Going to view a house is more than just turning up and walking around. A property viewing is your chance to find out everything you need to know about the house. However, in order to get the full picture, you need to know how to prepare, what to look for, what to ask, and how to act.
Before you consider arranging a viewing, do some background research on the area and property to make sure it’s suitable for you. Consider the character of the area, transport links, and local amenities.
If possible, try to see the house from outside before you arrange a formal viewing. The first impression from a drive by viewing can often be enough to know if you’d want to live there or not. Drive around the area as well, and look for things like the traffic level and feel of the neighbourhood.
When you arrange a formal viewing, take someone with you. It’s essential to be able to have a second opinion on the day as well as someone to talk things through with.
Finally, prepare a checklist of things that are important to you before you go, so you don’t forget things on the day.
Viewing a house is different to simply looking at it. When viewing, you want to be assessing the property with a critical eye.
As you walk through, try to imagine yourself living in the space. Are the rooms big enough for you? Is there enough storage space? Would you need to update the property before you could live there, and if so how major would this have to be? Small things like power sockets can be easily forgotten on viewings but will become important should you move in.
Also check on the condition of the house. Be on particular lookout for signs of damp or subsidence.
As much as it is an opportunity to see the house, a viewing is also an opportunity to ask questions about it and the sellers.
One important question to ask is what is included in the selling price. What are the owners taking with them, and what is being sold with the house? Make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. Similarly, confirm what land is included in the property as gardens and parking spaces may be shared.
You should also ask about the sellers. How long have they lived in the property, and how long have they been trying to sell? Strings of short-term owners and difficulty selling could mean there’s a problem. Also find out if they’re in a chain, as this could impact your timescale.
Building a rapport can be invaluable. If the seller has positive memories of you then they may be more willing to accept your offer, while a good relationship with the estate agent can ensure a smooth sale. An initial tour with the seller isn’t the time for criticism or future building plans. Be polite, and always ask before taking photographs.
Take your time viewing a property. Even if you had an amazing first impression, spend time checking it thoroughly. Don’t be pressured into not looking closely enough.
In addition, don’t feel pressured into making an offer on the first viewing. If you like the property, arrange to view it again on another day at a different time.
If you’d like more support through the buying process, consider enlisting the help of an experienced estate agent like Seddons. We’re on hand to guide you through the process – just get in touch.