Sarah Beeny: Things to look out for when viewing a property
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Buying a new home is a huge decision and it’s important to know what to look for when viewing a house. This includes looking beyond the interiors and judging the structure of the property. There are lots of house viewing questions to ask. Estate agents want to sell properties and they know the best way to do this. But don’t be fooled by a well put together living room and colours that match. There are more important things to look for when viewing a house such as how loud the neighbours are and when will the roof needs replacing. Read through this checklist shared by Coppenwall estate agents to make sure you ask as many key questions as possible, before making an offer.
1. Think of the property not as your home
As estate agents, the experts noted: “We regularly see people following their heart when trying to buy a home. On your first viewing, try to distance yourself, and think of the property as a building to be inspected.
“Too many times, people will overlook problems that they should be asking questions about. Having said that, every property will have its faults. Do not be put off by every little thing. You can always negotiate on price, depending on the size of the issue and how much it will cost to rectify.”
2. View more than once
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer of how many times house-hunter should view a house, although it’s almost always a good idea to view a property more than once before making an offer.
Typically, people will view houses between two to four times before making an offer, but buyers should view a property as many times as they need to be sure it’s the right one for them.
The estate agents said: “We always try and get our clients to view a property a few times. Most people tend to look with rose-tinted glasses on their first viewing. It is always important to go back on a second occasion to make sure you have fully assessed the property.
“We also recommend you drive by at key times, such as: rush hour; school drop-off and pick-up times, evening times, so you get an idea of the area generally.” Areas that are quiet during the day can come alive at night (and vice versa), properties near schools can have significant parking issues during the morning and afternoon school runs. So, even a casual drive around the area of the property at different times of day can tell you a lot more than buyers may learn in a single viewing.
3. Take your time
It takes time to find your dream home, but exactly how long should you spend viewing a property? It’s a question many house hunters ask themselves, conscious that they are either overstaying their welcome or not spending enough time making sure the property is right for them.
If it’s the first viewing potential buyers may be able to be in and out fairly quickly as they just need to get a sense of whether they’re interested enough to go back for another viewing.
‘Essential’ step to give poinsettias ‘long lasting displays’ of blooms [TIPS]
Kitchen features that make homes look ‘small, cheap and outdated’ [EXPERT]
Get rid of condensation ‘in seconds’ – two easy hacks [INSIGHT]
If it’s their last viewing before putting in an offer, or they know they need to move quickly due to other people being interested in it, they’ll need to spend more time to make sure it’s definitely right.
The pro said: “An estate agent will allow you 15 minutes for a viewing, 30 minutes if it is a larger property. Owner viewings tend to allow you a little bit more time.
“Make sure you try and schedule an appointment for 30-60 minutes if you like the property. This will enable you to view leisurely and pick up on any issues there may be with the property.”
4. Inspect building structure
Most house-buyers will not be a trained surveyor, so there are many things they may miss. according to estate agents, easy things to look for are: damp and hairline cracks in the wall, missing or loose tiles on the roof and broken guttering.
Damp is something that people tend to fear and find very off-putting. Although it is not always visible, you can sometimes pick up on damp due to a musty smell. A trained surveyor/damp specialist will be able to confirm any suspicions potential buyers have about damp in a property.
The property pros urged: “If you find any of these signs, make sure to ask about the cause as it will cost to rectify. It’s sensible to ask whether these will be fixed prior to sale. Once an offer has been accepted, always instruct an independent house survey, so they can conduct more thorough checks.”
5. Confirm land boundaries
Although estate agents are responsible for making sure all property details are correct, it is always worth asking for more information about the land and boundaries included with the property. Too often there are grey areas in relation to parking spaces and gardens. Make sure you are asking the right questions, and get all responses in writing.
If you are lucky, a boundary agreement may already be in place. This should be in writing and signed by the seller and their neighbours. Working out an exact boundary line is trickier and means obtaining as much information as possible from the title plans, registry documents and any other documentation that may be available.
A surveyor may be appointed to draw up a detailed plan. Both the boundary agreement and the determined boundary line can be added to the title plan of all participating properties by applying to HM Land Registry and paying the appropriate fee before the property is sold.
6. Test the taps, light windows and doors
The agents advised: “Check the water pressure by trying every tap, check the light switches and make sure every window and door opens and closes. Most people do not think to check these things, and it is worth making sure everything is in good working condition.”
7. Arrange a survey
The experts said: “This has to be the most important point. When buying with a mortgage, the banks will instruct a mortgage valuation. This does not provide you with any information on the condition of the property, and will only tell you how much the property is worth.”
Coppenwall recommends potential buyers to get an independent Home Buyers Survey done so they can see the true condition of the property prior to committing to buy. These surveys will list any issues the property has so that buyers can make a well-informed decision, rather than rushing into a sale.
Source: Read Full Article