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Property Owner Search & Researching The Property

Property Owner Search & Researching The Property

A property owner search and researching the property are very important before making an offer.

Considering making an offer

You’re feeling excited and there’s the pressure of not wanting to miss out on the deal. Sleep on it if you can and see how you feel the next day.

Next Do Your Homework – Do A property owner search

Check the title –

This will tell you:

  • Who or what legal entity owns the property.
  • The type of title. This could include freehold (fee simple), cross-lease, leasehold, unit title or company share.
  • Easements and/or covenants and/or right of ways relating to the property.
  • Who has an interest in the property other than the owner. e.g. the mortgagee.
  • Where the boundaries are.

The title check and property owner search can reveal important relevant information that could affect what you are prepared to offer or even if you want to make an offer.

If you are buying through an auction or tender the vendor warranties about features of the property and the purchasers right to requisition (raise objections to) the title are deleted from the sale and purchase agreement.

So in auctions or tenders it’s doubly important to check the title, property owner search and other reports on the property before lodging a tender or making a bid at auction, because the vendor warranties clause is usually not included, so you have no legal right to raise objections after signing an agreement. Discuss this with a lawyer before making an offer on a property.

The title can be checked through your lawyer or directly at –

LINZ aims to send orders within two working days. You lawyer may have more direct access if they have an account with LINZ.

Quotable Value provide a free app that gives you access to independent and  authoritative information about any home in New Zealand regardless of whether it’s for sale or not. So if you’re in the market to buy property this app is very useful. Get it at this link.

Second Inspection –

  • Take your property check-list that includes your “must haves”.
  • And the list above. Some insurance companies may not insure your house if it’s got defective: wiring, roofing, exterior cladding, interior lining, plumbing or piles. Be particularly cautious if it’s an old house.
  • It’s best to get a professional building inspector to do a building report.

What’s the property worth?

It’s difficult for an in-experienced person to know what a property is worth so it can be a good idea to get an expert Registered Property Valuer to give you a valuation. This typically costs from $500 to $800.

Often your bank will require a property valuation before approving your loan.

It’s a good idea to choose a property valuer that’s registered with the registered Property Institute of New Zealand Inc. They are a professional body that incorporates standards for New Zealand property and valuation professionals. You can search their register here –

Ongoing costs –


You can often check what the rates are from the council website or you should be able to find them from the real estate agent.


Get a quote from an insurance company.

Body Corporate Fees

If it’s on a Unit Property Title find out what the current fees are. Also beware of any leaky building issues, where there may be some big repair costs coming up that may motivating the current owner to sell.

Confirm your finance

Contact your lender or their representative and give them the address of the property and the amount you are considering offering, to find out if they will lend you enough money for it. They may require a property valuation. If they impose conditions before they approve the finance you can make an offer with a finance condition in the sale and purchase agreement that you get finance approval.


Be aware if the property is for sale by auction and you put in a bid you are making an unconditional offer. If you make the highest bid and the hammer goes down you have to buy the property! So before you bid you need to have done all the inspections, got a valuation if you need one, got a LIM report and have your finance sorted out. Then you can confidently make a bid.

Making an offer on a property using an agent.

Check the agents record at

To see if they have a clean record.

When you’ve finished researching the property & done a property owner search and you’re satisfied with the results. Then if you’ve decided to make an offer on a property using an agent the agent will write a sale and purchase agreement. Check it with your lawyer before signing. If they are satified and everything is satisfactory and if you can go ahead and sign it. They must give you a copy and ask you to confirm in writing that you have received it.

You can make your offer subject to any conditions you want to specify such as:

  • Obtaining a property valuation
  • A property inspection report
  • A Land Information Memorandum or title search.
  • Selling your property
  • Obtaining finance


You can negotiate when you pay the deposit. Typically this is when either your offer is accepted or when the agreement goes unconditional.

Sellers Conditions

The seller may also have conditions and/or amended clauses. Read the agreement carefully and if you don’t agree, tell the agent. Get your lawyer to check the agreement and discuss it before you sign it, because it’s a legally binding agreement.

The real estate agent will then present the offer to the seller for their consideration.

Note- The property remains available for sale to other potential purchasers at this stage.

Negotiation may ensue if the conditions and/or price are not acceptable to the seller. This negotiation is done via the agent. Which may involve the sale and purchase agreement being amended. Each time an amendment is made the agent will ask both the seller and buyer to initial the amendment to indicate agreement. Careful consideration needs to given to each amendment before initialling it. This process goes on until either an agreement is reached or the negotiation is abandoned.

If an agreement is reached on acceptable conditions and price, both the seller and purchaser will need to sign the final version before it becomes unconditional. It’s important for both parties to have it checked their respective lawyers before signing.

After signing by both the buyer and seller the Sale And Purchase Agreement is legally binding and forms contract between both parties. Then the process of working through the conditions towards settlement takes place. When the conditions are all fulfilled the purchase goes ahead.

property owner search

Continue to part 11 of the Buying A House Guide

Making An Offer On A House

Go Back to the start of Buying A House Guide

House Buying Guide page order:
1. Pros And Cons Of Owning Versus Renting.

2. House Buying Budget

3. Selling Your House And Then Buying Another One

4. Cost Of Living Once You’ve Moved In

5. What Do I Need Versus What I Want

6. Choosing A Property

7. Building Types

8. Understanding Purchase Methods

9. The property Search

10. Researching The Property. This Page.

11. Making And Settling An Offer

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