One of the first stages of finding your dream home is to book a viewing around a property that’s caught your eye. In some cases a property viewing can be as quick as a five minute look around a house and out again, but who wants to make one of the biggest purchases of their life based on such a quick judgement.
It’s important to use your viewing time effectively, otherwise you could end up missing something that will cost you dearly or make you regret your decision in the long run. Here are some tips to ensure you have a successful property viewing:
Don’t go to a Viewing Alone
The more pairs of eyes you have available when looking around a property the better. If you go to a viewing alone then you will most likely just be led around by the estate agent, listening to them tell you about all the great features a property has.
Even if you are planning on buying a house alone, take a friend or family member with you to any viewings you have, and ask them to keep their eyes peeled for any red flags they spot when walking around the property. Just having two different opinions on a house can make a real difference to your decision.
View the Inside and Outside
At the start of the viewing the estate agent will usually take you through the front door and show you around the inside of the house before going back out the way you came in. When buying a house it’s is important to get a thorough look at the outside too.
Ask to see the garden, and if possible walk around the entire exterior of the property to check the walls, roof, pipes, and drainage - if you spot any problems think about how expensive they could be to fix. If you do like the house, then you may want to arrange a professional survey to get a real assessment of the situation.
Take Your Time
It’s an exciting process buying a house, but it’s important to not book too many viewings into a small time frame, as the last thing you want is to feel rushed while looking around your potential dream home.
You should give yourself between 20 and 30 minutes to view the inside of the property, and a further 20 minutes to look around the outside and walk around the area. Tell the estate agent at the start that you want to take your time looking around, and don’t let them rush you.
Don’t Think of it as Your Home
It’s really important that you leave any emotion at the door when viewing a property, as it is hard to have an objective opinion of a place if you already feel some attachment towards it.
Of course it’s nice to walk into a house and immediately be able to imagine yourself living there, but you shouldn’t walk around willing yourself to like a property, you need to make sure everything is right with it, and that takes a critical eye.
View at Different Times of the Day
If you like a house and are considering buying it, then it’s a good idea to have more than one viewing, just to check you didn’t miss anything crucial and to ensure you actually like it as much as you think you do.
Book one viewing for the daytime and one for the evening, as it will allow you to see how light the property is at different times of the day and give you a better impression of what the neighbour is like in the evening. Multiple viewings also give you the chance to ask any questions you may have after your first viewing.