8 Crucial Questions To Ask When Viewing A Property

Whether you’re a house-buying novice or you’ve been on the property ladder for some time, it’s essential to ensure you ask the right questions when viewing a potential property.

Investing in a new home is a major financial commitment, so make sure you don’t regret your choice and turn up well prepared when you’re viewing a property and ask all the questions you need to.

According to research conducted on behalf of Ocean loans, one quarter (23%) of UK homeowners said they knew their property was ‘the one’ in an instant. More than two-fifths (44%) said they knew by the end of their first visit and half as many (22%) said they were sure by the end of their second visit.

If you’re unsure what questions you should be asking, here’s some essentials to get you started:

1. How long has the property been on the market for?

If the property has been up for sale for some time, this might be because other viewers have uncovered something that has deterred them from buying it. If you can’t spot anything yourself, quiz the estate agent as to why they think it isn’t selling.

On a positive note, the seller might be more inclined to accept a lower offer if they haven’t had much interest. Which brings us to our next must-ask question.

2. Has there been much interest in the property?

Get straight to the point by asking about the competition. If you’re interested in the property, it’s useful to know how many viewings are scheduled and whether any offers have been made.

Knowing how popular a property is can give you an idea of whether you need to be quick to make an offer, and how far from the asking price is safe to offer.

3. How long have the owners lived there?

There might be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but if the owners are selling up after a short stint at the property, this could be because of a problem with the house. Do they have noisy neighbours? Is there a problem with the building? Make sure you get to the bottom of it.

4. What exactly is included in the price?

Do you have to share the driveway? Will the shed be left for you to keep? Are the fixtures and fittings included in the price? Make sure you’re fully aware of exactly what you’re getting for your money, right down to the last door hinge!

5. Have the sellers already secured another home?

If they have, they’re probably looking for a quick sale, which might increase their willingness to accept an offer lower than the advertised price. And you’ll have the added benefit that you should be able to move in fast.

If the sellers are yet to find another home, it could open up the risk of a delay in the chain, or them changing their mind and your agreement falling through – a waste of your time and disheartening.

6. How old is the property?

This is a good little fact to know. One thing to bear in mind is that the maintenance of older properties can be more expensive.  You should also find out if the property is listed or in a conservation area.  These can make it much harder, and more expensive, to do work on the property.

7. Has any major work been done on the property?

Find out who did the work (was it done by a professional) and whether the necessary Building Regulations consents and Planning Permissions are in place.

8. How flexible is the seller on the asking price?

Don’t just offer the advertised price without trying to negotiate – you could miss out on saving yourself thousands of pounds! Speak to the estate agent to get an idea of whether or not the vender is likely to budge on the asking price. Based on their response, you can make an informed offer that will save you money, while staying in the seller’s good books.

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