NZ swimming pool

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Reportedly eight percent of all residential property listings in New Zealand come with a pool, but one realtor says buyers and sellers should view pools with their eyes wide open.

Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand

“New pools can be a big asset, but old pools can be a liability. In fact, in some cases, it’s better to remove them before a sale. We encourage people to talk to their agent about whether an old pool is a plus or a minus, because they can cause grief during the sales process,” says Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

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Mr Kearins says a lot of pools were installed nationwide during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. They’re not cheap, however, with costs potentially $100,000 or more when you factor in landscaping, fencing, and the consent process.


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Over 6,000 new pools have been registered with the Auckland Council in the past five years alone.

“Pools can be a lot of work, but new or well-maintained ones can add considerable value to a property and families in particular will be drawn to them. In a softer real estate market, they could make all the difference in achieving a good sale,” he says.

With prospective buyers often word searching ‘pools’ on listing websites, the Century 21 leader suggests that vendors promote them prominently in their marketing material with great photos.

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“When it comes to pools, for both parties, it’s buyer and seller beware and both need to do their due diligence,” says Mr Kearins.

“The Building Act requires pool barriers and fences to be inspected at least once every three years. As a vendor, find the last council inspection report and have it available to buyers to show it’s compliant and when the next inspection is due,” he says.

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The real estate leader says depending on the type of pool, it may need a building consent. Many don’t require a consent but nonetheless, he says, check it out via council before listing a property, and provide any consent documentation for buyers’ information.

“If your pool or spa pool is close to a boundary, you or previous owners may have required written consent from your neighbours. Again, if so, provide it as part of your property documentation. Likewise, buyers need to make sure they ask questions about potential consents and permissions,” says Mr Kearins.

Other handy hints include writing down instructions or even offering a lesson in person to the incoming owner if you’ve been maintaining the pool yourself. Likewise, if you’ve been using a pool services company, it’s good to pass on their information and costs to the next homeowner to consider.

“A good pool can be a great entertainer for families. You just need to do your homework to make sure they’re a bonus, not a burden,” says Tim Kearins.