If you’re looking to buy your next home, you’re probably spending a decent chunk of time trawling sites like Trade Me and Realestate.co.nz, in search of the perfect property. It also stands to reason that your search will be fairly tailored – not just in terms of property type and location, but also price.

In a market where almost every listing comes up with ‘To be auctioned’, it can be pretty frustrating to try and work out which homes you have a snowball’s hope in hell of affording.

Many buyers I speak to assume that if they enter a price range as part of their search query, the results that come back will be within their budget. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

That’s because the information you get back is only as good as what the real estate agent who created the listing has put in. If you were an agent looking to attract as many potential bidders to an auction as possible, how would you set the price band when you created the listing? You guessed it… Wide.

So, on a property that is expected to sell for $850,000, the real estate agent might well choose search criteria starting at $800,000 to draw in the punters.

An additional snag is that Trade Me’s property search criteria go up in bands of $100,000. So, if a property is likely to sell for $850,000, the agent will most probably enter $800,000 to $900,000 as the price band. The problem with this is that, because the property has an $800,000 search tag attached to it, it will also show up in searches from $700,000 to $800,000. If you’re searching in the $700,000’s, that’s quite a departure from your budget!

Search results on Realestate.co.nz also suffer from the broad price banding issue but the site is more flexible, allowing real estate agents to add a specific price indication for a property to keep search results relevant.

Unfortunately, when you’re searching for property online, there is no way around these issues – so it pays to be aware of them to avoid raising your hopes and wasting your time.

A couple of pieces of advice for online searchers:
• Trust your gut – if the fact that a particular home is within your price range seems too good to be true, it probably is just that. Before you spend a lot of time on the property, try and work out why.
• Call before viewing – rather than spending your valuable time viewing a home that’s well outside your budget, give the real estate agent a call. Be open about what your budget is and ask if it’s worth your while to attend the open home. While the agent probably won’t tell you the expected price, a decent one will let you know if you’re wasting your time.


About The Property Market

The Property Market is a full service real estate agency built to deliver a better experience for buyers and sellers. Think real estate, only reinvented.

  • Our Ponsonby real estate agents operate within a 20 minute radius of Freemans Bay.
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  • Our focus on customer service is second-to-none.
  • We offer a range of clever online marketing solutions, including a mobile-friendly, personalised website for your property.

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Posted on Categories: Blog