Sometimes you need to experiment to see how things work. I once found myself putting a bid in for a fixer-upper just to shed some light on the obscure tender process – to see what would happen.

I intentionally low-balled because it was more of a trial run for me, but it did come down to just me and another buyer in the end. Good thing the seller decided to work with the other, more serious house hunter! But I learned a lot about how a tender works, so that was one box ticked.

A whole lot of parties come to the party when a property is bought and sold. Agents, lawyers, inspectors, insurers, lenders, conveyancers, valuers… the list goes on and on.

Even at the small overseas bank I once worked for, there were multiple teams – a whole floor of people – whose job it was just to get the deals funded on time for the properties to change hands. You would not believe how many people are involved behind the scenes: sales teams, underwriters, document experts, funders. And that’s just the lending part.

A more seamless experience, please

A challenging aspect for home buyers and sellers is that all of the players are working on their own patch, their own business. No service has entirely joined the dots to make the end-to-end experience more seamless for you and me.

On Sorted, the focus is mainly on the finance side of things, as it should be. Making informed decisions about mortgaging up, questions to ask a lender, and calculating the quickest way to pay down a mortgage to save tens of thousands in interest.

There’s a lot of helpful new data out there as well. At Trademe Property, for instance, its Property Insights section shows how much a property sold for or estimates how much it’s currently worth. You can type in any address, and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Introducing settled.govt.nz

Now there’s a new government website filling the gap in streamlining the house-buying and selling experience for New Zealanders. With its new settled.govt.nz, the Real Estate Authority has taken on the task of guiding everyday consumers through the entire end-to-end home buying and selling journey.

It’s fantastic to have another independent voice in this area. There’s a lot of solid stuff to take in: guides, tools, quizzes, checklists. (Checklists are brilliant!)

And they’ve done a really helpful job of pointing out where to go when things go wrong – as they can do in the property process. Whichever “party at the party” is causing trouble, there is typically an industry body, regulator or dispute resolution service to back you up.

Settled.govt.nz is the closest we have to enlightening the end-to-end experience. Maybe now we won’t have to experiment first-hand as much.

But I’m still off to observe an auction tomorrow to learn more.

 

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