UK Immigrants unknowingly entering into NZ Sale and Purchase Agreements

A new Blog Post by Steve Koerber regarding new immigrants purchasing homes with major leaky home issues, got me thinking; I back Steve up completely on this stuff and there is also another key issue when it comes to new immigrants buying NZ property, specifically people from the UK.

According to Statistics NZ – 18,361 people came to live in NZ from the UK from July 2008 – July 2009. The house buying process in the UK is somewhat different to NZ. In the UK, a ‘Offer of Purchase’ is made to the vendor from the buyer via an Estate Agent. Ok, so you may be thinking, this is not too different to the NZ way of putting in an offer on a property via a ‘Sale and Purchase Agreement’; but here is the difference: The UK offer is not a legally binding contract like the NZ one is. You can walk away from the UK one at any time and you are also at risk right up until the day of Exchange (our Unconditional day) of being Guzumped or Guzundered.

So, my issue is that UK immigrants are at risk of unknowingly making offers on NZ property and not understanding at the offset that the offer is a legally binding document and they are at risk of losing their deposit or worse.

To aid in this issue, I think that NZ Real Estate Agents should at all times ensure that Immigrants are made aware of the risks of an unconditional Sale and Purchase agreement and advise to set conditions especially a full building report in support of Steve’s blog post as mentioned above. Posted by Jodi Cottle