Sometimes, the process of viewing another person’s home can be daunting, and perhaps a little bit awkward. After all, this is the only time when it’s perfectly acceptable to run a strangers taps and showers, have a look in their cupboards and cellars and even try flushing the toilet! May people will leave a viewing with a number of unanswered questions. But remember, this is a substantial business transaction, and you’re perfectly within your rights to look wherever you like – and ask any questions you may have about the property.
Many people also feel rushed by the agent or home owner during a viewing, as they get shuffled from one room to another, in a bid to keep to a set schedule. It can be difficult to really ‘look’ at a house and any potential problems it may have, without feeling that you are offending the current owner! However, during this time, you really must find out as much as you can about the house, including the reasons why the present owner is moving, any potential problems, and if you can, even ask about the neighbours! (and why not? You want to know who you might potentially be living next to).
In short, don’t be shy, speak up, and if you prefer, take a friend or family member with you. Two heads are better than one, and they may just pick up on areas that you don’t. Of course, politeness is required, so don’t grumble about aesthetics too much (i.e. dated wallpaper or carpets), especially not in front of the present owner! These things are easily changed, and ideally you want to establish a reasonably good relationship with your potential seller if you can. So what questions do you need to ask? Here are 10 questions you need to ask;
- How long have you lived here and why are you moving?
- How long has the property been on the market?
- What are the neighbours like?
- What is the area like? has the property, or neighbouring properties, ever been burgled?
- What is the parking situation?
- What fixtures and fittings are included in the sale?
- Are you in a chain? If so, how large is it? Have you found a place to move to yet? If so, what’s the time-scale? Have you had many viewers, and have you received any offers as yet?
- Have you had any work carried out recently on the property?
- Are there any structural problems that you know of?
- What are your utility bills like, and what’s the council tax band for the property?
All of the above are vital questions, and will give you a better idea as to whether the house is right for you and your family or not. Take a pen and pad with you, as you look around, you may think of many more questions to ask.