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House viewing checklist for home-buyers

Posted by CJ on Friday 7 February 2020


We’re here to make your home-buying experience easy. And it starts here, with the viewings. So, we’ve put a few tips together so you can boss your viewings, find the right home for you and even make an offer the seller can’t refuse.


Step 1: Put in the prep work


Spreadsheets: Spreadsheets aren’t for everyone. But, they do provide the perfect place to compile and organise all your viewing notes by address. Kind of like a viewing checklist that you can tick (or cross) according to what you see.

Allow travel & parking time: This sounds like an obvious one, but if you allow extra time and turn up early, you’ll get the chance to explore the neighbourhood. Win-win.

The right price: You’ll probably come across properties that you feel have an asking price that’s too high or too low. Feel free to ask the seller or us about the decision behind that price. For example, if it’s on the lower end, it might be because they want to sell quickly, not because there’s something secretly wrong with the foundations. Likewise, if it’s on the higher end, it could be because the property has been recently renovated.

The right questions: We can’t stress enough how important it is to prep some questions before the viewing. With Settled, viewings are hosted by the sellers. They know their property and the neighbourhood better than anyone and having questions at-the-ready means you won’t miss anything.

Get in the zone: Positive mental attitude and an open mind is always helpful during viewings. Sure, the garden is smaller than you’d hoped, but the size, location and condition of the property meet expectations. More than anything, you want to build a positive rapport with the seller in case you do want to put an offer in.


Step 2: The viewing


Background checks: Don’t be shy - ask those slightly awkward questions like, how long have you lived there? Why are you selling? How long has the property been on the market? Was there a gruesome murder here in the 1800s I should know about? These answers will give you a good history of the property.

Awkward appliances: You may think it's a bit awkward, but honestly, checking the appliances like the boiler and oven is worth doing. If the boiler looks old and on its last legs - that is a costly replacement.

Original beauties: If the property is an older build, it might be worth noting down the original features that the property has (even if they’re covered up). For example, the quality of the original wooden floors, single glazed windows, number of plug sockets. They could incur costs at a later date.

In good company: If living in this property means you’ll be sharing some areas with neighbours (like the garden for example), take a look, ask the seller about the sharing etiquette and what they’re like to share with.

Step outside: If you’re able to, take a stroll around the outside of the property - look at the outer walls and the roof. If you’re unsure or nervous about the condition then you’ll know to instruct a thorough survey before committing to the sale.


Step 3: Post-viewing


Feeling frazzled? It’s likely you’ll have an emotional and information overload after one viewing, let alone if you squeeze three in a row. The viewing spreadsheet we mentioned earlier will help, but just make sure to fill it out immediately after each viewing, not waiting until the end of the day.

Get in touch: It’s normal to have follow-up questions after viewings. With Settled, you can get in touch directly with the seller or you can ask us about the property. Either way, you’ll be able to find out much more about a property than any normal listing.