Top ten tips for viewing properties

Viewing properties is a vital part of the house buying process.

You will have looked at the photos online or in a printed schedule, but it’s important to visit and take a thorough look around any property you are interested in buying. Here are our top ten tips for viewing properties.

Before the viewing

1.       Make an appointment with the estate agent or private seller to view the property. They will give you availability for a private appointment, or they may invite you to an open house where you will tour the property along with other interested parties.

2.       Take a walk or drive around the area. It’s important to make observations about the availability of parking and how well-kept the property and surrounding areas are. This is also a good idea if you are moving to a new area so you can see if it is the kind of place you want to live.

3.       Think of questions that you want to ask of the seller. It’s a good opportunity to ask about typical utility bills, factoring fees and the neighbours. This is particularly good advice if you are a first-time buyer and are not sure what you will expect to pay out in the month.

During the viewing

4.       Download and print our handy checklist. Taking this list along with you will help you remember what to look for. It will also help you remember the properties after the viewing – especially if you have seen lots.

5.       Take a friend or relative along. They might think of questions that you haven’t, or notice things that you don’t and it’s always good to have a second opinion.

6.       Ask those questions that you have prepared in advance. Others might occur to you during the appointment so ask them too. It’s in the seller’s interest to be helpful and offer this information.

7.       Be respectful of the seller.  Be aware that they might be shy or uncomfortable having viewers in their home or on the other hand, be overly keen.  In some cases, it will be the estate agent conducting the viewing and they will be much less emotional about the property.

8.       Don’t be put off by the décor.  Try and see past the furniture, paint and wallpaper that is not to your taste. Look at the shape of the rooms, the storage and the potential for you to make the space your own.

After the viewing

9.       Arrange a second look. If you liked the property and are considering making an offer, it is a good idea to return for a second viewing. Try to go at a different time of day to see any differences in parking, behaviour of neighbours and light in the property.

10.   Take learnings from the viewing. If a property wasn’t for you, it’s a good idea to note on your checklist what you liked about it and what put you off. This will help in your search and arranging further viewings to make sure you get what you are really looking for.

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