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Getting the most from property viewings

Viewing a property is a good way to get an idea of what it has to offer and its general condition, but many people rush through and don’t take the time to maximise the opportunity. Whenever you get a chance to look around you should take care and get as full a picture of the building as you can.

Many people get a gut feeling about a property as soon as they step inside, but you shouldn’t let this feeling alone dictate your decision. Have a good look and make sure your needs are met and that the condition is how you want it. The last thing you want to do is follow your gut without taking care to look closely; this can leave you facing disappointment and the potential for additional costs for wear and damage you could have spotted signs of.

Before the viewing you should create a check list of requirements so you can determine how well the property will meet your needs. Whilst viewing, you should also look closely at the condition to see if there are any signs of problems. You won’t be able to gather as much information as you can from a survey, but check for things like:

- Signs of damp or mould
- Broken or stuck windows
- Cracks in plasterwork
- Damaged brickwork
- The age and condition of the boiler, electrics and gas

The viewing is also a great opportunity for you to quiz the agent and get as much additional information as you can. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions; in fact you should have several prepared in advance before you even see inside. Things like how long the property has been on the market, the reason for selling, how many viewings it has had and whether there have been any offers should already be on your list.

After the first viewing, you need to decide how you want to progress. If you’re interested you should arrange to look around at a different time of the day so you can get a fuller idea of the property. Remember conditions will change depending on the time of day, particularly if the house is close to schools or main roads. Try to view it during rush hour so you can see how bad traffic gets.

Viewings are important; purchasing a property without a viewing is very risky and can prove to be costly, especially if there are structural problems and legal issues. Alongside the viewing it is also wise to get a detailed survey of the property done by a professional surveyor if you are interested in buying it.

If you are looking to rent or purchase a property in Southwark, Westminster, Kensington or any other area of London, we can provide all the help you need. From estate management to helping tenants find their dream home, we are ready to assist you with all your property concerns.