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Making an offer

Ways to buy a house

The property may be advertised with a price or invitation for offers over a certain amount, or sometimes without any price indication at all. You simply contact the real estate agent or vendor and make an offer.

They may accept your offer, or they may want to negotiate on the price or the conditions.

The real estate agent acts as the go-between where you are not dealing directly with the vendor. You should always have your lawyer check any offer documents or agreements before you make an offer.

Offer strategy

Unless you really want the property don’t make your best offer straight away – give yourself some room to move. When negotiating, don’t allow the agent or vendor to pressure you into a hasty decision. Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, so take the time you need – remember there’s always another house.

Buying a house by tender means everyone interested in the property submits a written offer (tender) by a certain date. 

Once the vendor has received all the tenders, after that date they choose which, if any, offer to accept. If they don’t, they may choose to negotiate with one of the tenders. 

Tender strategy

If you’re interested in buying a house that’s being sold by tender, let the real estate agent know. This is called ‘registering your interest’ and means the agent must let you know if any pre-tender offers are made.

With the tender process you won’t know what the other tenderers are offering – and as you may not get the chance to negotiate, you may want to put your best offer forward. Like the offer and negotiation method of buying a house, the fewer conditions you have the more attractive your tender offer will be – but make sure you do your homework first. Remember to have your lawyer check any tender documents before you submit a tender.

An auction is where you bid against other people until only one bidder is successful. The vendor sets a reserve price that only they, the auctioneer and the real estate agent know. Once bidding reaches the reserve price, the property is ‘on the market’ and must be sold to the highest bidder. If the reserve price isn't met, the property is "passed in" and the vendor may negotiate with the highest bidder.

When you make a bid at auction, your offer is unconditional, so if you win the auction you’re legally bound to buy the house. That means you need to do all your research (such as getting LIM and builder's reports) and confirm full loan approval with us before the auction. Typically, you’ll need to be ready to pay 10% of the purchase price as a deposit on the day.

Auction strategy

If you’re interested in buying a house being sold by auction, register your interest with the real estate agent. They must then let you know if any pre-auction offers are made.

It’s worth going to a few auctions first to see how they work. Some things to consider:

  • Be clear on your maximum price and don’t exceed it in the excitement.
  • So you don’t go over your limit, consider asking a friend, or family member to go with you (or have someone else represent you at the auction).
  • Think about price: 
    • A price you think would be a bargain for the property
    • The price you think the property might sell for
    • The maximum price you're prepared to pay for the property.

Doing your homework

Research the market

Location is a factor in the value of a home, so before you buy a house in a particular area, get a feel for what’s happening in the local market. Find out what similar homes in the area have sold for recently, and how long they have taken to sell. Your real estate agent should be able to help, or you can buy a local sales report from the QV website.

If you have your home loan conditionally pre-approved with us, you can get a free ANZ Property Profile Report (worth $49.95). An ANZ Property Profile Report gives you an estimate of a property’s market value, plus recent comparable property sales in the area.

Research the property

Find out as much as you can about the property. Things to think about including:

  • What condition is the property in?
  • Are there any obvious issues that could affect the price, or potentially deter you from buying the house?
  • Is the home likely to need repairs or renovation in the near future?

Once you’ve found a property you’re serious about, you should consider getting your own reports on the property, including:

  • A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) from the local council, which contains all the information the council knows about the property, including any special features you should be aware of such as flooding, sinking or possible contamination.
  • A valuation report, which provides an opinion from a registered valuer on the current market value of the property.
  • A building inspection report which provides an opinion on the condition of the property and any issues.
  • Have your lawyer review these reports and advise you.

Home buying toolkit

Work out your repayments

Find out how much your repayments might be depending on the loan amount, loan type and term.

Free First Home Buyer Handbook

A guidebook to help you navigate the home buying journey from start to settlement.

Free Property Profile Report

Know a home’s potential worth before you buy with an ANZ Property Profile Report (worth $49.95).

Property Unlocked Seminars

Free seminars to learn about the home buying process, building, renovating and property investment.

ANZ Healthy Homes

Whether you're buying, building or renovating, we have a range of initiatives to help make your home warm, dry and energy efficient.

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Help and support 

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ANZ lending criteria, terms, conditions, and fees apply. Interest rates and fees are subject to change.  

A copy of the Bank's General Disclosure Statement  under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 is available on this website or on request from any ANZ branch, free of charge.

This material is for information purposes only. Its content is intended to be of a general nature, does not take into account your financial situation or goals, and is not a personalised financial adviser service under the Financial Advisers Act 2008. It is recommended you seek advice from a financial adviser which takes into account your individual circumstances before you acquire a financial product. An ANZ Authorised Financial Adviser will, on request and free of charge, provide you with his or her disclosure statement prepared under the Financial Advisers Act 2008. If you wish to consult one of ANZ's financial advisers, please contact us on 0800 269 296.