remove items from your pantry and store them in a box out of sight during open homes.


5) Let the light in
Consider the lighting in your kitchen – you’re looking for that bright, airy feel. Good lighting will make your kitchen seem bigger, brighter and will make it more functional too. No one wants to cook or entertain in a dark, poorly lit kitchen. 


6) Help buyers imagine it as their own 
Your kitchen may be very personal to you and your tastes, but now is the time to make it clean, simple and neutral. Buyers may not share your love of bright colours or ornate accessories. They’ll want to stamp their own personality on their new kitchen, so give them a clean canvas to work with if you want to appeal to a wide range of buyers.





Building wealth through property investment


Owning property is an excellent way to build wealth. Historically, property has been a less volatile investment with real estate values invariably tracking upwards over time. 

What’s more, you have the added benefit of being able to “leverage” your existing real estate investment to buy an investment property using borrowed money and grow your property portfolio even further.


Using equity to grow your investment portfolio
How much equity do you have in your home or investment property?  Enough to fund your next property purchase and grow your investment portfolio? 


If you’ve owned your property for some time and provided you have the means to service a mortgage, you may be able to access the equity in your property to fund the purchase of your next property. Equity is the difference between your property’s value and the amount you still owe on your mortgage. It’s essentially the bit you “own” of the property and it can be used as a deposit to buy another property.

If you’re buying a residential investment property or you’re using a residential investment property you already own as security for a new loan, you’ll generally need at least a 30 per cent deposit. Instead of having to save up the cash for the deposit though, you could use the equity in your existing property to purchase another property.


Calculating the equity in your property 
To calculate how much equity you have, you’ll need to know the market value of your property. You can use the valuation on QV or get a registered valuation of the property to determine its market value. You’ll also need to know how much you still owe on any lending secured by the property, which you can obtain from your lender.

Lenders will determine how much you are able to borrow by looking at a combination of your equity and income. Different lenders will have different lending policies and the combination of equity and income may vary from lender to lender.

Your potential rental income from the investment property you’re planning to buy will be included in the lender’s servicing calculations when determining your borrowing capacity. Contact a Harcourts’ Property Manager to arrange a rental appraisal to help you  determine the likely rental income from the property.


You’re required to have at least 20 per cent of equity in your existing property after new lending is taken out if you’re using the equity in your family home, or 30 per cent equity if using your existing investment property. That means you could borrow up to 80 per cent of the value of your family home and 70 per cent on any investment properties you own, based on current loan to value restrictions.


If you’d like to find out more about accessing the equity in your property and unlocking your opportunities to grow wealth through property investment, contact Mortgage Express and one of our advisers will get back to you within 24 hours. A Disclosure Statement is available on request and is free of charge.



MX_black_text_logo HR

Why We Choose Auctions


Why Auctions


With changing market conditions there has been a decline in the number of vendors taking their properties to market under the Auction method. The Real Estate Institute of NZ reported last November that Auctions were down some 34% on the same time a year earlier and this trend has continued into 2019


Yet auctions remain the best method in our Auckland marketplace to selling property. And our own stats of just over a 72% clearance rate this year reinforces that a well-managed campaign still gives the vendor the very best opportunity to obtain an unconditional sale to enable them to move on with the next chapter in their home or investment ownership


So Why?

  • Vendors are dealing with Unconditional interest, not a conditional sale subject to say, the sale of the purchaser’s home. The result is 100% certainty which in turn puts the seller in the box seat as a ‘cash buyer’ in their own quest for their next purchase
  • Marketing exposure is generally 3 to 4 weeks, short, sharp and intensive flushing out all the buyers at that single point in time
  • The auction process is fully transparent and generally identifies true market value by way of competition from buyers who are highly educated on values. Everyone in life wants a bargain, yet the auction process negates the ability to hard-ball the vendor


When choosing your agent, you should ask evidence of their auction performance – wisdom, knowledge and the ability to demonstrate a full understanding of the selling process will give you the confidence to make an informed decision on how to take your property to the market



Anti-Money Laundering Implications


New Zealand is a target for money launderers. It is estimated that well over $1 billion a year from drug dealing and fraud is laundered through New Zealand businesses. New Zealand introduced its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation in 2009. Banks, financial institutions and many other sectors have been operating under the legislation since June 2013 and Real Estate agents have been captured under the legislation from 1 January 2019.


