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A recent survey of house-buyers has revealed that nearly half of respondents spend less than an hour viewing a property before putting in an offer.
Considering we spend more time choosing a holiday (and half of men spend more time choosing an outfit!) are we really giving house viewings enough time?
But if you thought that was risky, what about this new reality show that grabbed the headlines last month? Participants are made to hand over their house buying budgets to property experts to buy a house they had NEVER seen.
Talk about extreme property buying!
However, this did spark a debate amongst the team at Aston Anderson. Just how long SHOULD prospective buyers spend viewing a property? And what should they be looking for when they do?
“I got a feeling…”
We have all heard about that ‘feeling’ when you walk into a property. We have even discussed it in a previous article: Is buying a house about your head or your heart?, and 53% of respondents of that survey described the experience of buying their dream home as “love at first sight”.
However, whilst following your heart might be a legitimate reason for rushing into a sale, house-buyers also listed a number of other influencing factors why they cut their viewing time short.
Whilst competition from other potential buyers was the main reason given, 24% said that a lack of properties in their preferred area was the driving influence.
Of course, already selling their property and having no where to go was a big reason for many (20%), and a rapid need to upsizing (14%) also followed closely behind. Other reasons included financial difficulties (7%) and relocation for work (5%).
So if time is not on your side, and you are speeding through your viewing, what should you be ticking off your list?
It is easy to get swept away with décor and layout, but sometimes you miss what is really important.
Take a moment to be quiet. Can you hear the traffic? Are the windows double glazed? You might not realise how loud the neighbours are until after you move in. Be aware of your surroundings and if you are veiwing the property at a particularly quiet time of day, don’t forget to ask what it is like at different times of the day such as rush hour or weekends.
Apparently, in the same survey, when asked what they wished they could have done in a viewing, a large proportion said test the plumbing! Whilst many talked about using the toilet, or having a shower, that might not be the easiest to do! However, you can still ask questions and look out for dripping taps.
Oh plug sockets… the stress of modern life means there are just never enough! Keep an eye out where they are during your viewing, as well as light switches and dimmers. Again, ask questions when the last time the electrics were done. No one needs a rewiring surprise.
If you feel like time is not on your side, and speed is key, then don’t forget the estate agent is there to help facilitate the sale. It is their job to help you as much as it is for them to help the vendor.
Feel free to ask questions, talk to them, and build your own relationship with the estate agent. If this house is not for you, but you need to find one fast, they might just know of the perfect property…