Advice for viewing a property
Driving past the property
This has more value than you might think. Even before the viewing, a trip to see the property from outside is often sufficient to tell you that the property is not for you. A drive around nearby streets will also give you a feeling for the neighbourhood – and it's worth doing daytime and night-time to evaluate traffic noise and the like.
Consider all the things that are important to you and about which you want to ask questions, and make a list before you go to view. It can be very easy to forget things once you are inside the property.
Take someone with you
It can be very useful to have a second opinion – and a fresh pair of eyes – and someone else can often spot something that you have missed.
Buying a home is one the biggest purchases you ever make, so no one can object to you being as thorough as possible. Check everything, including inside cupboards and under the sink. While at the sink, you could run the tap to see how long it takes for the hot water to come through. If there is a loft or cellar – check those too (and borrow a torch, if necessary). Look out for any damp areas (inside or out) and any peeling paint.
Just as you did inside, can you see damp, peeling paint or tide marks on the walls? Does the roof have any loose tiles?
Find out what is included
Find out what fixtures and fittings will be left. You don't want to move in and find out there are no carpets or curtain poles.
Has any work been done?
Ascertain if there are any modifications and ask for copies of receipts and guarantees.
Don't forget to be friendly!
You want to stick in the seller's mind for the right reasons. This will improve your chances at having your offer accepted and can help to smooth the sale as well.
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