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Your House Viewing Checklist: What to Know When Viewing a Property for Sale

Whether you’re looking to rent or buy a home, viewing properties is a key part of house hunting. Here’s your how-to on viewing a property and your essential house viewing checklist.

Faye deGavre

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Aug 06, 2021

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4 min read

Your House Viewing Checklist: What to Know When Viewing a Property for Sale

When viewing a house to buy, a little pre-appointment preparation goes a long way. While anyone can saunter around a nice house, it takes a sharp eye and some well-thought-out questions to determine if a property is right to rent or buy. 

Sometimes you need to think about what is missing as much as what is there. For example, if you’re a three-car family and the potential property has no parking spaces, you may need to reconsider your choice. 

Whether you’re a veteran property viewer or a first-time renter or buyer, here are some house viewing tips to help you make the most of the appointment.

What to look out for when viewing a house

  • Avoid viewing it alone

Even if you’re planning on being the sole Lady or Lord of the house, take a friend or relative to view the property with you to use as a sounding board. They may spot something you miss.

  • Walk around the exterior

It’s easy to get caught up in examining the interior rooms and forget to have a wander round the outside. Check the exterior walls, roof, pipes and drainage. Also ask about the property’s boundaries, as that sweet parking spot at the end of the garden may not be yours.

  • Keep your emotions out of it

House viewings are no place for rose-tinted glasses. While you might ooh at the ornate crown moulding and ahh at the clawfoot bathtub, you need to be logical and critical. If you catch something that is off, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. Bear in mind, that if the issue is too large, you may need to bow out before it costs you an arm and leg.

  • View during the day

For a first viewing, you want to get a good understanding of the property and the area it sits in. If you like it enough to book a second viewing, choose a different time of day to see what the traffic, lighting and neighbours are like.

  • Take a good sniff

Renting or buying, a property with damp involves upkeep, not to mention it can be miserable to live in. Ignore any pet, smoke or fragrant smells for now. A musty smell (you’ll know it when you smell it) can be an indicator of lurking mould and mildew. Also look out for peeling wallpaper and bubbling paint that are tell-tale signs of excess moisture.

Damp may not be a deal-breaker but flag it to the agent who can investigate further.

  • Record your visit

Where was the plug socket in the bedroom? How many cupboards did the kitchen have again? Was it an electric shower? Taking photos and videos throughout the viewing ensure you can revisit the property without physically viewing again.

While most sellers and agents don’t mind you snapping away, we recommend asking before clicking.

  • Consider the space

An empty house or flat will always look bigger than a fully furnished property, so you need to keep your items in mind. Think about storage, your appliances, furniture and the need to purchase new items to suit the space. A useful tool? Take a tape measure with you to check if your furniture would fit comfortably.

Questions to ask when viewing a house

Like the look of the house and ready to delve into the ins and outs of the property? You already have the agent (or seller) there, so line up some questions to learn more. Below are some of our favourite questions to ask when viewing a house. 

Questions to ask an Estate Agent:

Always make sure of the agent’s expertise. They will have a wide perspective of the local market and be open to answering questions you may not feel comfortable asking the seller.

  • How long has the property been on the market? If it’s been on the market for a while, it could hint to an issue or an overzealous price.
  • Why is the property available? Hopefully the answer is not something related to the standard of the property.
  • Is the seller chain-free?
  • Has there been any recent renovation work?
  • Have there been any offers so far?
Questions to ask a seller:
  • Why are they moving? Depending on the reason, the seller may be open to lower offers to complete the sale quicker. 
  • What are the neighbours like? The seller may not reveal the whole truth, but you could get a feel for whether you’ll be joining a friendly community or not. 
  • What is included? If you’re eyeing up the garden shed or American-style fridge in the kitchen, find out if these items are staying. 
  • Is there parking? If there’s no obvious parking, ask about the situation. 
  • Has there been any recent renovation work?
  • When was the last time the boiler was serviced?
  • How old is the roof?

House viewing tips summary

  • Take a friend – you need the other set of eyes
  • Take a good look around the interior and exterior, taking pictures and videos once you get permission
  • Ask questions! Seller or agent, grab the handy list of questions to learn more about the property
  • Schedule a second viewing for a different time of the day

Buying your next home starts here

Whether you’re buying your first home or your second, now you know how to maximise the house viewing process.

Buying a home is no small feat, but at Boomin, we’re here to help. As an always-on property platform, you can browse homes and book viewings online, 24/7. With a wider buying experience, search the vast range of properties for sale today.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer