Auckland real estate Archives | Apartment Specialists

Tag: Auckland real estate

i worry about tax

There are commonly 3 taxes which can be charged when property is bought or sold.

These are:

  • Goods & Services Tax (GST)
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
  • Stamp Duty

There is no Stamp Duty in NZ (but it is charged in Australia).

CGT only applies if you bought after November 2015 and sell within 2 years.

GST applies when an apartment is on a commercial lease.


When selling your apartment, it is important to know what taxes you may or may not have to pay as this effects the outcome.

There are three main taxes involved when selling your property/apartment in Australasia but not all or any will apply to you necessarily.

New Zealand is a great place for property as the taxes charged are lower than any other first world country.

There is no Stamp Duty which is a tax charged on purchasing a property in Australia or the UK.

Capital Gains Tax only applies to you if you bought after November 2015 and sell within 2 years.

However, the one tax to look out for which many owners forget or are unaware of is GST.

Goods & Services Tax or more commonly known as GST applies to you if the apartment is bought with the intention to be used for what is called a taxable supply.

I.e. for a commercial capacity.

For example, a guaranteed rental, commercial lease or an apartment in a hotel lease.

The important thing here is if your apartment was intended to be used as a taxable supply make sure you talk to your accountant, as there is a good chance that when your sell your apartment a 15% tax will be applied or passed onto the next purchaser both effectively reducing what you are left with.

If you’re looking to sell your apartment in Auckland, although there’s no real ‘right’ time there is definitely a period you want to avoid which. we recommend the only time you avoid is December through to early January. If you sell during this time, it can cost you anywhere from $20,000-$50,000.


Selling at the wrong time can end up costing you more than you may have anticipated. However, apartments are very different to houses and most of the year is a good time.

However, the only time to avoid would be the December, early January period – the holiday period, this is due to a lot of events happening in people’s lives, end of deadlines, holidays, family commitments and so on.

myth 9 auckland apartment auctions

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 26


I go in-depth about auction in this particular podcast so you will know what to expect when you’re dealing with an agent. This is another myth that you know about.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. This is quite a big one. When auctioning your property, only you and the agent have an idea what your reserve is. Now, that is a myth and it shouldn’t be a myth.

Now, I’ll explain to you – I’ve been in two major offices in the open CBD Market for starting my own company. Basically, both did their auctions in the same way. So, what would happen was, you’d have a meeting – you’d have your sales meeting – and those who were auctioning the properties would introduce their property. They’ll ask everybody not what it’s worth, but what would the reserve need to be to guarantee it to sell. And then, the agents would set out the price. Say, that’s worth 200. Say, to guarantee it to sell, it would need to be 180,000. And if it was a 500,000 property, to guarantee it to sell, it needs to be $440,000. Then it would be the agent’s objective to go and try to get that reserve.

The next week in another sales meeting, the agent will report back – different sales meetings or in different agencies at different trends are the ones that I saw – some would go, “What’s reserved?” or “It’s A plus-plus”, which means it’s better than you want it. Or, A-plus means it’s on the money or A, it’s pretty close. B-plus, it’s a little bit far away and B, yes there’s a bit of distance there. Other ones would be going like, “Yes, that’s exactly where you wanted it guys. Go get your buyers” and it’s going to the auction.

Now, it didn’t really sit right with me but that’s sort of how it’s done in the Auckland apartment market when it comes to auction. And what would happen was a whole mentality: that by telling an owner that everybody knows your reserve and knows it’s a low reserve, that’s going to bring in more buyers – it’s going to bring in more competition. Now I disagree with that because it’s bringing in buyers that want a bargain. They’re bringing in buyers who don’t want to pay retail. And so, that’s not the kind of competition you want. Yes, there is an argument that it does make the base of the auction and it can help in that way. But what it does is – it means that your apartment could sell for less than you really want to or what it should be selling for.

