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New website launched to help Kiwis buy and sell homes

A new website to help consumers make good decisions when buying or selling property has been welcomed by Consumer NZ.

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Industry regulator the Real Estate Authority (REA) today launched settled.govt.nz as a source of information and guidance for homebuyers and sellers.

“Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions many Kiwis will ever make, with the potential to hugely impact their life,” Consumer NZ deputy CEO Karen McDonald says.

“An independent resource, such as settled.govt.nz, goes a long way to help Kiwis make informed decisions, and help them avoid blunders that could cost them dearly in the long run.”

According to the REA’s latest survey, just two out of five Kiwis are confident the real estate industry is professional. About one in five is confident it’s transparent.

In 2017, real estate agents providing incorrect or misleading information topped the issues raised in consumer complaints and inquiries to the REA. Failure to disclose defects or other important information about a property was the second most common issue raised. Advertising faux pas, poor customer service, and incorrect sale and purchase agreements rounded out the top five.

Mrs McDonald says a recent Consumer NZ survey shows how heavily decisions around home ownership affect people’s lives. “Three in five homeowners with a mortgage were just getting by or finding it difficult on their present income and a third had cut back spending on essentials such as groceries or power.”