When it comes time to looking for a new house, you want to get the most out of every viewing you go to. You have limited time to make an assessment of one of the biggest commitments in your life. Sometimes you can get that instant gut feeling about a place, but for a more in-depth way of working out whether a property is right for you, here are our top tips of getting the most out of you house viewings.
1. Get to know the area
First impressions are sometimes all you need to know whether you want a house to be your home. Before your viewing and if it’s convenient, take a detour to your potential property and get a sense of the area, check out your possible neighbours, assess what the noise levels are like, see how bad the traffic is in the surrounding areas. All these things could be crucial deciding factors before you’ve even set foot in the property.
2. Don’t go it alone
It’s always a good idea to have a second opinion when you go to a viewing. Yes, you are the one who is going to be living there, but bringing someone along who knows you and your tastes might give you clarity when you need it. It always helps to have someone to bounce ideas off and give you reassurance you’re making the right call, whatever it may be.
3. Ask questions
Take full advantage of having the seller or estate agent there, and ask everything and anything you need to know. Prepare a list of things you want to know beforehand. How long has the house been on the market? Why is the owner selling? How long has the owner lived here? What’s included in the price? Are the sellers in a chain? How much are the bills? You only have a short amount of time but you can get a lot out of it.
4. Make a checklist
Have a check list of things to look out for, as it’s easy for things to slip your mind on the day. What type of flooring does each room have? Are there working fireplaces? What’s the energy performance certificate rating? How old is the boiler? Are the windows double glazed? Does the garden require much maintenance? Being able to tally up these things after every viewing might help in making hard decisions if you’re stuck between a few properties.
5. External as well as internal
Make sure you check the outside of the property, not just inside, as there might be major deciding factors here too. Are there any loose tiles on the roof? Is the paint peeling? Any signs of water damage? Are the gutters up to scratch? What standard and size is the garden? Are there any signs of a pest problem?
6. Take photos
Photos will help you recall your impressions of the property, especially if you’re viewing several properties in a short amount of time. There are also things you might not pick up initially and it’ll help greatly having them to reference. Make sure they’re well-lit and plentiful, not just the rooms as a whole, but the little things – fixtures and fittings, window frames, and boilers. Always ask permission before you whip out the camera, though.
7. Think about storage space
Remember that all your stuff needs to fit in this house, along with you. Think about all the things you need to find a place for. Is there enough room for your furniture? Is there a place to keep the hoover? Is there room for your bike indoors? Can you hang laundry?
8. Try it out
You are there to work out whether this house is right for you to live in, so don’t be shy in testing out some features. See how wide the windows open and if they’re fitted properly, run the tap to see how good the water pressure is, see how strong the phone signal is and the Wi-Fi speed is of the area. If you feel a little awkward about it, just ask permission first – more often than not, they’ll say yes.
9. Go to a second viewing
You love a property, you’re certain you want it, but it’s always best to make double sure with a second viewing. This is a major commitment, so you want to be completely confident in your decision. You may spot things you never noticed before that are deal breakers, or realise some aspects aren’t as good as other properties you’ve seen, or just confirm that this is the house for you. In the same vein, don’t let small, superficial details put you off a property. No house is perfect, and you can always work on fixing them when it’s yours!
10. Don’t rush into anything
Buying a house is an emotional process. It’s easy to get carried away and swept up in the excitement, especially if you think you’ve found your dream home, but try to keep a rational head, and don’t say yes immediately. Discuss it with a partner, friend, family member or even co-worker afterwards, even if you’re buying alone.
These are just a few ideas on how to make a viewing as beneficial to you as possible. Our agents are there for you, so don’t hesitate to book yours now.