Property Viewing Checklist
Make sure you spend a good amount of time viewing a house – 20 to 30 minutes at least – so you can really get a feel for the place.
It has been found that the longer a buyer spends viewing a property, the more likely they are to secure it for under the asking price.
Remember it’s best to go and see the property more than once. The more times you view a house, the more likely you will find potential problems.
If you put in an offer, it is highly recommended to have a professional survey carried out. Yes your mortgage company will have a “valuation survey” but this is different from a “home survey” as it doesn’t look at the condition of the property.
Talk to the estate agent as they are legally obliged to tell you if they know of any serious problems with a property.
Finally, prior to putting in an offer ensure you can afford the property and you have a mortgage in principal agreed.
Questions to Ask when viewing a house or flat
Below we’ve listed all the things it’s worth thinking about when you view a house or flat. Remember no property will be perfect, but getting answers to the questions below – either by checking for yourself or asking the estate agent – should help you feel more confident about whether you want to put in an offer.
Let’s start wit a Flat/Apartment
- What are the service charges
- Is it a leasehold, how many years are left on the lease?
- If leasehold what are the ground rent charges ?
- What services are shared eg. Drainage, communal areas, ?
- Is there a resident’s committee?
Windows and Doors
- Single / Double / triple glazing?
- Are frames in good condition?
- Any condensation on the windows ?
- Do locks work and are there keys?
- Do they open and close easily?
Inside Each Room
- Are there any signs of damp/mould/condensation this includes smells ? Check walls are not damp?
- Are there any cracks on walls or ceilings? Are they big enough to put the edge of a 50 pence piece in?
- Are there any exposed wires?
- Is there much storage?
- Is the floor level?
- Do the lights switches work?
- Is there a suitable amount of electrical sockets? Are they conveniently located?
- Are there any chimneys? Do they work? Are fireplaces functional?
Bathrooms / Kitchen
- Are there any cracks visible in bath, sink etc?
- Any signs of mould ? Are walls or skirting boards showing signs of water damage?
- Check appliances, ensure they work and look in reasonable condition
- Check cupboards, check for signs of damp, mould, smells. Do all cupboard doors open and close?
- Do taps work?
- How long does it take for hot water to come through?
- Are tiles loose?
- How strong is the water pressure in the shower?
- Do the fascias look ok?
- Are the chimneys straight?
- Are there any missing / cracked tiles?
- Check inside loft to ensure no signs of water damage and check for insulation?
- Check condition of roof truss – any signs of sagging or rot?
- What are the conditions of drains and gutters? Any obvious signs of water marks on walls?
- Are there any cracks
- If the walls are rendered, what’s the condition?
- Are mortar joints evenly spaced?
- Are there signs of cavity wall injections?
Garden / Outside Area / Garage
- What direction does it face? (South facing gets most of the Sun).
- Is it overlooked?
- Are there large trees in close vicinity?
- How much work or maintenance is required?
- Any signs or water? Could indicate drainage issues.
- Is there a power supply to garage?
- Public Transport links?
- Local shops and amenities?
- Local school Ofsted ratings & catchment areas?
- What’s the traffic like in rush hour?
- What’s the crime rate levels?
- What are the local infrastructure plans?
- Is it in a flood zone?
- Are there any development applications nearby?
- Boiler position, location and age, when was it last serviced?
- Broadband and TV connections?
- Mobile phone coverage?
- Is it located in a conservation area or a listed building?
- Fire and burglar alarms?
- C02 monitors?
- When was the consumer unit box last checked? What condition?
- Is there scope for extending or renovating? Add value?