FAQ - What questions to ask on a viewing

Sometimes, viewing a property can be overwhelming, there are lots of things to consider as you wander around a stranger's home, trying to decide if it could in fact be yours. Maybe you’re just far too excited about the size of the kitchen to remember to ask about white goods, or perhaps you get caught up over the colour of the bathroom and don’t notice the potential of the south-facing garden!

The accompanying estate agent should be there to help. Certainly, our experts are there to make sure that you get the most out of a property viewing, and the chance to discuss all aspects of what may become your new home. Here are some questions we'd recommend asking on your next viewing.

Why is the owner selling?

Understanding the motivations of a move - downsizing, upsizing, new job, etc. And will there be a chain? can help to give you an idea of the timeline, which is especially helpful if you’re hoping to move soon. Or if you can offer the seller flexibility with moving dates.   

What is included in the sale?

Curtains, the garden shed, appliances… finding out what is and isn’t staying is very helpful to know so you can plan and budget accordingly. Maybe there are also some pieces of furniture to your taste that fit perfectly, it might be worth finding out if the owner would be interested in selling early on. The fine details will be discussed via your conveyancer but knowing what key items are included when making an offer is crucial.

What type of boiler does the property have?

Most of us have experienced the trials and tribulations of a boiler that doesn’t work just when you really need it to! Boilers, of course, require regular maintenance, so knowing how old it is, when it was last serviced, and if it has a guarantee, is important information. At least if you know it may need replacing soon, you’ll be prepared.

What is the tenure?

This means is the property Freehold or Leasehold? and importantly if a leasehold how long is left on the lease? What's the ground rent and what are the Management company charges? All important considerations when working out your costs and for mortgage applications.

Is the building listed?

For older properties or properties in conservation areas, you’ll need to know if there are parts of the house you can’t alter - but only if you’re thinking of changing anything of course!

What is the local neighbourhood like?

You could get into demographics - families, professionals? or simply find out what local events or groups to be aware of, maybe a summer street party. There's likely to be more going on locally than you had realized.

What’s the deal with parking if there isn’t a garage or driveway?

Will you need a parking permit? How many permits are you allowed for this property? If you’re a commuter by car, how is it finding a space in the evening after work? In the city, it's rarely easy but it's good to be prepared. Maybe ask about other commuting options too.

What kind of storage space is there? and what's the opportunity for expansion?

Is there a useful loft space? and could it be converted one day? or a basement that has the potential to be a secret snug! We all need some space to throw suitcases and Christmas decorations, so knowing what storage options you will have or can be created helps.

Ask about the garden - how much maintenance is required?

Some gardens may look stunning, but it’s important to remember that they probably look that way because of a lot of hard work. If you’re looking forward to having green fingers, then this won’t be a concern, but if not, you might need to consider a gardener for high-maintenance spaces.

Good luck with your viewings, enjoy! At Ocean, our team of local experts are here to help you with all your moving questions. For more information on buying with Ocean click here

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