On your search to buy a property you may start to ask yourself many questions, such as: how many houses should you view before you buy? How long should a viewing last? How many times should you view before putting in an offer?
The truth is, there’s no right or wrong answer to any of these questions. But what’s important is what you ask during each viewing. These questions aren’t just what you ask the estate agent but also what you should be asking yourself as you walk around. You might find ‘the one’ on the first viewing or your search could last much longer; to help you gain a good understanding about your potential new home, you should ask the following questions.
What to ask the estate agent…
1. Has the property had any offers? Don’t be afraid to quiz the agent on the background of the property, such as how long it’s been on the market, and how many viewings they’ve had. This may give you an indication of its place in the current market but, ultimately, if you know the property has received offers and that they have been rejected, this will give you an idea of what the owner is looking for and how competitive the market is.
2. What position are the sellers in? Depending on your current position and if you’re in a chain, the seller's position can be valuable information. There are certain risks associated with being in a chain but knowing the situations of both you and the seller can help you make the right decision. Remember, if you’re not in a chain, you’re in a strong position and this could play in your favour should you decide to make an offer.
3. What’s included in the sale? Although you won’t receive a full fixtures and fittings list until much later, you can ask the estate agent/seller what is included in the sale, especially things like garden sheds, greenhouses, and where your boundaries lie. Make sure you take note of the furniture in the property, checking if the kitchen is fitted may sound strange, but freestanding kitchens are common. You don’t want to get to contract before you realise that every kitchen unit is going with the sellers when they move.
What to ask yourself…
1. Is the building sound? During the viewing, look out for big cracks in the walls in case the property has subsidence, and inspect the windows for rotting wood or condensation. Check the walls, ceilings and skirting boards for damp, as well as the condition of the power sockets and general wiring. If you can, get a good look at the roof, as falling tiles isn’t a good sign!
2. Are there other properties for sale in the area? As you drive away from the property, have a look if other houses nearby are for sale; you can then find out what they’re going for and what previous properties have sold for. This will give you a good idea of the property’s true value and how much you should offer. You can find out all of this information using free tools supplied by Rightmove and Zoopla.
3. Which way does the property face? Smartphones have many functions but a very useful app to use during a viewing is the compass. It might sound a strange suggestion but if you’d like to make the most of the summer sun then you’ll want to know which way the garden faces. If you’re more inclined to enjoy evening drinks then perhaps you’d prefer your garden to catch the sun in the evenings.
As a home buyer, you will view, on average, between 15 and 20 properties before making an offer. Whether you view one or ten, we hope our questions have made your decision a little easier.
If you’re looking for a property to buy or sell contact our team on 01633 870777.