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Make Your Professionals Work For You

A good deal can fall over simply because you don’t have the right professionals on your team, writes Mark Honeybone.

By: Mark Honeybone

1 April 2019

It has been very disappointing to see many deals fall over due to the lack of communication between the purchaser and solicitor, or the fact that the solicitor stops the deal due to their lack of property investment knowledge.

It usually happens in the due diligence period when a fantastic deal or at least a deal that suited that client goes to another buyer/investor whose solicitor has more property investment knowledge.

In the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that besides “finance” one of the main reasons for property transactions not going unconditional is the lack of communication between the purchaser and their solicitor.

I am going to discuss this today and hopefully get you (especially if you are a new investor or buyer) to seriously understand the value of having the right people in your “team of experts”.


Solicitors are risk-averse. It is their job to show you the risks of buying a property. Of course, some risks may be too much, but you, not the solicitor should have the final say. Unfortunately, I have seen solicitors simply telling purchasers not to buy a particular property, when they haven’t understood what the purchaser was actually trying to achieve.

When that happens, I know it’s not a good reason for not purchasing the property. Even though I may not know the purchasers that well, I understand their goals and how certain opportunities could help their portfolio.

‘If your solicitor tells you not to buy a property, they should have a pretty good reason for that’


You must do your part. Sit down and tell your solicitor what your property investment plans are and what you’re trying to achieve. Your solicitor must know what you are trying to accomplish this year and in the next five or 10 years. They need to be on your team, work for you and hold your best interests at heart. So if your solicitor tells you not to buy a property, they should have a pretty good reason for that. Otherwise, a good solicitor will not stop you from closing a deal, but rather help you close the deal.

Best Deal I've Seen

This is an example of one of the best deals I’ve seen in the past five years:

It looked complicated, but it wasn’t. The vendor had picked up a large development site at a mortgagee sale. There were eight completed townhouses and another 40 were going to be built.

The developer offered eight townhouses to our customers at incredibly discounted prices if they could settle these townhouses the same day the developer buys the development (so a double settlement on settlement date).

This developer held all the risk. Our buyers had a normal sale between them and the new developer. The situation was disclosed and the word “mortgagee” was in the contract.

I saw over 20 potential buyers bailing because their solicitor said it was too risky. I still don’t understand this. The new developer had to provide new townhouses to purchasers, end of story. Where is the risk?

Below were the figures for the four, two-bedroom townhouses:

PP $500,000;

Rent $510-$550 a week;

Registered valuation done by Velocity on behalf of some of the purchasers $620,000.

A townhouse since then has had a valuation at the mid/high $600,000’s. People who went for the deal ended up with great properties at steal prices. Moral of the story? Don’t be among those who miss out. Be prepared.

Take Action

Get your solicitor to know what you are trying to achieve. Take them to lunch, become their friend/acquaintance, make sure they know who you are and understand your journey. They also need to have enough experience in the area of what you are trying to achieve.

Property Ventures is a licensed Real Estate Agency that specialises in investment property throughout New Zealand. They also have the NZ Property podcast/YouTube series where Mark interviews the property experts from around the country helping hundreds of thousands of investors. He can be contacted at [email protected] or 0800 NZPROPERTY (697767) Or watch the Podcast/YouTube video at www.propertyventures.co.nz/podcasts


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