Since 1 January 2019 Real Estate agents are, among other things, required to verify the identity of their clients (vendors) in accordance with AML/CFT legislation. This is called Customer Due Diligence (CDD).


This means they are required to identify who their clients are (i.e. who they are acting for). This could be individuals, companies, trusts, or other client types like societies and government departments etc. They will need to ask for information to verify a client’s full name, date of birth, and residential address. This can be done in several ways, like the banks, they will ask to see identity documents like a Passport, Driver’s Licence or utility bill etc. In some cases, they have obligations to establish source of funds and wealth.

If your real estate agent cannot verify your identity in line with the legislation, they may not be able to act for you. More information about CDD is outlined below.

This change primarily impacts vendors. If you are purchasing property you are not deemed a client of the real estate company (unless you have engaged a real estate sales consultant as a buyer’s agent) however, your lawyer also has AML/CFT obligations and may need to complete CDD. We encourage all purchasers to engage early with lawyers in any sale or purchase process. See ‘Documentation that may be requested’ below for an outline of the things that may be requested.


Who do real estate agents need to complete CDD on?

They must identify and verify:

  • the client;
  • each beneficial owner of the client; and
  • each person acting on behalf of the client including the authority to act on behalf of the client e.g. a lawyer or representative giving instructions on someone’s behalf.

What is a beneficial owner?

A beneficial owner is any individual (natural person) who satisfies one or more of following:

  • the individual has effective control of the client; or
  • the individual is a person on whose behalf a transaction is conducted;
  • the individual owns more than 25% of the client or person on whose behalf a transaction is conducted (e.g. direct/indirect shareholders).

What is effective control?

Effective control is the ability to exercise control or influence over a company or entity. Typically, this will be the directors of a company or entity or those who hold senior positions. It could also be those who are funding the company, so this is something else that real estate agents will need to consider, and where relevant, enquire about.


What information will real estate sales consultants need to get?

As a starting point, the following identity information must be obtained:

  • the person’s full name;
  • the person’s date of birth;
  • if the person is not the client, the person’s relationship to the client;
  • any additional information prescribed by regulations.

The nature and purpose of the business relationship:

Your real estate agent is also required to get information on the nature and purpose of the proposed business relationship with all beneficial owners. This includes understanding what the client is trying to achieve, how much business is expected, and how regular the interactions will be.

Source of funds/wealth:

In some cases, the real estate agent will need to establish the source of the funds for the transaction (i.e. where the funds have actually come from) and source of wealth (i.e. how those funds got there in the first place and how was that money obtained).

Documentation that may be requested: 

The information that a real estate agent requests will vary depending on whether business is being carried out for an individual or as part of a partnership, company, public body, estate or trust.

The following gives an indication of some of the documents a real estate agent may request in person or as certified documents as part of the due diligence process:


Passport, NZ Firearms Licence or NZ Driver's Licence with another document such as a bank statement or statement issued by a Government agency. Clients may also need to provide a document with a residential address (for example, a utility bill).


The Trust Deed and, for trustees, and settlors, the information required for individuals as noted above, together with information regarding the Trust’s source of funds or wealth. Additional information may also be required for beneficiaries. Information regarding source of funds or wealth may also be required.


Details of the company, together with the information for individuals noted above for every individual with more than a 25% shareholding, all individuals with effective control of the company and all individuals acting on behalf of the company. Information regarding source of funds or wealth may also be required.

