House Viewing Tips for Investors
- 26 Sep 2019
You can easily end up being spending most of the time thinking about how you can add a lamp there, a rug here, and whether the space is good for parties.
It is a good idea to keep an objective mind because it will make things easier. You should picture yourself as an inspector trying to find the faults in the house.
This is tough, but the house viewing checklist below will go a long way.
Bring someone with you
While you will be spending a lot of the time talking to the agent, it is a good idea to have a second pair of eyes on your side so they can look at the things you might have missed. They can look out for rising damps or cracks on the wall.
Having someone playing the devil’s advocate will help. For every pro you have, they will give you a “Yes, but…”
This will ensure you don’t make any rash decisions. You can easily keep an open mind throughout the process.
You can capture a lot through a picture, but a video can even capture more. Have a quality camera with you so you can take as many photos as possible.
You should not only take photos of the entire room. Take photos of windows, individuals walls, and fixtures. You might find a problem that you had earlier missed and is a deal-breaker.
Taking a video while walking through the house will help you see the ways rooms connect and the general flow of the house.
Turning up early
The agent might try to rush things, showing you the best aspects of the house and pushing you out before you can even get time to object anything.
This is why you should try getting there 15-30 minutes before the viewing so you can get a good look of their exterior of the house, both the front and back.
This is going to give you the chance of soaking in the vibe of the stress and see how the neighbors are.
You should have a checklist with you so you can know the important things to look out for. You can write down the things you like and don’t like about the property.
Using your nose and hands
You should not use only your sight – your nose is also important because you can smell the musty scent of mold because most homeowners will paint over it.
Use your hands to feel whether there are hairline cracks or damp on the walls. These could be a sign of structural problems.
You should not sniff the walls because you will come off weird.
Questions to ask
When viewing a property, there are some questions you need to ask because the answers could come in handy when negotiating the price. Some of the questions to ask are;
How long have you had this house on the market?
If they tell you anything more than three months, then it is safe to assume there is a problem with the house that is turning buyers away.
Some buyers will be willing to take a lower price so they can sell the property fast.
Why is the owner selling?
The agent doesn’t have to answer, but you can tease out some details that can give you a rough idea later on.
If the seller wants to sell because they are moving to another country, they might accept a lower offer because they want a quick sale.
How long have they lived in the property?
If the house has had short-term owners, you will need to be more careful because there could be a problem.
What is included in the price?
Imagine the disappointment when you realize that the previous owners took everything that hadn’t been nailed down.
Outbuildings and gardens might be shared between the neighbors, which is why it is important to know who owns what. You should have a good understanding of what you are getting for that price.
Are the sellers in a chain?
This is where let’s say Tim buying a house with the money they get from the old house sale.
The person interested in buying Tim’s house – let’s call her Mary – is buying Tim’s house using the money they expect to get from selling her home.
You are interested in buying Mary’s house, but it will all depend on Tim sorting himself before the process moves along.
A delay at the start of the chain will lead to problems down the line, which means you will be forced to wait a little longer.
Going for the second viewing
If you are interested in a given place, plan for a second viewing at a different time on a different day.
This gives you the chance of seeing the neighborhood at quieter and busier times, so you can know what to expect when you move into the neighborhood.
Once you have checked out different houses and picked the one you think is best for you and your family, you can go to the next step of making an offer.