So, how to stop this or make sure this doesn’t occur is, why even get the reserves prior to the auction? Why not keep it in your head and you and your partners head? And if the auction gets to the price you wanted to, well then let it sell. If it doesn’t then go from there. Because if you think – put your mind in a bidder or in a buyers mind – you’re bidding for an Auckland apartment – and they already got in mind what they want to pay. If it is a good auction and the other buyer is also emotional – you got two emotional buyers and they’re pushing the prices up. You will at least know that it’s met the reserve. If anything is going to make the buyer say, “Oh, that must be market value”  or “That must be what owner wants. I don’t want to go too much higher.” So how is actually giving the reserve to the buyers an advantage to the vendor? I don’t see the logic – maybe there’s a side that sees it, but if they do please write in a comment or tell me.

That’s a myth. So, when you’re auctioning your property, if you do choose to auction it as a property that is suitable, i.e. not an investor apartment where emotions involved, don’t disclose it. You don’t have to; keep it in in your head. Then, you can make the best decision for you.

I hope that’s helpful. Next month – I’m sorry next week – I’m going to talk about an interesting question. One that you probably wouldn’t expect from me. What’s my opinion on private sales? If you don’t want to use a real estate agent – because a lot of people have had bad experiences with them- how do you sell it privately? And I’ll just do a quick podcast on that.

Cheers. Bye!
myth about urgent sales

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 21


Are urgent sales really that disastrous? Is it really true that  you are going to accept a low price if you sell your apartment urgently? Learn more from this podcast.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. You know, I get this question quite often – and a lot of owners think that – if I have to sell their property or their Auckland apartment really quickly, it means they’re going to have to accept a low price because of their contract. Now, unless you’ve got to sell it within days – which is very unlikely – generally a bank or whatever the situation is that’s making you have to sell it, we usually have how many months time. Now, this means you definitely don’t have to accept a lower price or lower than the market value.

The reason why I say that is, most of the activity that happens when you list an Auckland apartment happens in the first two weeks. You can see this by the amount of hits or the amount of views. For example, when you put an apartment in TradeMe, which is where most of your leads come from. Because with apartments – unlike houses – people search more on the internet than they do on the papers.

So the key thing there is to not panic and realize still – the fundamentals apply – which is presentation. So you’ve got to make sure that you take that week, to make sure that – say for example – what I do with an owner is, it takes me a week to make sure that I’ve got the apartment ready. All the information – I’ve got my sales pitch down, I’ve written the ad the best I can, I’ve got all the photos. So when it goes up on TradeMe, it’s got 12, 14, 15, 16 professional photos. Not putting up one photo and then adding them in five days time because it’s a rush. You’ve already missed the boat.

So the important thing for an owner to remember is you do not have to sell your – or undersell your apartment if you need an urgent sale unless you have to sell it in one or two days. And then what I’d do is I’d probably advise you to go to a trader and they can give you an unconditional offer very quickly. And I would gladly put you in touch with one and you won’t need to go through with a sales agent.

So I hope that gives you a little bit of justice. If you have to sell your Auckland apartment urgently, you don’t have to take that when it comes down to value. You’re just going to make sure you present your apartment properly. Do what you think is normal and just trust your agents to do a good job. And make sure that they explain it to you. And make sure that you follow how they market your property. It might take that time.

All right, next week we’re going to talk about another one. When an agent says that any other agent can sell your property. It’s a bit of a myth in this industry because it doesn’t actually happen. And I’ll explain to you why. Talk to you soon.

Cheers. Bye!

myth 3 rental companies charge auckland apartments

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 20


In this podcast, we will talk about another myth concerning rental companies. I will divulge their common methods and what you need to know about them!


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. Myth number three on the Auckland apartment market. All rental companies charge the same – complete myth.

Now, what I come across most is basically, rental companies will charge between generally, 7% of your rent and 9% of your rent. That’s what most of the companies charge. The reason why one charges nine, and the other one charges seven in regards of service, I don’t really see any difference at all. Now what I don’t understand is – owners are paying 7-9% of their rent. So if that say $400 a week, that is –  I don’t know – around $36 a week to the rental manager, to look after their apartment. Now you times that by 10, that’s $360. Times it by another five, and that’s a year. So that’s a lot of money you’re paying to a rental manager.

