With warmer weather just around the corner (we hope), comes a flurry of activity within the property market.
Vendors who have waited until they have spruced up their home exterior to market it put their homes up for sale and prospective buyers start to book viewings after work as the evenings get a little lighter.
So what are the best ways to get the most out of a property viewing? Here are some of Latimer Hinks tips
Take time before setting foot in the first property to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Find a solicitor you trust so when you find your dream home you already know all of the stages you will need to go through to complete your purchase.
Make sure you can get a mortgage for the home you want. Dont forget to take into account extra fees including stamp duty and moving costs. Theres little point in going to see properties which you wont be able to afford.
With so many property websites, its now easier than ever to find out the sale history of a property. Look at how much the vendors paid and how long it has been on sale for. Ask questions about whether there have been any offers, if any have been withdrawn and whether it has previously had a full survey.
If you dont already know the area youre looking at very well, do your research. Look at transport links, local schools, where your local GP will be, crime rates and any issues with flooding. Go back at different times of the day to make sure the street you love during daylight hours looks equally appealing in the evening.
Unless you have a Lottery winners budget, its likely you will have to compromise. Make a list of what you really cant live without. Is off road parking a necessity, for example? Do you need to be next to good transport links? By thinking about what you wont compromise on, you can get a better idea of what you will.
One issue which can be a bugbear for buyers after a sale has gone through is mobile reception. Check if your phone is working as you move around the property and look at broadband speeds. This is a particular issue if you work from home.
If youre visiting a property where the lights are on during the day, its likely that the home is dark. It can feel a bit awkward when youre looking around someones home, but dont be afraid to switch them off so you can check natural light levels.
Recent research showed that most people spent less than half an hour viewing a property before deciding to buy. Apparently, it takes longer for us to make up our mind about a car and almost as much time to choose a pair of jeans. Dont be afraid to take your time to look around and to ask the vendors if theres a room you would like to see again.
Dont let your heart run away with your head. Even if you think youve fallen in love with a property, make sure you visit it at least one more time to see if you still feel the same way during a second viewing.
Finally, if you still love the home after all of that, commission a survey. You may find it throws up problems you arent prepared to deal with or it could give you some ammunition for negotiating a reduction on the price of your new home.
Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks.