Home Sale By Owner

If thinking of selling your home privately, make sure you appreciate the legalities before you set out. Our advice and a checklist of the legal documents you might encounter will help you better understand what is involved.

Buying or selling real estate is a legal process which can become unexpectedly complicated. The value of real estate agents is that they are trained to navigate the complexities which are often underestimated by private home sellers.

If you need to speak with a free independent advisor, get in touch or call 0800 789 532 - we're here to help.

Home for sale by owner - pros and cons

If you're short on experience with selling a house, we recommend you carefully consider the pros and cons of a private sale before taking that route.

Things might look simple but the most challenging part of selling real estate is not the marketing and advertising, but rather the period between signing the Sale and Purchase Agreement and the date the sale goes unconditional. This is where property sales often fall over - in particular private sales.

Home buyers now purchase property with greater caution and their legal or financial situations and information requests are not always straight forward.

Real estate agents liaise with lawyers, valuers, banks, mortgage brokers, insurance companies, councils, building inspectors and do whatever else it takes to close a sale. Can you manage all this?

As an owner, selling a home is rarely straight forward so it pays to be aware of the pros and cons in detail before you make this important decision - including the opportunities you could miss out on.

Are you an Auckland home owner? The difference between offers you could get for your home could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if your property is not marketed to the right potential buyers now that some areas are zoned for development under the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Private home sale - the legal documents

Private home sellers will encounter a number of real estate related legal documents.

Whether you are using a real estate agent or selling privately, some or many of these will be part of the picture. There may be others, depending on your property type or description.

If you intend to buy or sell your home privately, you will need to know how to navigate these yourself which is why so few take the risk and go it alone.

Even lawyers and real estate agents use real estate agents.

Real Estate Commission The Bone of Contention

Kiwis often want to sell their home privately because of real estate commission and fees.

If this sounds like you, find out more about commission including a scale of fee examples, what aspects of commission and fees can be negotiated, how to get the best sale price and minimising costs.

Understand your legal obligations

Is your home structurally sound?

Owner Sell Home
  • Structural integrity of a building is one of the most common inspections included in the conditions of a sale. Make sure you use a qualified building surveyor.
  • A word of warning, make sure any building inspection report is addressed to all who will be relying on its accuracy. If it is not addressed to you, you have no come back if errors are made.

Buyers might search or request information on:

  • LIM – the Land Information Memorandum covers all information held by the council on a specific property.
  • PIM – A Property Information Memorandum covers all work that requires building consent.
  • Survey Plans (Title Sheet) show legal boundaries, area and dimensions including easements.
  • COC - Code of Compliance Certificate is issued when a building project is finished, for instance renovations, extensions or repairs that required council consent.
  • Electrical Code of Compliance - Electricians must issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) to customers when doing any fixed wiring work, including fitting new power points.
  • Insurance companies are now requiring Electrical Inspections Certificates for properties built pre-1938. Check with your insurance company sooner rather than later.

Agreements can fall over because a buyer can't get insurance on your property.

The number and range of reports needed has increased with the advent of the Christchurch earthquakes, meth contamination in houses, and leaky homes. Be prepared for the things buyers might request.

Private home sale - further homework

Home Sale By The Owner

This is not an exhaustive list but will primarily cover most real estate property transactions. For professional advice, talk to your lawyer.

Alternatively, if you decide you want to use a licensed real estate agent, there is free advice available about where to start.

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Article updated March 3, 20201 | About