So what I don’t understand is on top of that, a lot of the rental manager’s charge for all these other things. For example –  okay, they’re going to check your apartment. They’ll go and check your tenant. Now they should be checking your tenant in my opinion four times a year because tenants can do all kinds of damage to your apartment. You want that checked to make sure the tenant’s are looking after it. There’s no damage and they’re not having parties. All those kind of things. All the horror stories we hear – and I see quite often. Yet, some only do it twice a year. And then others I’ve come across haven’t even check it at all and have got no idea what is happening. Yet, you’re paying them for doing what? Just sitting there?

Now then, there’s all these other charges some companies will be charging for when they might have to do a call-out. So for example, maybe something needed to be done or fixed in the apartment. So they get called out to the apartment to see it – and they’ll charge the owner a call-out fee. Or when work needs to be done and say a plumber comes in and fixes it and that gets organized and there’s an invoice or whatever. They’ll then put a percentage on top of the invoice that they charge. Now, I just don’t understand the industry really here because it’s not really transparent. What are you paying that 7% or 9% of your rent for? Shouldn’t it be that to manage your apartment? And doesn’t all those responsibilities should come underneath it?

So really it’s finding – Now, I don’t do rental management. I’m not trying to get your business or anything. I’m just trying to educate you and knock out – okay what’s sort of happening here. And then look at the company that’s been going after you. Because, how is an owner supposed to know if they are being looked after? Or what other companies are doing or charging cause there’s some very good ones out there.

And so look at your statement, do you understand it? Is it very transparent? Do you know what you’re being charged? Do you think it’s fair? If you’ve got no idea, it’s no fault of yours. Send an email. Scan in an invoice to and I’ll have a look at it and sort of give you an idea of what you’re being charged and what’s normal in the market and what’s above or below that. And obviously this is a service and that kind of thing which only you really know.

But yeah, look into it. See what you’ve been paying because you pay thousand dollars a year for the apartment to be managed. And if it’s not being done properly and you’re getting charged too much for no extra value or service, you’re being taken for a ride.

Anyway, I hope that’s given you some invisibility. Next week myth number four. And we will be talking about agent sharing commission which is conjunctional sales. So the myth is all agents make it easy for other agents to sell your apartment. And if they do, they share the commission equally.

I’ll talk to you next month. I think you’ll find this one quite interesting and have a good week.


understanding auckland apartment buyer


As agents we get to know the different types of buyers and building as well. This means we understand our target audiences. Every single building has a slightly different market and what makes us experts at Apartment Specialists is being in the know.

An example would be if we were selling in a building with high percentage of Chinese owner/occupiers. I would then to market the audience as well as dealing with local Chinese agents and buyers.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists, number nine – Knowing your buyer.

Now, what do I mean by that? Well, it’s what we’re here to do. As real estate agents, what do we do? We sell and we market. And to sell or to get those people to sell to, we’ve got to attract them – which means we need to know the type of audience.

For example, if your apartment is going to be most likely sold to an investor – we’ve got to target investors, and vice-versa with owner occupiers. Otherwise, you’re most likely not going to get the best result. Yes, you could get lucky, but we’re talking about most likely. Because again and again and again, we’ve got to be getting the best result for our vendors – which means we’ve got to know our market. Every single building has a slightly different target market.

For example, I may be selling a building which is 40% Chinese. Well, I’m European. So, how am I going to market to the Chinese? Well, what I do is, I deal with about 20 different Chinese agents. I deal with Chinese buyers’ agents, and that’s just to give an example. Also, what if a building is popular with the French? Well, I’ll deal with the French buyers’ agents, and vice-versa. There’s a lot of different ways that we can market in this industry. And it’s about knowing the right one for our vendor’s apartment.

So ask your agent, what is the target market? How are you going to reach them? And how is that going to maximise the amount of enquiries and leads created? That is a huge, huge point that determinants how much will you get for your apartment.

