Going to view a property? Top 10 tips to make the most of your visit

If you’re going to view a property you may be interesting in buying, making the most of your visit is important to make sure you’re making a fully informed decision about whether to proceed to making an offer or not. Often, you’ll have a gut feeling whether the house if for you or not, but for a lot of buyers, it’s common to be weighing up the pros and cons of two or three properties before making a decision. To do this having (on average) only seen the property one or twice means it’s so important to spend the time in the property as productively as possible. Here are our tops tips to make sure you get the most out of your visit:

  1. Prepare! A few days before the viewing, read all of the marketing material available from the estate agents and make a list of any initial questions or things you want to clarify when you visit the property.
  2. If you think there is a good possibility that the property will meet your needs, try and gather your ID, proof of your funds and mortgage agreement in principle and solicitors details beforehand. If you decide you want to make an offer, you’ll have a head start with the agents, which always is seen in a very good light by both the agent and vendor.
  3. Research the area thoroughly - use Google street view to check out the immediate surroundings if you don’t have time to drive around first. Search for local news websites - they will give a good indication of what it’s like to live there, what goes on and any community news.
  4. Understand what you’re up against - ask the agent how many viewings the property has had and if there have been any offers.
  5. Think about the time and day you are arranging the viewing for. For example, is it the middle of the winter? Try to avoid evenings if so as it’ll be very dark. If you’re viewing during working hours, you may want to pop back on a weekend to gauge how busy street is and how easy it is to park.
  6. At the viewing, start with the basics. Does the layout work for you? Can you imagine yourself living there? Is the garden the right size? Do you need to make any alterations? Try and imagine yourself living there.
  7. Make sure you ask lots of questions. 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. It is also a good idea to ask about the neighbours.
  8. Ask the vendor if you can take photos. You’ll have the professional photos on the agents marketing materials as a reference, but taking your own photos means you can focus on specific features you like.
  9. Once you have weighed everything up, give the agent a call. If you want to make an offer - let the negotiations commence! However, if it’s not right for you, give the agent your honest feedback. This will help them build up a clearer picture of what it is you are looking for in a home. Therefore, when the right thing does come up, you’ll be in there minds.
  10. Finally, when you do find the right property, getting the best out of a negotiation, moving a sale along smoothly and preparing for moving day can be an exciting but often stressful process. Being prepared and arming yourself with the knowledge to make things easiest is the best thing you can do - which is why we’ve put together a library of articles to help do exactly that. Explore our ‘Moving Advice’ section and please give us a call if you have any specific questions - we’re always on hand to help.