What to Expect at a House Viewing?

what to expect at a viewing

Before you view

When looking for your new property, it is incredibly important to view a variety of different properties to know what you truly want. Starting off on your property journey, you will have a list of requirements in your head that you want your property to have, such as a garage, fitted kitchen, driveway, etc. When you finally start the viewing process, you will notice different things you will want out of the new property that you never thought of before, and realise most of your previous requirements change.

If you are looking at properties on property portals, make sure you have looked at all of the information provided. This could be; photographs, floorplans, virtual tours, brochures, descriptions, maps and local information. All of this information is there to help you decide whether or not this property could be right for you. If when looking at all of this information you find something that puts you off the property, you will save both yourselves and the agents time and avoid disappointment.

Don’t forget…

We would also suggest if you are viewing a property in an area you are unfamiliar with, that you visit the area a few times at different times of the day. This is really important to get a feel for the area and make sure it’s right for you. While in the area, it may be useful to speak to some of the residents to see how they like living in the area.

When you find a property you wish to view, simply contact the estate agent who is currently marketing the property. They will be able to give you more information on the property, confirm a time and date on which your viewing will take place and suggest similar properties in the area that may take your fancy. You can contact the estate agent via email or telephone.

If the property is marketed by us, you can find all of our contact details on our Contact Us page. Alternatively, you can contact us at any time via our social media pages on Facebook or X (Twitter). You can also book a viewing directly on our website, simply click ‘request a viewing‘ on our homepage or register your interest if there is nothing quite right for you at the moment..

It is beneficial to plan ahead before your viewing. Make a note of any questions you have for the agent, so you don’t forget any on the day.

On the day of your viewing

Don’t forget your camera and measuring tape!

Either on the day of your viewing or the day before, the estate agent should give you a call to confirm your appointment and let you know the name of the viewer you will be meeting at the property.

Should I be on time for a house viewing?

Yes, being on time is important as it shows respect for the seller and the real estate agent. It also ensures you have adequate time to view and evaluate the property without feeling hurried. So, ensure you arrive at the property at least 15 minutes before your appointment. It is likely the agent will have multiple viewings that day and will not be able to wait behind if you are late. If you are going to be late or can’t make the appointment, simply let the agent know and they can reschedule their diary.

Viewings can take place in 3 different ways:

Direct vendor viewings

If a vendor is conducting the viewings themselves, don’t forget that this is their home. Be considerate of their personal belongings when it comes to looking through the rooms and taking pictures. While wanting to show the property in its best light, most vendors are emotionally attached to their property and may only agree to sell it on to homeowners they know will take care of the property, so try and make a good impression. By making a bad impression in this initial meeting may put the vendor off from accepting potential offers you put forward. The advantage of viewing the property with the vendor is that there is no one who will know the property better, so they will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Agent viewings

When viewing with an agent, you can be more direct with your questions about the property, and you do not need to be wary as they are not the owners of the property. They will also be able to tell you about other properties on the market in the local area, giving you more choice of properties.

Open House viewings

An open viewing is where an agent will spend the day at a property. Multiple people all come and take a look around at the same time. Although this is a more relaxed way of viewing, you will still be required to book an appointment. You will also be able to check out the competition of potential buyers competing to get the property. Please note, don’t try not to get carried away trying to outbid. As there are multiple people viewing the property at the same time, you are left to wander around the property at your own pace, taking your time to view every room.

When you view a property, it is important you ask the agent as many questions as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. No matter how silly you think they may be, this is what the agent is there to help you with. We’ve selected some of the most common questions asked on viewings to help you.

  • Have gas and electrical checks been done recently?
  • Is there any damp behind the furniture?
  • What is the council tax situation?
  • Why is the owner selling?
  • How much interest has the property had?
  • Does the property come furnished?
  • Is the fireplace operational, and when was the chimney last serviced?
  • Was the property previously rented? Ask for copies of all safety certificates.
  • Who is entitled to use and maintain the gardens or terraces?
  • What media installations are allowed (e.g., satellite TV)?
  • Who is the current provider?
  • Who is the current utility provider?
  • Is the property in a conservation area?

If viewing a leasehold:

  • Is the block well maintained?
  • How long is the lease, and is there documented evidence of it?
  • What are the property restrictions?
  • Are other tenants in the flats happy with how the property is being maintained?

If viewing a new build:

  • What fixtures and fittings are included?
  • What will be built on nearby sites?
  • Are different layouts or decors available, and is the preferred one available?
  • Are part exchanges, discounts, or incentives available?

We’ve also put together a comprehensive house viewing checklist which you can download and take with you to a viewing. It contains some of the most important things you should assess while viewing a property. While handy for any buyer, this checklist will be especially helpful for first time buyers.

After your viewing

The first thing we would recommend is to create a list of your likes and dislikes about the property you have just viewed.

Once you have viewed all of the properties you wish, gather all of your lists together to determine which house is the best for you.

Is it okay to visit the property more than once?

Absolutely. Many buyers visit a property multiple times at different times of the day to get a feel for the natural light, noise levels, and neighbourhood dynamics. Multiple visits can help you be sure about your decision.

What’s the next step? Making an offer…

You can check out our handy guide on making an offer on a house you wish to buy here.

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