Anyway, hope this helps and I will talk to you soon with the other theme.


best selling methods auckland apartment sales

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 10


In this podcast, I’ll be talking about the best selling methods and common schemes of real estate agents, especially when auctioning your apartment and how they get more when they do.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialist, methods of sales.

Did you know real estate agents get paid more to auction your apartment than they do to list it with a price? Now, what I mean by that is, when the agent gets paid the commission, the listing agent will get a higher percentage of that commission if they auction the property. And the person who found the buyer will get a smaller amount of commission. And that has all kinds of implications. That often means that, if someone’s got a really good buyer that’s not on their listings, they would rather push their buyer towards a listing that’s listed with a price, because they get paid more money. It also means that – in a lot of occasions – well, if you ask yourself if you’re going to get paid 70% just to sell a property and not find a buyer, are you going to do as much work to find that buyer? Well, you can make that conclusion yourself. So, it’s quite interesting.

Now, about the other point… Okay, if you ask me right now. How I’d sell my house in Auckland, I’d say I’d auction it. So, what am I saying here? I’m not saying auction is not a very good way of selling. I’m saying that it has its time and its place. If you ask me how I would have sold my house three years ago – no way by auction. Because we weren’t in a burning market. We weren’t in a time where – basically there was more demand than supply. Now, I have apartments and my parents have apartments. If you ask me how I would have sold my apartment three years ago, I would definitely list it with a price. If you ask me what I advice I give my parents – list it with a price. If you ask me right now in a burning market how would I sell my apartment, I’d list it with a price.

Now, what’s the difference between an apartment and a house? There is a huge difference. And that’s the reason why statistically, when you look at all that, how the highest prices are achieved – and most buildings I know are through listing with a price. It’s because of due diligence. It’s because people are scared of buying apartments. They need to do their due diligence.

When you come into an auction, you’re making an unconditional offer. And a lot of people they want to have conditions. Before they purchase, they want to have a building inspection. They want to be able to go through the minutes with a fine tooth comb. They want to be able to get an evaluation and a conditional price. There’s a lot more conditions, people are a lot more scared when they’re purchasing apartments. Going to an auction, doesn’t suit them. Also, values.

Also, if you’re looking at apartments now, we’ve got so many of them. If you look in a suburb, there’s probably maybe 20 at the moment – 20 listings in a suburb, maybe 30, maybe 40. Well, in an open CBD, there’s about 700. And if you look at say 3 bedroom, there’s probably about 300. So there’s so much choice. You look at the traders, how do they sell their apartments? Now, these are people who buy apartments either directly from the owners or off real estate agents and then – they buy them undervalue and then sell them at the maximum price. And that’s their job. That’s their business. Do they auction their apartments? Nine times out of ten they do not. I see a lot in the housing market, but not in the apartment market. So, ask yourself, that’s their business to get the highest price “Why aren’t they auctioning their properties when selling their apartments?” Let’s look on Trade Me. Look at Icon City. That’s the biggest trading in Auckland apartments or apartments in New Zealand. And they’re not auctioning, they’re listing their price. So, that should give you a good idea.

If your agent does tell you that the best way to sell your property is by auction. Ask to see the values or the highest sales achieved in your building and find out what methods of sale were used to achieve those sales. And you can get that information from the REINZ. So even a real estate agent can get that information. So it is available and that will help you choose what method of sale is best for you. And if they are pushing auction and it’s not the best method so sale – you’ve got to ask where their motivation is. Is it for them? Or is it for you? So I hope this helped. I think it will have given you a very good insight – especially into the apartment market which is very different.

And next week I will be talking about knowing your building. How important it is that you choose an agent that knows your building and the questions to ask and to find out if they do.

Cool. So, if you haven’t downloaded it already, as I mention on each podcast. I had a lot of great feedback. This is just one of ten points on mistakes owners make that I see them making which costs them thousands of dollars in selling their apartments. Download it from

Cool, cheers.

achieve a worry free and profitable auckland apartment sale

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 9


We’ll be talking about the various methods and strategies real estate agent use to earn the highest commission in selling properties. But I will enumerate the facts that a lot of real estate agents don’t realise. Achieve a worry-free Auckland apartment sale. Get the facts on this podcast.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists.