The above list is not exhaustive and is indicative only. Real estate agents will assist clients with specific requirements in relation to individual situations.



Real estate sales consultants are doing this to help protect everyone and because they are required to under the law.

Ministry of Justice have also provided some information, please see the below link – www.keepourmoneyclean.govt.nz/

Copy supplied by AML Solutions.



Is Your Home Ready For Summer?

Summer is the season for entertaining and what better way to enjoy it than in a beautifully presented home that’s light, bright and perfect for barbecues and gatherings. With the warmest season being just over a week away we’ve put together some tricks and tips for getting your home ready for a fun-filled summer.

Ditch the darker colours
Colour can have an enormous effect on the rooms overall atmosphere. The dark colours are great for the cooler seasons as they create comfort and warmth but for the warmer months there’s nothing like the inside of your home feeling fresh and vibrant. If you’re in the mood for a bit of painting, then try some light summery tones on the walls (whites, pale yellows etc.) Not only will this help lighten up the room but it can also make it feel more spacious.

If you’re not in the mood for painting or you’re in a rental property and are not able to, you can always add lighter colours with bright art on the walls, bold coloured pillows, throws and rugs.

There’s no better time to add a bit of life to your home than in the summer season! Lighten up any room in your home the easy and affordable way with greenery. Placing a beautiful bold batch of flowers on your bedside table can really bring a room together, making it feel full of life. Hang a few plants in the kitchen for a refreshing ambience while preparing the food for the barbecue.

Clean & Clear
It may not be the most exciting job in the world but de-cluttering is one of the best ways to make a room feel fresh and spacious, which is exactly what you want for the warmer seasons. Make sure everything has a place and get rid of anything without a purpose Open up your windows, let the fresh air in and get to work.

Outdoor furniture
Being outside enjoying the sunshine is that little bit better when you have a great space to enjoy it in! If you don’t already, make sure you get some nice comfy chairs or if you’re on a bit of a budget some outdoor bean bags that are perfect for sitting down with a beverage and watching the sunset. Remember, the more effort you put into your outdoor space, the better feeling you’ll have when you’re out there!  


Why Auction Your Property?

When it comes to selling your house, we know getting the very best price with the least stress is your top priority. Auctions are often the best way to achieve this, as well as offering several other benefits for sellers too. Read on to find out why going under the hammer will likely work for you.

Short and sweet
Auctions get maximum exposure for your property in a short period of time with a structured, intensive marketing campaign over a few key weeks. This approach not only creates a sense of urgency for buyers, but has the added advantage of meaning you won’t have to keep your house clean for months of open homes or agent visits, and you have a defined timeline to plan around.

The market decides the price
Rather than guessing at the value of your home, and potentially placing a ceiling on what people will pay for it, auctions allow buyers to decide for themselves what a property is worth. This means you get a true market value for your home if it sells at auction.

Competition is maximised
A property is worth what any one party is prepared to pay for it, so creating fair competition for your home can push buyers to truly consider their top price come auction day, and may result in you getting more than expected when the hammer finally comes down.

Signed, sealed, delivered
An auction sale is an unconditional sale, which means that once your home passes the reserve (set by you) and the auctioneer declares it sold, you can sign the paperwork and know the deal is done. This eliminates drawn-out contract negotiations, and is often the best option for anyone needing quick settlement terms for another purchase.

Passed in, but not passed on
If your home is ‘passed in’, meaning it doesn’t sell at auction, the intense interest and buyer activity generated in the lead-up to the auction means you usually have an increased chance of selling the home at a negotiated price to interested parties. Your real estate agent will already know who is genuinely interested in the property and can deal direct with them to see if an agreement can be reached



Now That Didn't Happen By Accident!

Calling all Landlords –

  • “No communication from my Property Manager”
  • “Why is my investment property empty” ?
  • “My payments are late”

If these experiences sound familiar to you, then you need to be talking with a Harcourts Charlton Property Manager about our specialised property management services – we are all about great clients saying great things about our great service!!

