Real estate agents told to better explain how multi-offers work.

Estate agents have been put on notice by the Real Estate Agents Authority to ensure sellers understand the complexities of multiple offers for their property.

The REAA says multi-offer situations can be confusing and it continues to receive complaints about them from the public.

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It now wants selling agents to not only provide information about the multi-offer process, but to also make sure potential buyers understand the implications of being involved in these situations.

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"There is often confusion around timeframes in a multi-offer process, especially where the potential buyer thought they were the only party interested in a property," says the organisation.

It says potential buyers may be suspicious about competing "last minute" interest in the property they want to buy and says prospective buyers need clear information to help them understand what they need to do next if they want to buy a property.

The REAA says real estate agents should clearly explain the multi-offer situation and that the potential buyer has the chance to submit a new offer that should be their "best" offer.

The organisation wants all real estate agencies to have policies and procedures for the process they will follow when a multi-offer situation arises and to provide clear information to vendors and buyers.

Winter shortage

Sales figures from Harcourts show it had a good May with 745 sales written up by the firm. However, it has 15 per cent fewer homes on its books than May 2014, with 1581 properties currently being marketed by the firm.

Harcourts' CEO Hayden Duncan says huge sales volumes in Auckland and Northland last month, backed up by strong increases in the Central, Wellington and South Island regions, have resulted in the company recording its best May on record. And the second best month in the history of Harcourts.

"So far, we've seen little sign of the seasonal slow-down that traditionally comes with the onset of winter," he says.

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"The economic conditions, competitive interest rates and high demand are continuing to fuel the market in Auckland. The only barrier we still have is an ongoing shortage of supply."

High density

Finance Minister Bill English was reported as saying in February that high-density housing was "about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola".

This week he warns that Aucklanders need to be prepared for an increase in housing "densification" as the Government pushes for more homes on brownfield sites.

The city's unitary plan includes provision for up to 70 per cent of new housing to go on land previously used for developments, but few homeowners appear keen to have high-density housing in their backyard.