For Buyers – Ten Tips to Improve Your Viewings Strategy
The average house viewing only lasts for 20 minutes, which is hardly any time at all, considering the importance of the purchase! Here’s ten ways in which you can make the most of each viewing.
Visit several times
You’ll see something different each time. If you’re keen, make another two or three visits, at different times of the day.
Take someone with you
It’s an emotional decision so it’s good to bring an objective person along with you for a second opinion and to point out the pros and cons.
That’s what the estate agent is there for! If they don’t have the answer at the time, it’s their job to find it for you. Make a list of questions before you go to the viewing and make sure you follow up any unanswered ones.
Bring a tape measure and a camera to repeat viewings
You think you’ll remember every nook and cranny, but you won’t. Measure up rooms, corridors and windows to see how your existing furniture will fit. If you’re permitted, take photos and videos so that you can review the property later.
Bring a compass
You need to know which way the house faces so you can see which rooms are going to be shaded and which will get direct sunlight. This is especially important if you plan to install solar panels.
Check the roof
Roofs are expensive and so you need to know it’s good for a few years yet. Ask what it’s made from, when it was built and what its lifespan is. If it’s due for repairs in the next five years, you may be able to reduce the asking price.
Floors and walls
Look for damage, damp and woodworm, as well as inspecting shared walls which might transmit noise from the neighbours.
There should be heating in every room including kitchen, bathroom and rooms with tiled floors. Watch out for radiators with stains or rust around them, as this could indicate leakage. If the heating is electric, ask when it was installed and serviced, as these heaters can lose efficiency.
Is it well-maintained? How much work will you have to do? Are the boundaries well-defined in the deeds?
Easy to forget – until you need it. Think about towels, bed linen, cleaning products, vacuum cleaner, toys and so on.