Making the most of your viewings

Written by
Kyran Fielder
May 18, 2016

First impressions count which is just as well in a fast moving property market. You need to be able to assess fairly quickly whether it is the place for you. In some areas such as cities and up and coming areas, the property turns over so quickly that you may not get the the luxury of a second viewing.

So how can we take in more on our first go? What should we look for? What are the clues we should be consciously looking out for or what questions should we be asking of the agent or whoever it is that is showing us round?

A great agent such as Zoom995 will show the potential of the property and have essential knowledge of the immediate and surrounding areas but don’t assume that the information you want will be forthcoming. Everyone is different. It is still worth having your own key questions in mind. For example, what is the council tax, how old is the boiler, what is the local connectivity like, details of local schools etc. Don’t expect them to know everything but they should have decent level of local knowledge. If it is really important to you but there is no answer then ensure that you follow up with the agent.

Having a predetermined key list of desirable features vs nice to haves vs deal breakers will help you to quickly filter out the potential of the property. If you are going to be viewing many properties then it s a good idea to have a matrix prepared that will allow you to easily compare properties across key criteria.

Some commentators will warn against ’emotionally moving in too soon’ but it is never too early to visualise your belongings in the property if it feels good. Why not take measurements of key pieces of your furniture to ensure that it will fit? Don’t be afraid of getting the tape measure out on a viewing.

Looking at a property in natural daylight will help both get realistic sizes but also more readily show up flaws such as damp. Always try to consciously look for potential structural issues. This may include looking at exterior walls or corners while having the viewing.

If you are looking in the daylight but have the benefit of a further viewing then try to make this at a much different time. As agents, trying to get to viewings on time, school runs and rush hours can hamper what is otherwise a relatively quiet area and create a completely different viewing.

If it is off road parking then make sure you ask about the road and parking facilities as you will possibly be viewing when there are ample parking spaces.

If you are viewing in inclement weather then take a note of any drainage issues. Where is the water running, are there any build ups, are the gutters flowing ok?

Try to really study the floorplans before your viewing so that you can tick off rooms in your mind or prepare what you want to spend most time on. For example, if it is a small kitchen but has the potential for a kitchen diner then you should try and angle the agent towards focusing on that part of the property especially if it is to be a short appointment.

In any viewing, the key is to be prepared where possible, take your time and never be afraid of asking questions regardless of how silly they may seem. This is the largest purchase we make so it is important to get it right. Any agent worth their money will understand that and will want to help you get the most from your viewing.

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