Be well prepared for a viewing
With so many questions to ask, scenarios to imagine and information to gather, getting your perfect property may seem like an impossible dream.
But by doing your homework, getting prepared and putting in a bit of work ahead of a viewing, the process can be made a whole lot easier.
With the internet the most likely first port of call for many movers, a wealth of information about the housing market can be found at the touch of a button.
However, while details of prices and other information may be readily available, there is no better way to find out about the house you are interested in than getting up close and personal with the actual property and surrounding area.
Our estate agents advise buyers to have a checklist in place when they view a property – armed with the right questions to ask and areas to look at.
Here’s the Top 10:
- Try not to see the house as a home (until you move in!). At the initial inspection try to treat the property as a building that needs inspecting, even if you really love it. Don’t get too attached too soon – particularly if you have a number of viewings lined up.
- View the property three or four times, at different times of day, to find out what it’s really like – where the sun comes in, how the daylight affects the garden etc. and how traffic and surrounding noises change.
- Take your time to look around so you really get a feel for the place. Hopefully the first impression will be a good one and persuade you to spend more time finding out just what the property has to offer.
- Look at the structure of the building. Walk around the outside and check the exterior looking for any evidence of damp, hairline cracks in the walls or broken/missing roof tiles - and if so, investigate further or ask questions.
- Be wary of damp, check as thoroughly as you can, and keep your nose open as damp can give off a musty smell even if you don’t see physical signs.
- You may not think about it at the time, so make a note to also check the taps/water pressure and the light switches. You may not be told about any problems, but will see them for yourselves if you try. Opening and closing windows to check they are in good condition is also a good idea.
- Move the furniture around. Common cover-ups include painting over damp and hiding wall cracks or floor problems with furniture, paintings/photo frames or rugs.
- Location is key – spend some time walking around the general area. Find out what the area is like at rush hour/school run time. If you use public transport - check the bus or train times and work out your commute time to work.
- Confirm what land comes with the property and be clear on ownership of garden boundaries or parking spaces.
- Don’t be afraid to ask to look at space under the stairs, in the garage, in the loft or other places that may influence your decision.
Head of Estate Agency Su Snaith said: “It is easy to fall in love with a property and sometimes forget to be practical. However, by keeping your wits about you and taking the time to prepare for the viewing, buyers could avoid possible issues further down the line.
“A checklist is a practical and simple way of ensuring you don’t miss anything – and shows your intentions about buying are serious.”