Property viewing advice
When you’re viewing a property, there are a number of ‘golden rules’ that you should always bear in mind.
Keep emotions at bay
Firstly, let your head rule over your heart. Yes, it can be difficult to remain objective when you’re viewing a place that could be your ‘forever’ home. You can’t help but try to picture yourself living there, and if you really like the property, it’s easy to get carried away and overlook any problems or issues. But try to stay as detached as you possibly can.
Likewise, try to overlook any purely cosmetic or superficial problems. Things like food smells or dodgy décor can be an immediate turn-off, but try to see (or smell) beyond those or you may end up ruling out a perfectly good home.
Take your time
Always book a return visit, preferably at a different time of day which will allow you to see the property in a different light. You may also find that you’re less ruled by your emotions on the second or third visit.
Spend at least 30 minutes viewing a property, preferably more. Go into every room and get a really good feel for the place.
The seller is not obliged to tell you about any problems with the property, so you should use viewings as your opportunity to check things out for yourself. Turn the taps on and off to test the water pressure. Check that light switches work, and open and close the windows. If white goods are included as part of the sale, check that they are in good, working condition.
Then, make sure you check the exterior carefully, noting the condition of the roof (if applicable) and any hairline cracks or signs of damp.
Take a list
It’s easy to forget some of these important checks, so to jog your memory, it can be helpful to take along a list of questions to ask the seller, as well as a property viewing checklist so you can tick off each point as you go around.
Check out the neighbourhood
If the property feels like a ‘maybe’, you should spend some time getting to know the local area. Does it have the amenities you need? How busy do the roads get at peak times? Go for a coffee and do some people watching. In many ways, the area is just as important as the house when it comes to deciding where to buy, so take your time and make sure you can see yourself living there.
Get a survey done
If you decide to make an offer on a property, it’s well worth investing in a professional survey. A chartered surveyor will look at the property in detail and provide you with a report which highlights any hidden issues with the home you’re buying. Having this information as early as possible will save you from having to carry out costly and unexpected repairs later. It may also enable you to renegotiate the selling price. Take a look at our guide to the types of house survey to find out more.
Once you have found your perfect home, then use our handy conveyancing quote tool below to get a no obligation quote for your conveyancing.