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The Best Question To Ask a Real Estate Agent When Buying a House

The Best Question To Ask a Real Estate Agent When Buying a House

Trying to buy a house isn’t easy. And it can be even harder if you are new to the market and are trying to buy in a city which favours ‘no price marketing methods’. The other day, a client of ours came to us for some advice. They were interested in a property advertised with another company and asked if we could please call the agent to get some price guidance. Upon contacting the agent we were fed the same classic dribble. “It really doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what the buyers think, and I haven’t had a chance to call them to find out.” End of story.

Now, there is some truth to the statement. Because if both parties, the vendor and purchaser, agree then you have a market price. But what this agent lacked was the ability to indicate recent market activity which could point to the approximate level of the end price. No agent can say exactly what the final sale price will be. But any agent worth their salt should be able to discuss with you in detail what similar properties have sold for.

The Best Question to Ask a Real Estate Agent When Buying a House

A way to get around this classic agent stance is to use the Real Estate Act to your advantage. As agents, we’re required to provide a considered market appraisal for the properties we represent. This must include examples of recent comparable sales and some discussion as to why they are relevant. While we are not obliged to share an actual price, market evidence will have led us to a conclusion about the probable sale range. Here are a couple of simple questions which may help you if you are new to the market and looking for some guidance:

 ‘What sales did you use to appraise this property?’


‘In your professional opinion, what recent sales are the most comparable to this property?’ 

It would be hard for an agent to avoid these questions without losing credibility.

The likelihood of any buyer securing a home on their first outing is low. But once you have been in the market for a while, you will build up a pretty good understanding of where any given property might sit. And by this time it may just be that the agent comes calling you for price guidance!


When supply doesn’t equal demand

The Wellington market seems to be rewriting the very first concept of economics. The stock levels in the city are still at low levels when compared to their long-term averages, but days on the market are drawing out and clearance rates are dropping.  This could be a sign of further slows downs or it may just be that the market has adjusted to a new norm.

The gap between the rich and poor in real estate continues with well-presented homes attracting strong interest and good results. Their poorer cousins are struggling to sell and in some cases are being withdrawn from the market.



Average sale price by Ward:


This year, on April 10th, marks the 50th Anniversary of the Wahine Disaster, New Zealand’s worst modern-day Maritime disaster.

Did you know?

  • On 10 April 1968, the Lyttleton – Wellington Ferry, names The Wahine, was shipwrecked just off the coast of Seatoun
  • At the time of its build, the 8498-ton ship was the largest ship of its kind in the world
  • The night of the wreck, it was carrying 734 passengers and crew on board
  • Sadly 51 people lost their lives on the day

There will be a free all-ages event to remember those who lost their lives on Tuesday 10th of April at 11.30am-12pm, at Fran Kitts Park. Read the details here.



If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from a considered market assessment by Wellington’s only licensed agent and registered property valuer, please do not hesitate to call. We are always very happy to help.


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