This brief article offers some useful advice on how to make the most out of house viewings.
When you find a property that you are initially interested in, contact the seller or Estate Agent (depending on whether it is a private sale or through an estate agent) to arrange a time for the viewing. It is wise to see as many properties as possible in order to get an impression of what is on the market. To assist with the search, we have compiled some general tips for property viewings.
Keep a record It is important to take good notes on everything relating to your property search. Include a checklist for area and property features and your thoughts to take with you to every viewing. As the purchase of a home is likely to be a very important decision – good organisation and project management is essential.
Take critical notes Check every property you view for: – General Condition (fixtures and fittings, layout etc.) – State of Repair (insulation, heating, plugs, plumbing etc.) – Structural problems (dampness, cracks in walls or ceilings, crooked doors, damaged foundations etc.)
Visit at least twice A property can change dramatically between night and day, as well as the area it is in, or during rush hour, when the passing traffic and frequent trains can cause the floor to vibrate.
Take a digital camera Take many photos of the properties you visit. If you are viewing many properties these will prove invaluable memory aids. It will help you remember certain features and to see the property in a more objective light at a later date.
Try to remain objective It is easy to become overwhelmed by the home buying process and fall in love with the first potential home you see, but remember that there are many more to come and try to keep an open mind. Alternatively…
Recruit an impartial friend The excitement of a viewing can make you overlook important things – another pair of more sceptical eyes can help you make a better judgement.
Ask questions Nobody is in a better position to tell you about the property than the current owner, as usually they are the previous residents. Use the viewing as an opportunity to chat with the owner and find out anything you would like to know about the property or the area. It may help to prepare a list prior to the viewing itself.