Do your homework before buying a holiday property

Owning a holiday property becomes an even more attractive prospect as the summer break beckons. But property seekers need to remember to do their homework first, warns the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA).

REAA chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith says potential buyers must remember to do the necessary groundwork. 

“Whether it’s a beachside dream home or a classic Kiwi bach, buying a property is a complex process. It’s crucial that you do your homework first to avoid any hassles,” he says.

“It’s easy to fall for an area or a property, but you need to be hard-headed about issues like coastal erosion, and the challenges and costs of ongoing maintenance and security.”

Lampen-Smith recommends making a list of questions before visiting open homes.

“Remember that you can ask an agent anything you like about a property. Agents are not allowed by law to withhold any information they know about a property or, for example, relevant information about nearby developments.”

The REAA is an independent government agency established to promote and protect the interests of consumers when buying and property. It works to ensure a high standard of service and professionalism in the New Zealand real estate sector.

Lampen-Smith recommends that you do your own research and seek legal advice before making an offer. 

This may include getting a property inspection report, a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and a title search. The REAA’s free guides to buying and selling have more details.

“The value of a property transaction is significant, and so is the potential cost if it goes wrong so it is important to get your own advice,” Lampen-Smith says.

“Agency agreements and sale and purchase agreements are legally binding contracts; you need to read and understand them because you can’t change your mind when the holiday glow wears off.”

The REAA has an online register of licensed real estate agents that includes information on any complaints upheld against them so buyers can learn about the agent selling a property.. 

To access the register, or download the REAA’s free guides to buying and selling property, visit

For more information or to speak to Kevin Lampen-Smith, contact REAA media communications manager Lucy Corry (ph 0278 376 026 or