As a landlord, you are fundamentally reliant on your property manager with your key investment asset. The process starts with the marketing to attract a good calibre of potential tenants. The vetting stage follows, and just as employers need to have a robust recruitment process to avoid costly mistakes, so too does your property manager in mitigating against the risk of unsatisfactory tenants occupying your property. From placement, you just want good old fashioned service, built around excellent communication and service to the landlord and to the tenant.

National Winners of the coveted REINZ Excellence award – that didn’t happen by accident

Call Joanne Rae, our manager of the Property Managers to discover what Harcourts Charlton can do for you!

Joanne Rae - 0274 905 053


Invest To Impress

Your Property Investment Starter Guide

If you’re looking at taking the next step to your first investment property then there’s a few things you need to consider first. Property Investment is one of the most popular types of investment in New Zealand, and it’s a big one! So, read the books, magazines, reports and religiously check trade me and realestate.co.nz to get a fair idea on what you’re looking for.

Getting started

  • Learn the basic principles you need to know about property investment

  • Understand how to turn your first investment property into a portfolio

Check your finances! - Can you afford to buy it? Rent it out? How easy will it be to rent out? Work out how much equity you already have along with any savings then get pre-approval from the bank or a trusted mortgage broker to get an indication on how much money you will be able to borrow.

Buying at the bottom
Start off with a low-cost property to make sure you can handle it. Be sure to purchase in a good location where you can generate more of a profit in the future. Also, before you jump the gun and decide on a property, make sure you thoroughly check through the Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and building report to safeguard your investment.

Rental Income or Capital Gain?
Whether you’re purchasing to rent out, or purchasing to add value for capital gain property investment can have significant financial benefits. However, it does have both pros & cons so lets break it down.


  • Can provide you with extra income, as long as the rent is higher than the mortgage payments and other expenses combined.

  • Flexibility to sell at the right time.

  • Future financial security and Tax Benefits.

  • If you have an investment property, you can also use the existing equity in the property to get another loan or to purchase another investment property.


  • Management Costs – Compared to other investment types, property is expensive to buy, sell and maintain.

  • Bad tenants can be a nightmare. Not only can they affect your cash flow, but if they don’t pay their rent on time they can cause emotional stress.

  • Sudden changes like rental vacancies or rising interest rates can put huge strain on your cash flow.

  • You may not be able to find tenants for your property quickly.

​​​​​​​It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re venturing into something as fraught as property investment. But don’t give up! Tell yourself this; in ten years I’ll be leaning back with my feet up, cocktail in hand celebrating the decision of going down the property investment road.


From Small to Spacious

Our Tips On Making Small Spaces Appear Bigger

Its a problem encountered by all part time interior designers; Making things look good! Its harder then it looks. And thats why is a specialised industry for getting your home looking perfect no matter what the space is! Here we have a few tips.  

Multiple flooring types define the border of spaces. One type of flooring  through multiple rooms creates a flow making it feel like the rooms are all one big space rather than separate little areas.

Pale shades make a room seem bigger and brighter and maximise the natural light. Painting skirtings and door trims slightly lighter makes the surfaces recede. Keep the same wall colour to give the feel of flow throughout the house, it also gives the effect of a big space rather than lots of confined areas.

Try to keep the window sills the same colour as the wall for a more seamless look. Hanging curtains higher than the window gives the illusion of height.

Internal doors that swing can waste space and close off areas, so take it out or replace it with a sliding door. Curtains can even be a great way to keep areas separated instead of a door or wall but then give the option of opening it up as well.

Floor to ceiling storage gives a sense of space as it draws the eyes up. Having closed shelving makes it less cluttered. Underneath stairs can be a great storage space too.