Now the average real estate agent only earns $35,000 a year. When you think that commission opportunities in selling property whether it’s 10, 15 or 20 thousand dollars, do you think it affects how they think? Of course it does.

Now, put yourself in their shoes. If the average real estate agent is earning around $35,000 and you’ve got an opportunity in front of you that represents a good chunk of that, do you think they are going to be thinking “let’s get the deal done or let’s get the deal done the best way possible?” Now you be the judge in regards to that, but I think that’s pretty obvious. And that’s a problem.

What a lot of real estate agents don’t realise is that this is not about the deal right now. It’s about the deal – a thousand deals down the track. That one thousands apartments that I sell – that’s what I think about every single time I sell a property. And the reason why? It’s because the deal I’m doing now communicates to other owners, to referrals, through proving to other owners that gets the highest prices. The deal I do now brings me the next deal, and the next deal, and the next deal.

So what I am talking about? I’m talking about today’s point number six, regarding 10 reasons why Auckland apartment owners lose thousands of dollars in selling their apartment. And this one is about the sales process. The reason why I’m going to cover the sales process is so that you know what are you paying an agent to do. Have they actually invested in their own business? Not only that they’re the franchise because that’s just bums on seats. Do they have their own personal assistant? That would be the number one thing. Why? Because 80% of the average agent’s time has to be spent looking for more business. They’re not doing the job that they are actually getting being paid for.

So for example, question one, what are you paying them to do? They should be investing in their own business as a single business and having an assistant doing the $5, $10, $15 jobs, the paperwork, the flyers all that. You and your agents, look into the buyers, bringing them back, dealing with them, doing open homes, doing extra viewings. Getting back to that extra time to get that extra $5,000 $10,000, $15,000 for you.

So when choosing an agent, you want to get inside their business. Do they have their own personal assistant? How do they do their business? How do they get record sales prices in your building? How do they do it? What is the method of sale they use? That’s a big one and I’ll talk about it in a couple of days.

So what I want you to take onboard today is regarding – looking at an agent to represent you. It makes a huge difference. And point number 6 of 10 points is about – are you paying them to actually work for you or are you paying for them to look for more business? And one of the easiest ways to tell that is to have a personal assistant that takes care of all that other stuff for them. Because at the end of the day, you’re employing them to be using their mouth and their brains to sell your apartment.

Okay. So next week, I’m going to be talking about what’s the best way to sell your Auckland CBD apartment. Looking at statistics, the proof, what are the charts? How the best price is being achieved, and in an upward market and a downward market.

When it’s booming, when there is a bubble, it is actually just steps that actually show you what is the best way to sell and what ways are being used to sell despite this. Now it’s very different to the housing market and I think you’re going to be very surprised. I look forward to talking to you about it in a couple of days. Anyway, if you haven’t already downloaded the report, I was talking about point 6 today. Go to, that’s and you will clearly see the 10 mistakes report to the right and download it today and look forward to next week. Cheers.

why more buyers means a higher price for your auckland apartment


In this podcast, we will talk about property agents and their common method in selling a property. I will also discuss the difference between an apartment market and the housing market.

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 7

Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists, agents protecting their listings. That’s when agents want to sell the property themselves so they will do this by limiting other agents from selling the property. They will either not let them do it or offer them spilt percentages that’s pretty much not worth the other agent’s time, 10, 20, 30% or make it very difficult. Or you know that when you put in an offer, they’ll knock you around. The average real estate agent only makes 35, 40 grand around that figure a year. So they really care about that one deal.

Well it shouldn’t be that, it’s about you. You’re employing an agent to do a job for you. Now, there’s a huge difference between the apartment market and the housing market. With the housing market, everyone is pretty much looking at the same places, they’re looking at Trade Me and they’re looking in the paper and that’s pretty much it. Now, in the apartment market, there is a huge international pool of buyers. You’ve got 70% of buyers and purchasers who are not planning on living in the apartment. They are all over New Zealand and don’t see the ads in the local paper.

