Do homework before you sell

DAVID CURTIS
Last updated 09:54 15/01/2014
house real estate sale
ON THE MARKET: Taking a few steps before listing a home will boost chances of a smooth sale.

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OPINION: Have you come back from summer holidays with plans to sell your home? Real estate agent DAVID CURTIS offers some tips on selling in Canterbury.

Cantabrians thinking of putting their house on the market need to make sure they take care of some key tasks before listing their property.

Ensuring important administration is completed before listing can maximise the sale price and speed up the sales process.

Christchurch's market is unique, so it is vital to research and understand the key differences between the real estate market here and in the rest and the rest of New Zealand. A small mistake can be a costly one, and it is best to tick all the boxes before listing your property with an agency.

As well as ensuring all maintenance tasks have been taken care of around the property, and home and garden are presented in the best possible condition, there are five key things I recommend to all clients considering selling.

First, vendors need up-to-date and accurate copies of all earthquake- related information. This includes copies of the scope of works and all Earthquake Commission (EQC) documentation. Purchasers are very savvy about what is required and without these documents, sales are taking significantly longer than necessary and in some cases do not proceed because of a lack of documentation.

Second, vendors must make sure that if they have accepted a cash settlement from EQC or their insurer for work on the property, they must be able to clearly demonstrate whether the work has been completed, and be prepared to transfer the cash settlement to the prospective buyer. Alternatively the cash settlement can be subtracted from the sales price. Some sales have taken longer than normal to complete because this issue has not been adequately addressed.

Third, vendors should have available copies of all EQC or insurance company repair work sign-off documentation from the project manager. They must be able to show these to potential buyers to let them know the work has been completed to the required standard.

Fourth, Vendors should undertake a critical detailed inspection of their property before listing so they can complete work that may need attention. Most purchasers will contract a property inspection as part of the sale and purchase conditions. It can save vendors time later if you address repairs before listing.

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Fifth, it's also a good idea for a vendor to check their Land Information Memorandum (LIM) with the council to find out about any recent changes, additions or consent issues relating to the property. It's better to be aware of and address these before listing the property so they don't come as a surprise during the sales process.

By following these few simple tips, the sales process should be less complicated and stressful for both vendors and purchasers.

David Curtis is managing director of Curtis and Co Real Estate in Christchurch.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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