Using bigger but fewer furnishing pieces not only declutter, but give the illusion of a bigger area. Avoid seats with legs that splay out, and consider the height of sofas, or the back of chairs, so they don’t block the view which would split the room into smaller sections. Round tables take up less space and as there are no corners they don’t interrupt the flow of traffic. Try hanging things on your wall rather than leaving them free standing on the ground, TV’s and shelves can be mounted to the wall to maximise floor area. It may seem obvious but finding furniture with multiple functions is key- tables can be used as a desk, a fold out sofa can double as a guest bed. Mirrors can make your space seem larger and lighter. There are so many creative ways to maximise space, one that we thought was cool was using the space under a bunk bed as storage or to sit / have a desk, instead of having another bed.

You’ll be amazed at how little things like wall colour can make your house seem a lot bigger than it is. Be creative, there are so many new ways to make spaces double their purpose.

Kitchen Renovation Guide

Our Top Tips For Kitchen Renovations

A kitchen is not only one of the hearts of the home, it's a huge make or break point for future buyers!

When it comes to renovating your kitchen, you know that there’s a lot of work that’s about to be put in and a lot of money that’s about to be spent. There’s so much planning that needs to be done before you even start to renovate, so make sure you’re well prepared and know exactly what you’re doing. Here are a few tips for you to think about before you start on your future kitchen.

How do you want your kitchen to look? The most important step in kitchen renovating is to make sure you know what you want before you commit. Talk to a few professionals and see what they recommend then decide on which design company you want to go with. Have a shop around and get a few ideas on what materials and options are on the market and how much they cost then set yourself a budget, but be prepared to go over with all the extra temptations.

If you’re looking at painting the walls in your new kitchen, then this needs to be done before the floors are laid. Choose a colour scheme that will blend in well with your chosen cabinets and bench tops. Also think about your appliances, will these be colored or simple? Choose these appliances before you plan your cabinetry. The key is to make sure everything is going to tie in well. 


Layout & Design:
Ask yourself this, “Why are you renovating your kitchen in the first place?” lay out on a plan what you really need.

  • What are the pain points of your current Kitchen?
  • What do you need more of?
  • What do you need less of?

Use your space well! It’s crucial that your layout is practical and suitable not only for you, but for future buyers. Don’t rush into anything. Figure out what is going where and place everything on your design knowing that it's exactly where it needs to be. Are you using a double or single fridge? How big is your cooktop and oven going to be? Will you be using electricity or gas? These are all the things that need to be thought of when it comes to layout and design.


Electricity & Plumbing
Are you using existing sockets and plumbing for your sinks and appliances? If this is not the case you need to make sure that all of this is organised before the flooring is laid. For you plugs - make sure you know the placement of your appliances first so you know exactly where your sockets need to go. Wherever you decide to put your sink, make sure your dishwasher is nearby, it’s an obvious fact, but you never know what can travel from the mind in the stressful times of kitchen renovating.

Storage is everything! To really know that you have enough, think of every utensil out there and make sure there is a place for it. If you have the budget, we recommend investing in soft close drawers. These are a huge hit point, as it saves the sound of slamming drawers.

Islands or Breakfast Bars
Even though you might only be a family of two, make sure your breakfast bar can fit at least three chairs. Make sure there is a power point nearby for those important phone and laptop chargers.

Finishing Touches to Make Your Mark
Is your home filled with character or is it modern? One of the big things when it comes to renovating is to make sure your new kitchen is going to flow with the rest of your home. Put in some quirky but modern lights above the breakfast bar and an eye-catching splash back behind your cooktop that will really bring your kitchen to life. Think about the colour of your taps to the handles on your drawers and cabinets. Also take a look into current ‘Kitchen Design Trends’ and see if there’s anything that could really bring your kitchen to life.




Investing In The Future

Our Proven Tips To Increase Your Home Value

Whether they be major or minor changes, there are so many things that can be done to increase the value of your home. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to sell their home for more than they brought it for? So here are our top tips to get you on the right path to increase value throughout your home.

