What brokers should be advising their home-buying clients

It's not just "due diligence"

What brokers should be advising their home-buying clients


By Kenneth Araullo

As New Zealand enters the spring season, it also signals a shift in the real estate market. To keep brokers and their home-buyer clients ready, AA Insurance has revealed a set of top tips to consider before inking any property deal – ideal for brokers to pass to their clients - especially in an environment following devastating storms.

“Whether you’re entering the property market for the first time, or looking for a change this springtime, house hunters need to make sure they do all their due diligence on a property before the deal is done. The flooding and cyclones have affected properties across the country, so we’ve compiled a handy list of things to consider when you’re on the open home circuit this spring,” AA Insurance head of home claims Tom Bartlett said.

Top insurance tips for home buyers

Below are 10 important tips that brokers should keep in mind while advising their clients about to purchase a new property:

  • Structural integrity – obtain a builder’s report to assess the property’s structural soundness and check for hidden leaks
  • Land information – check if the area is prone to natural hazards and obtain a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report to understand the property’s risk factors
  • Sum insured – calculate the cost to rebuild your home and its contents accurately, as relying on market value or purchase price may not be sufficient
  • Odors and stains – pay attention to any damp or musty smells, as well as stains on carpets, which could indicate mould issues
  • Insurance timeframes – plan ahead to ensure you have adequate time to secure insurance, as quotes are typically valid for 30 days
  • Protecting walls during move – have a furniture placement plan to avoid damaging walls when moving in
  • Water pipes – check the condition of water pipes, especially in older homes, to prevent burst pipes and water damage
  • Insurance and customer history – answer insurers’ questions honestly to avoid issues during claims and future insurability
  • Disposing of rubbish – safely dispose of packaging to avoid attracting thieves after purchasing new items
  • Security measures – consider installing an alarm or security camera, as burglars may target recently sold homes

“Not all damage is noticed when you’re viewing a property, and many buyers don’t notice prior damage during the initial ‘honeymoon’ phase of open homes. Remember to pay close attention to the details and don’t skip the building report,” Bartlett said. “If you are buying a house with renovations, check whether council consent was needed and granted, and any relevant codes of compliance issued. This means the quality of the work and materials are up to standard.”

Besides these tips, ICNZ chief Tim Grafton also recently issued a “buyer beware” warning for those willing to purchase properties without a code of compliance certificate as desperation starts to sink in for some flood-damaged property owners.

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