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Other useful property buying information

House Prices and entering the buying contract 
The advertised asking property price in most cases is not a fixed price and negotiation of some sort is usually carried out. 
After looking around for a while you will get an understanding of what a house is worth in the area you are looking.  
Every house in New Zealand has a government valuation (GV). This is a value used by the local councils for working out what rates the home owner will pay (rates are the yearly fee to cover the costs of roads, rubbish removal, water supply and other public services). It is only a guide and houses can sell for a lot more than the GV. The GV does not take into account the boom or busts in the economy and housing market. Housing demands can change quickly.

After finding the house you want you then enter into a house sale contract and a 'conditional offer' is made. 
The conditional offer is made subject to conditions you specify and can include; your finance being approved, a house inspection report or repairs on the house before you buy. 
You then negotiate the price using the real estate agent as the middle man taking your offer to the owner and returning with a counter offer.

Once a price is agreed the conditional offer is signed by the seller and buyer. It is then a contract to buy the house. A deposit is then usually paid to the seller and held by a lawyer or real estate agent in a trust account until the sale is finalised. 
Your lawyer will do a property title search to make sure there are no legal problems with the house purchase that could include the boundaries of the property, the right of the person to sell, or any other special conditions that could be missed by you. 
If all the conditions that you have specified are met the sale becomes unconditional and if for any reason you decide against the sale you will incur penalties.

Next is the settlement day. This is the day when you become the new legal owner of the property. The money passes hands and you pick up your keys and finalise the ownership details.

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