Guidance needed for overwhelmed home buyers and sellers

14 February 2018

More than 50 per cent of New Zealanders say they lack the knowledge and information they need when trying to buy and sell property.

Research from the Real Estate Authority (REA), which works to protect, educate and inform home buyers and sellers, has confirmed what many people have experienced: property transactions can be high-pressure and extremely stressful.

The REA-commissioned Nielsen survey1 found that many people thought property transactions were confusing and that it was difficult to find reliable information. The majority (55 per cent) said they lacked knowledge about the end-to-end process.

REA chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith says this lack of knowledge means many buyers fail to do the appropriate due diligence when purchasing a property, exposing themselves to significant potential risks. 

Lampen-Smith says the research shows a need for independent and comprehensive guidance on all aspects of buying and selling property. He says a new REA-backed website,, will help fill the gap.

“Buying or selling a property is one of the biggest financial decisions people will ever make,” Lampen-Smith says.

“ is an interactive resource with impartial and clear information to help them feel more confident and make better decisions.”

Lampen-Smith says a lack of clear guidance could be partially responsible for the results of a second survey2, which showed that 53 per cent of potential buyers had problems when making an offer on a property. Thirty-five per cent of sellers found marketing the property and having open homes the toughest part of the process.

Half of those who experienced trouble said it had a significant impact, causing them personal stress or financial woes. New migrants and first-time home buyers and sellers were the most likely to have problems, such as with understanding the value and the condition of a property.

“Buying a house is a complex legal process and things can be even more difficult if you’re not sure about how it works because you’ve never done it before or you haven’t done it for a long time,” Lampen-Smith says.

“There is a lot of information out there, but it’s often scattered, hard to understand and not independent. makes it easy for people to do their homework before buying or selling so they feel confident and in control.”

Visit for more information. To speak to Kevin Lampen-Smith, contact REA media communications manager Lucy Corry (027 8376 026 or


1. Annual Perceptions Research, conducted by Nielsen in May-June 2017, which questioned 602 people who had been involved in a real estate transaction in the past 12 months.

2. In December 2017, REA commissioned Premium Research to survey 1000 people who had been involved in a real estate transaction in the past 12 months.