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Charlton Property Tips

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