“The best investment on Earth, is Earth.” Louis Glickman
The viewing: One of the most difficult stages of the house buying process.
You’ve seen a property you like the look of, it’s in the right location and is within your budget – so you’ve called the agent and arranged a viewing. But, then what?
How many times do you need to view the property to tick all the due diligence boxes on the building that may become your home?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, it’s advisable to view a property more than once before taking the plunge.
Here we’ll take you through some of the things to think about to help ensure you’re making an informed decision on your property purchase.
Narrowing it down.
It’s likely that your home will be the single largest investment you’ll ever make – so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with viewing a house as many times as you need to make a decision. And, don’t be afraid to take your time during the viewings!
A good way to think about the idea of consecutive viewings is to consider it an act of ever-sharper lenses; with the first viewing being quite broad, and subsequent viewings focussing more on finer details.
1. Your first viewing
Your first viewing will be equally about the layout and facilities of the property, as much as it will be about your gut feeling, or tilt factor. Do you get a good feeling from the property? Does the street feel friendly? Does the property appear to be value for money?
2. Your second viewing
You think the property might be right for you. At the second viewing you might want to bring along a friend or relative to give their input and to perhaps spot any issues that you may have missed. After all, it can be easier for someone else to be objective about a property if they’re not going to be the one living there! You might also start to quiz the agent and/or existing owner about more technical considerations e.g. the energy rating, council tax band, average utility rates, the age of the boiler, whether there’s double glazing and evidence of structural concerns.
You may wish to have your second viewing at a different time of day because properties and neighbourhoods can have a very different feel during the day compared to night-time.
3. Your third, fourth, and subsequent viewings
If you’ve made it this far, it’s likely that you want to buy the property, but need to get absolutely all the information about it before you can take the plunge. At this stage, it’s a good idea to bring in a Chartered Surveyor to produce an RICS Homebuyer Report to give you specialist advice on any concerns about the property. This information can help you negotiate on price, give you peace of mind, and allow you to better plan for the future.
You may also wish to start considering how your furniture will fit into the property or whether there’s any refurbishment work you may wish to start costing up.
View the property as many times as you need.
The only factor to consider is whether the property is likely to be sold to somebody else (and, remember, agents might try to remind you of this in a bid to close a sale). But, it’s always better to act with care and consideration when planning a property purchase. It’s far better to walk away, than to be rush into buying a property, only to be met with some nasty surprises when you move in!
If you’d like to request a quote for a RICS Homebuyer Report, click here and fill in the Quote Request Form.
For some more in-depth advice on what to look for when viewing a house, please take a look at:
• House Viewing Checklist
• 6 Things to consider when choosing where to live