Viewing property is one of the most exciting parts of house hunting. You could strike it lucky and find your dream home but even if you don't, having a good old nose around is fun.
However, there are a few things you need to do during and after the viewings which will help your property search going forward.
1. Have an open mind
Most things about a property can be altered – apart from its position and the amount of natural light it enjoys. Consider these first. Is it in a street in which you’d be comfortable? In which direction does it face? What does it look out on and how noisy is it? Make notes as you go and look for a sense of balance and proportion throughout.
2. Don't be afraid to pry
Be aware that you will likely be seeing the property in its most attractive state. Assess the shell of the home – not the lifestyle or taste of the current occupant. And don’t be afraid and open doors and cupboards, check the water pressure in the shower, and so on.
3. Watch out for irregular rooms
Watch out for irregularly-shaped rooms and think about how you’d use each space. Is there enough space for all your belongings and will there still be enough space in a year or three’s time?
4. Be honest
Don’t pretend to be interested if you’re not. Be polite but there's no need to be over-friendly. You might end up in a heated negotiation and it won’t help if you’ve upset them at the start. If you’re genuinely interested, start asking questions.
5. Choose your time
It’s best to try and do your viewings during the week rather than wait until Saturday – that’s when everyone else will be viewing. If it’s right for you, move fast.
6. Communicate with your agent
Always tell your agent what you thought about a property. Agents need feedback in order to develop a more detailed picture of what you are looking for.
7. Start asking questions (if you're genuinely interested)
Have any alterations been made? What fixtures and fittings are included? Have there been any offers? If it’s a flat, how long is the lease? How is the building managed? Who is the freeholder? Is there a service charge? The more information you have, the more confident you will be.
8. Second viewing
If you decide to go on a second viewing it should be at a different time of day from your original visit. In summer, when it is unlikely you will ever see a property after dark it can be an idea to make your second viewing as late into the evening as possible. It is not just light levels that alter with the time of day, so do traffic levels and neighbour noise levels. Take a walk past at night and talk to one of the neighbours.
You might also be interested in...
- The key thing Phil Spencer looks for in a property
- Be the best buyer: How to secure your dream home
- 7 top tips for finding a good solicitor
Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. Zoopla strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advise from a qualified professional.