Advice for first time buyers on viewing a property
Househunters in general and first time buyers in particular need to be better informed before they start viewing properties for sale, according to The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) which has reported a rise in the number of enquiries from buyers who are unsure of what to ask agents when searching for a new property and when making initial viewings.
The NAEA stress the need for buyers to apply a common sense approach when viewing a property to avoid costly surprises later on. “Buying a house is a huge undertaking,” said Mark Hayward, President of the NAEA. “However, our members often find that house hunters would benefit from a more informed approach. It is easy for a buyer to fall in love with a property based on first impressions, but it is important that they look beyond the aesthetics and think more practically about the property, its history, and any potentially hidden problems.
“Good estate agents will always try to answer your questions and highlight any issues that they are aware of such as recent damp-proofing or remedial works. But while serious issues will be picked up further along the buying process during a structural survey, buyers can save themselves time and money at the outset by asking some sensible, basic questions.”
The NAEA’s tips for viewing a property for the first time are:
Ask direct questions
It is important to be aware of what you are buying into. That means asking the tough questions you might normally consider impolite so you uncover problems at the outset. Always enquire about why the seller is moving on and ask whether there have been any issues with the neighbours. The seller doesn’t have to tell you about any problems with the property, so it’s up to you to investigate.
View the property at different times of the day
It is worth looking at the property once during the day and once at night to identify any obvious problems. Having the advantage of being able to view any outside areas will help with your early decision making and noise levels might change depending on how close the location is to bars and other public venues.
Ask yourself if the property suits your requirements
Even if there are no obvious faults with the property, it is important to consider whether it represents the most practical option for your needs. Think about whether the rooms are big enough for your furniture and if the place will require significant investment.
Consider the location
Remember to take a walk around the local area surrounding the property to check its proximity to any main roads or overhead flight paths that could add excess noise. Look at off-street parking and any planned developments as well.
Don’t be pressurised
Buying a house is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Take your time looking around the property and try not to cram too many viewings into one day. If you see one you like, go and view it at least a few times, listen to what the agent or seller is saying and think objectively about your decision.
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