With increasingly busy lives the chances are if you are looking to buy a new home you will be trying to fit viewings in amongst breaks at work, picking the kids up from school and even when you’ve finally made it, you will probably be texting your other half with your thoughts on what said property was like (and hoping they can squeeze in a viewing for themselves before it goes under offer).
With that in mind it has never been so important to make the most out of a viewing and below are my list of tips, tricks and questions to ask.
Research the local area
- What are the schools like – are you happy with the local state or independent schools? Is there a catchment area you need to be in and is the property in that?
- How far away are the nearest shops – can you live with being a drive away from a supermarket or do you need a corner shop at the end of the road?
- If the property doesn’t have a driveway, is there adequate street parking?
- Get your mortgage agreement in place to show you are serious
- If you are a cash buyer, get your proof of funds ready
- Make sure you have budgeted for additional costs, such as removals, solicitor fees, surveys…
- Check to see if there is a buyer fee
Questions to ask on the viewing
- What is the vendors position? In other words, have they found anywhere else? Do they have timescales in mind?
- Is the property freehold or leasehold?
- Has the vendor received any offers?
- Is there a right of way across the property?
- Are there any plans for housing developments nearby?
- If there has been a sale fall through on the property why is that?
- Do the owners intend to leave any items i.e fridge, washing machines etc?
- If there is planning permission when does it expire?
- Is the property gas or oil?
- What land comes with the property and where are the boundaries?
Things to look out for on the viewing
- Cracks – odd placings of furniture or rugs could be hiding these
- Damp – any areas of fresh paint could be a possible cover up
- Funny smells
- Broken guttering
- Blown double glazed windows/doors
- Missing and/or loose tiles on the roof
Things to do on the viewing
- Check the water pressure
- Check the lights work
- Make sure the windows open properly
There is no need to feel embarrassed about asking questions or taking your time on the viewing. Buying a property is usually the biggest purchase in one’s life, and you need to get it right.
By following this guide, this should help ensure not just that the property is the right one for you, but also to clarify that the property is actually what you thought it was – finding out about a home’s faults on the wrong side of exchanging contracts can be a truly horrendous experience.