With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many people experienced a “virtual viewing” of properties - a newer phenomenon in the search process. Like the true Samaritans we are at Crowdhaus, we have compiled a list of the top five essential tips to make sure you ace this upcoming property viewing.
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many people experienced a “virtual viewing” of properties - a newer phenomenon in the search process. Even though there have been many discussions about whether it will become a “new normal”, nothing can beat an in-person property viewing experience. Many aspects of the property can be easily overlooked or hidden by the person behind the camera for a purpose. Yet, with an in-person viewing, we are able to explore the property on our own and at our own pace. It is usually the final and most crucial step in the decision making process, yet unfortunately, people tend to make basic mistakes that can result in future inconveniences. Like the true Samaritans we are at Crowdhaus, we have compiled a list of the top five essential tips to make sure you ace this upcoming property viewing.
The more time you spend on the property, the more you can get a feel of the place. Many of us simply skim the property without even looking at some of the most crucial aspects of our potential new home. It’s important to keep in mind that, research shows the people who spend 10 minutes or less on property viewings tend to pay the asking price or more. I’m no good at mathematical equations, but I will hazard a guess that this means the more time you spend on a property viewing, the higher the probability you will land that dream property for a lower price! As your viewings for the week begin to stack up, remember, less can sometimes be more (as long as it’s over 10 minutes) ;)
There are plenty of property viewing checklists available online; make sure to use these as a reference when creating your own checklist. This way, you won’t skip any of the critical bits but will also understand if this property fits your personal needs. For example, you might want to see if there is enough space for your WFH setup or brand new Sony Bravia TV that will impact the feng shui unless mounted on a wall. Make sure to write all of this down, and tick them off as you look through the property. If you get a good feel for the place, it’s easy to be mesmerised, but don’t forget the more boring tasks - such as; testing all of the light switches, checking the storage space and making sure there are enough power outlets located in convenient places around the property. Ensure that all windows can open/close easily and that the overall walls/ceiling condition is good, without any significant cracks. Finally, as you explore the property, try to see if all of the taps work and if the water pressure is good enough (nothing worse than a dribbly shower, and hot water that takes 10mins to heat up).
It’s important to visit the property multiple times and on different days of the week. Pay close attention to noise levels, traffic on the roads, and the amount of natural light - as these variables can change throughout the day. For example, you might have looked at the property on Saturday morning when traffic was relatively low, and hence, the noise level was minimal. However, the next time you visit on Monday evening, you notice nose to bumper traffic right outside, with noise levels increased dramatically. Additionally, try monitoring the sun's movement and start thinking about which curtains you might want to use and at which time of the day (or more importantly, where can you get your sunbathe on for c.3weeks of the year). Finally, are the rooms overlooked? Last thing you need is Susan from next door catching you change from your work clothes into your sloppy’s!
Spend some time before or after the viewing to explore the surrounding neighbourhood. Using maps on your phone can help you discover nearby facilities like public transport, grocery stores or gyms/pubs (depending one which is more important to you :)). Walking to all of them can give you an understanding of what a day to day commute will feel like. Especially try to pay attention to the time it takes you to reach the nearest grocery store or pharmacy. This is how long it might take you to carry your weekly shopping or get some urgent medication. Are there any busy roads or popular pubs/restaurants nearby? These can be significant sources of noise pollution during rush hours, or your nightly hangout spots. Finally, if the property is in a city centre, try to locate and explore some of the nearby parks - post-COVID lockdowns, green space is a crucial commodity.
Finding a property you actually like might be very exciting, but it is always important to try not to get attached to it too early on. There are many tricks estate agents can use when they see that their client is ready to pay a bit extra for a specific property. Unfortunately, our feelings could be used against us later on in the negotiation stage. Make sure to keep your emotions under control and treat the viewing as if you are simply inspecting someone else's home. This applies to any negative emotions you may have towards a place. If you spot any problems, don't put the property off your list immediately and make sure to use it in your favour during the negotiation process. For example, a broken closet or chair could be easily fixed and can sometimes help you bring the asking price down
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