There are many things to remember when viewing a house. Bringing a friend, taking photos, measuring up and talking aloud are just a few ways to jog your memory.
In this guide, we will take you through our tips for viewing a house you may want to buy (or rent). There is no secret formula to this, but our checklist is pretty solid and is built on experience.
Take Lots of Photos & Notes!
Photograph everything, every room and every view. We aren’t joking here – you will forget something, a layout, where a wall is, where a cable comes in or where plug points are – having photos will help you remember.
Make a page or two of notes about each room – what you like and dislike. Will the room need redecorating, new carpets, or new doors? Are there any repairs that need doing? Is there damp? Remember to measure each room too. Not just length and width, but also height. Similarly make notes about the windows. Will it need a pole if you are putting up new curtains? Are the curtains included in the price?
Quick note: if there are issues with a property you are looking to rent, having this evidence is key to asking for it to be fixed before you move in. The landlord/agent should then act to get it fixed (assuming you move forward).
Take Someone With You
We can’t emphasise this enough. Take your partner, a friend, or a family member with you when viewing a house or flat.
You won’t pick up on every detail by yourself. We’ve all been there where we’ve looked at homes and thought ‘this is amazing’. But being so ‘in love’ with the property we haven’t spotted the damp around the windows, or that there is mould all over the bedroom ceiling. Or that despite there being a new kitchen there are no kickboards – and you will be footing that bill (pardon the pun).
Also make a note of everything the vendor says. It’s easy to forget conversations.
Touch and Smell Things
Sounds odd, but use your nose – if something smells bad in the house it probably is. If it smells damp move things to find where it’s coming from. Is it behind a sofa, behind the bed, under the sink or stairs?
Also don’t be afraid to move furniture a little, though we don’t advise you do it too much. If you want to see what’s behind the big sofa against the wall, move it forward a little. By the same token, if you want to see what’s behind the TV to find out if there are enough sockets for your entertainment system feel free to move it, but do be careful. If you are unsure about moving something, ask the person doing the viewing to help. Ultimately they are there to help you gain get every bit of knowledge about the house.
Be Early For Your Viewing
Being late is rarely helpful for an appointment. Most viewings are booked in for a specific time slot. There may be a short turn-around for the next appointment – so please don’t be late.
Being early also gives you a really good chance to have a look around the neighbourhood, soaking up what the area is like. You can also check out the kerb appeal of the house. Take a good look at the outside. Is it well maintained? Are there any obvious faults?
Take Your Time
Unfortunately, some estate agents will want to rush you in and out in a very short timescale. This is not something we do at House Fox. Buying a house is likely to be the biggest purchase of your life. Therefore you need time to make your decision, and we understand and respect that. Ultimately you need time when viewing a house. You need to be comfortable that you are making the right choice of home. Being rushed means you won’t be. This is a huge decision and you should not be rushed or pushed into it.
Always ask questions of the person doing the viewing with you. They are the fount of knowledge for the property, from the EPC rating to the reason the owner is selling up.
Here are a few questions to consider asking:
- Do you have a copy of the property pack, including floorplan and EPC report?
- How long has the property been on the market? Has it been on the market before this recently?
- Why is the owner selling the property? How long have they lived here?
- What fixtures, fittings and land is included in the price?
- Are there any chains?
Have a Second Viewing
It sounds obvious but never place an offer on a first viewing alone. Go for a second viewing, take another – different, or additional – person with you. A second viewing should be much more about the head than about the heart. Check any issues you may have found previously are not structural. Look for cracks in brickwork, cracked roof tiles and windows. Test the toilets, showers taps and fittings. Is the water pressure strong enough? If there are built-in appliances, check if they work. But be polite, ask for permission first.
If all the boxes are ticked after your second viewing, and you are still in love with the property, make your offer with the knowledge that you’ve covered all the bases.
With thanks to www.thesellingguide.com
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Disclaimer: All advice on this site is given ‘as is’ House Fox Estate Agents are not responsible for any losses you may make subsequent to following the advice on this website, we advise you to always do your own research in full before you act.