When you consider how big and important the purchase is we spend relatively little time looking at the property we are going to buy. Unlike buying a car there is no test drive! It's essential you make the most of your viewing to ensure you get the right house and also because viewing houses is quite time consuming.
Redbrik’s residential property valuer, George Gordon, has compiled some top tips, that were shared on OnTheMarket.com, for potential home buyers to put into action when thinking about viewing a property.
1. Check out ALL the marketing material provided by the estate agent. Study the photos of course but also look at the floor plans and photos to check the layout suits your needs.
2. Research the area. Online maps and street view are fantastic, if you don’t have time to physically drive by all the properties you are interested in before you view.
3. Contact the agent to find out how many viewings a property has received, if there have been any previous offers and how long it’s been on the market.
4. Ask questions and don’t just concentrate on the exciting stuff! Find out how old the boiler is, what type it is (gas combi, back boiler, oil fired etc), whether it has been serviced and what the running costs are. Find out when the electrics were installed and also look at the windows. If the property has been extended, did it require planning permission? Was it granted? Do they have the building regulation certificate? This is all important information that could save you a headache further down the line!
5. Once you have weighed everything up, call the agent and give them the honest feedback, it really is valued.
6. If you’re interested in the property then the next step is to make an offer. Get the agent’s advice on this because every situation can be different. Vendors can be insulted if you try offering too low to start with and this might put them off selling to you, especially if there are other interested parties. Equally don’t always expect an asking price offer to be accepted, the market is changing and there are more buyers out there and some properties are going over the listed price. Make your position clear, have proof of funds or mortgage agreements available on request.
7. As well as these specific tips, remember the basics too – look around high and low and try to picture yourself living in the property. Make sure you ask questions because agents will always want to hear about and resolve any concerns.
8. Take pictures for your own recollection (check with the vendor first) but remember agents will post albums of high quality, professional photos of all properties on their websites.
9. Finally, remember it’s your decision and your journey to find your perfect home!
Content is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products.