Property viewing checklist – find the perfect property
Many potential buyers book property viewings with the best of intentions, then get carried away by the newly-fitted kitchen and fail to ask the right questions, or overlook the half-hour walk to the tube station. The upshot of this is that these questions have to be addressed further down the line. Usually, this is not a problem as buyers can always ring me up and ask me, but if left too late, outstanding information and questions can seriously hold up the house sale.
Here’s my property viewing checklist to keep you focused:
Do your homework.
Check out the street, the schools, the public transport and the local area generally. Find out how long it will take you to get to work if you decide to move to this particular property.
Know what you’re looking for.
As well as knowing how many bedrooms you need, remember the other essentials. Maybe you need a study because you work from home, maybe you need somewhere to store your music equipment. If you think you might get distracted by the fantastic view across Docklands, bring a written list of essentials so you can check them off. Buying a property is one of the biggest transactions you’ll ever embark upon – do what you need to and get it right.
Arriving late and stressed is not conducive to a successful viewing, and you don’t want to pass over a wonderful property because you’re in a bad mood. Arriving early also gives you a chance to get a feel for the area. Have a wander around, find the shops, check what buses go from that nearby bus stop, ask yourself if that busy main road is going to screw up your daily walk to the station.
Look at the outside of the property.
It’s easy to get swept inside and only focus on the interior, but external problems often go unnoticed for longer and are more expensive to repair. Have a look at the walls, brickwork and roof (if you can) – the detail will be picked up during the survey process but it’s good to have an idea of any damage before you get to that point.
Inside, check your list of property essentials.
Does the apartment or house have everything you need? I won’t mind if you consult your list – neither will any other estate agent.
Check for potentially expensive problems.
Does the boiler look new? You don’t want to have to shell out for a new one when you’ve just shelled out for a new house. Look for signs of damp – peeling walls, black splodges and a smell of mould. Turn on the taps; turn on the lights (remember to turn them off again!). Open and close windows and doors to be sure they fit properly.
Keep your sense of reality.
Many sellers paint their rooms white or cream which makes the rooms look both lighter and larger. Use the floorplan alongside what you see during the viewing –remember, a small sitting room will never accommodate your enormous corner sofa, even if the walls are painted white!
Take your time.
You should be spending at least 20-30 minutes in the property to get a good look and identify the pros and cons.
If you see problems, try and find out the cause and whether they will be fixed by the current owners. Try not to put your agent on the spot – buyers can sometimes get a fuller answer to a question if they’re prepared to wait until the estate agent can contact the seller.
Don’t see problems as reasons not to make an offer.
Sometimes issues like outstanding repairs can be your opportunity to offer a lower price.
It’s really important to get the most from your property viewing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or write things down, and, like all good estate agents, I’ll help you as much as I can. To view one of our properties, contact me, Adam Dockley, on 020 3633 4440 – can’t wait to meet you!