Captured From The Curb
The outside presence of a home is equally as important as the inside, if not more. The more appealing your property looks from the street the more eager the buyers will be to get inside, so get the landscape of your home looking fresh and vibrant. 

To Do - Make sure your lawn is freshly mowed and onsider planting colourful flowers and plants to catch the eye. Also, a brand-new fence could be a great feature to give that little bit of extra privacy.

Inviting Interior
You want to keep the interior of your home as modern as possible. When it comes to the kitchen and bathrooms, if these are out of date it could really affect the buyer’s impressions. 

To Do – Who doesn’t love a new kitchen & bathroom? Look into having these updated, otherwise if you don’t have the big budget you can reface instead of replace. Freshly paint the cupboards & cabinets, add in some new blinds/curtains or maybe consider new carpet or tiles. Swap out the plain looking lights in the kitchen & hang some stylish eye-catching ones instead. Also make sure your appliances are up to date & let’s not forget clean! Maybe invest in a new faucet or stove top to really project that new home feeling.


Fresh Coat of Paint 
Adding a fresh coat of paint to not only the interior, but exterior of your home can add major value! 
This will make your home appear clean and fresh from the moment the buyers pull up to your driveway.

To Do – Paint the interior and exterior walls with a colour that’s modern and timeless so it’s very low maintenance for the next owner that comes along.

Open Up To Entertain 
Because everyone knows us Kiwi’s love open plan living so we can entertain our guests while we cook for them in the kitchen. 

To Do- If there are walls that can be knocked down to add more light and space into the interior of your home then get working! The more space and the larger the room feels the better. You can also add a big deck to help the open plan flow to the exterior and create an amazing entertaining area. Space is a huge asset when it comes to potential buyers, so let’s give them a space for entertaining they won't forget. 


After following these steps do you want to know how much your home is worth? Then call one of our Harcourts Charlton Realty Offices for a free market appraisal!


First Impressions Count!

The First Five Things People Notice Once Entering Your Home

It's the little things that really create a great mood throughout your home. Whether you're preparing for an open home or having a group of friends round for dinner, here are our top tips to create a great first impression!

Lighting is guaranteed to create a good impression and is one of the best forms of decorating. When you are lucky to have a great amount of natural light flooding through your home, it can be very easy to light up your home correctly, but for those of us who aren’t so lucky, this can be very difficult!

Our Tips: Change any dim lighting to brighter warm lightbulbs. Also try using those flickering candles as well as a soft spotlight in the evening to really create a mood and show off your property.

From the pile of shoes and coats in the entranceway to the junk mail on kitchen table, there are plenty of places in your home for clutter to accumulate!   

Our Tips: 
Take a moment to really go through all those bookshelves and clutter trays. If you have young kids wandering the halls of your home, we know how hard this can be... but make sure everything has a place! We promise you, you will really notice the difference. 

Reactions are always positive to beautiful scents. As you make your way through the hallways there’s nothing like an inviting scent to create a great sense of relaxation.

Our Tips: Use some luxurious scented candles and diffusers, or why not throw a batch of baking in the oven in the evening just before your guests arrive. Also make sure you find the culprits to those unpleasant smells, because let’s face it, no one likes a stinky house!  

Art is known to capture people’s attention so make sure it’s something you’re proud of! It is a known fact that one of the first things people notice in someone else’s home is what’s on the walls, and what’s on the bookshelves. 

Our Tips: Make sure not to over clutter your room with art, place a few pieces on display throughout your bookshelves and on the walls that really represent you! 

Plants and flowers throughout a household can really make it feel fresh. They also provide a great, natural colour that can really spark up a room. 

Our Tips: Throw out any browning plants or dying flowers and replace them with fresh new bloomers. Use colours that harmonise with the art on your walls and the cushions on your couch to really bring the room together.

Published by Harcourts Charlton Realty LTD