Optimising property viewings

When viewing a property, explore the local area first. Make sure you take plenty of photos and notes. The most important factors are whether you like the property and if it meets your needs, but there are a number of other considerations, which can be easily overlooked. 

To get the most out of a viewing, there are a number of checks you should make yourself and a number of questions you should ask. The following checklists should be used as a guide, as during a single viewing it is unlikely that you will be able to check all aspects of the property.

Also, a property should not be dismissed just because every item on these lists is not ticked. Most minor faults are fixable and to find the perfect property, you will need to keep an open mind.

Checks to make yourself

Questions to ask during a property viewing

During an actual viewing it is unlikely that you will be able to get the answers to all these questions, as not all will be relevant. Instead, consider this list a good starting point for your investigation, but note that any major issues will be revealed in the survey or property information forms that will be used to help draw up the contract if you choose to proceed.

Typically, these are questions that you should ask the estate agent as you are being shown around the property.

  • Have there been many viewings?
  • Have there been any offers? If so, have any been withdrawn and why?
  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Is it part of a chain?
  • How long has the current owner lived here? Why are they moving?
  • Will any furnishing or appliances be left behind?
  • Have the current owners had any disputes with the neighbours?
  • Can I see electrical/gas installation reports?
  • Can I see the utility bills?
  • How old is the boiler?
  • Are there any issues with plumbing or wiring?
  • Are there any issues with subsidence?
  • How easy is it to get a parking space?
  • If the owner has a share of freehold, is the freehold company organised and effective?
  • If it is a leasehold property, how long is left on the lease?
  • Has the current owner had any dealings with the landowner?
  • Have any renovations been completed recently?
  • Are there any building restrictions?
  • Has planning permission been granted for any developments?

Sometimes, the current owner will be present at the viewing. If this is the case, remember that you will need to present yourself as an attractive buyer to do business with, so be cordial and not too pushy.

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