They speak different languages, so they don’t even understand Trade Me. I’ve got buyers agents from New Caledonia, from Australia, from Russia, from Korea, China, all walks of life and that’s what’s in properties. And the buyers only go through them, because they trust them. I’ve got buyers myself that will only go through me because of relationships formed. They’ll pay top dollar but they only go through me. Other agents have got buyers who will only go through them. But I don’t have all the buyers, they don’t have all the buyers, nobody has all the buyers.

So how can you as an apartment owner make sure that your apartment is open to all the buyers? Well, it’s actually quite simple but unfortunately it doesn’t happen. Now you’ve got agencies in this market, their policy is to not let other agents from other competing agencies sell your apartment. They’ll only do a referral fee. You’ve got ones who will only do 30%. You got clauses in the agreements that say, at any point in time they can refuse access to the apartment. Or, I mean I can just go on and on. So what’s that doing?

That’s actually stopping a possible buyer from purchasing your property because of their own interests or the franchise’s. It may not be the agent’s fault but they are all doing it, so it’s okay, well it’s not okay. So, how can you ensure that your apartment is getting the maximum buyers, maximum of offers? This is where you ask your agent, “Will you do a conjunctional sale? What a conjunctional sale means is will they do another sale with another agent from a competing agency? ” And most, when you ask that question, they will say “Yes.” The next question that is crucial is, “What commission percentage do you offer the other agent from your competing agency?”

Some will say 20%, some will say 30%, some will say 40%. The thing is, it’s almost become – I’m not looking at the chart. Its become good advice by correct price. I’ll bring it up an agency. Or bring up an agent. This happens frequently, I’ve been using those. And on that other side, I’ll bring out an offer. Or, we don’t, we kind of leak you through. One sided, this is not the case. They simply will not do that. So how can you absolutely ensure, it’s a difficult one. So what I am saying is, ask them will they do a conjunctional sale.

Ask them what is the percentage, ask them to change that percentage ’cause it means that you dictate the terms, you are the client, the client is always right, why does that apply to every other industry but real estate? So I would like to – if I bring my business to you as an agent, if you to sell me your property. I would like the commissions for other agents and that to be advertised in the ad to be after expenses and your normal licensing phase and that kind of thing to be at 50%. Because if you think about it, if you’re an agent from another agency and you only get 20% of the commission or 30% of the commission.

Well, you’re going to make it an extremely difficult for another agent to come through. You’re not going to do it. You’re going to take your buyer by elsewhere. Because during the day, a real estate agent is just like you, doing a job. They do need to get paid. They need to put food on the table, so the saying goes. So if they’re going to get paid less , what’s going to make it extremely difficult for them, why are they going to bother? So you’re going to make sure your agent makes it as easy as possible and advertises in the ad, “all agents welcome equal commission”.

In that regard that’s how it should be. And, there’s another way to maximize or make sure that your apartment is getting all the publicity, all the action, all of the–it’s getting the highest price I can in the market because this is the worst, I’ll tell you what and it’s so frustrating when I have a buyer who will pay more but I was not able to sell it.

Now, I’ll give you a bit of an insight into the apartment market and the real estate market out and how–you’re probably getting a little bit of trend here as you listened to this. As you are the client, you can actually dictate terms but you got to-I’m trying to educate you so you have the– Because, this is where I live and breathe. And I’m sure, in your industry if I came in and try to figure out what you do. I wouldn’t have a clue, I would be lost.

And so I am trying to give you insight on what to question and how to put a stand to the person you want to represent you to make sure you’re getting looked after.

Hope it’s been helpful and I will be talking about next time is about presentation of your apartment. Now, this is a big one. I kind of touched on it before when we went through photography. That this is a huge one because it’s not done on running the industry and it needs to be. It’s something that you and I need to be aware of. Especially if you’re going to do the ad campaign, ask to see the photos, ask to see the campaign, that kind of thing. Anyway, have a good one. Talk to you soon. Bye!