Metro - 22 August 2014
Property Viewing Tips
By Jo Eccles
A recent survey of 4,000 home owners found that the average person spent only 33 minutes looking around a property before deciding to buy it. Sometimes buyers have to make a quick decision because there’s competition and they need to move fast, or sometimes a seller has allowed a one off viewing as it’s not officially on the market, so multiple viewings isn’t an option. Regardless of why a buyer is making a quick decision, if the property is right, most will be fairly decisive.
Estate agents usually have a rule of thumb that if a buyer needs to view a property three or more times before deciding whether they want to make a bid, they typically won’t offer. Or they’ll make an offer, but pull out of the purchase before exchange. If they need to view that many times, usually the property isn’t quite right.
If you have to make a quick decision, there are certain rules you should follow. Your first walk around the property is where your gut instinct kicks in, but most people at this stage aren’t thinking about the practicalities. Therefore, you should always either do a second viewing, or walk around the property again with your ‘practical hat’ on. Look at the fixtures and fittings such as curtains, light fixtures, and white goods. Are there any items you want included? You need to outline this in your offer. Also, are there any refurbishment works to be done that you need to factor into your offer? You don’t want to get overly excited, make an offer, only to find out later on that you forgot to look in the cellar and notice the damp for example.
If you’re buying a new build property, have an extra careful look. Some developers will put in a smaller than average double bed into show homes to make the room look bigger, or they won’t include built in wardrobes in any of the bedrooms. You need to spot these small details so you can include any requests in your offer. If you’re only going to spend 33 minutes making such a big decision, make sure you spend them wisely!