Top Tips When Buying a Property

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Top Tips When Buying a Property

Viewing properties can be overwhelming and evoke a mix of emotions for potential buyers. First-time buyers, in particular, may feel excited and charmed by a property, sometimes overlooking crucial checks that could lead to problems later on. Even experienced buyers can feel rushed in today’s competitive housing market.

Buyers often feel pressured to make quick offers to secure a property amid increased competition from other buyers. However, it’s crucial not to rush into buying a property without conducting essential checks, as overlooking key details can lead to future complications. Here are our top tips for property viewings to help you navigate this process effectively.

Before Your Viewing

  • Come prepared with questions. Jot down any queries about the property and the local area before your viewing, ensuring you remember to ask them during your visit. It’s easy to be swept up in the excitement of seeing your dream property, but note down the sellers’ answers for reference with your conveyancer later.
  • Arrive a few minutes early to inspect the exterior. This allows time for a thorough examination of the property’s exterior, which can reveal potential issues like damp or neglected maintenance. Look for signs such as broken brickwork or leaky guttering, as they may indicate broader problems.
  • Bring a torch to examine all areas. Check under stairs, inside wardrobes, and cupboards, and be prepared to inspect the loft or cellar. Be cautious if the sellers are hesitant to let you examine these areas, as they could be concealing issues like damp or mould that a surveyor might not uncover in detail.
  • Explore the local area beforehand. Familiarise yourself with nearby shops, the neighbourhood’s character, and amenities. Take walks around the area at different times to gauge activity levels. This will give you a better sense of what it’s like to live in the neighbourhood.

During Your Viewing

  • Take your time. This is perhaps the most crucial tip to remember. Don’t let the seller rush you through the viewing in under 15 minutes. Buying a property is a significant decision, so you deserve a thorough inspection to ensure it meets your needs.
  • Inspect the electrics and boiler. Even on a warm day, check all the radiators to ensure they are functional. A faulty heating system discovered after exchanging contracts can be costly to repair, so it’s essential to check during your viewing. Test the hot water taps and showers to assess their efficiency, as these are aspects a surveyor may not thoroughly examine.
  • Inquire about any recent work done on the property. Some renovations may require planning permission or building regulation approval. Take notes on what the seller shares with you, and relay this information to your conveyancer for verification with the seller’s conveyancer and local search data.
  • Ask the seller about flooding history. Flooding can affect mortgage offers and buildings insurance, so it’s important to know if the property, garden, or driveway has experienced flooding in the past.

After Your Viewing

  • While you’re still with the seller, inquire about what will be included in the sale and make a note of it. If the sale includes appliances, ask to see them in operation. Later, when your conveyancer sends you the Fittings & Contents Form, you can verify that the seller has included everything as previously stated.
  • Avoid making your final decision after just one viewing. If possible, arrange to visit the property at least twice before making an offer. Visit at different times of the day to get a comprehensive understanding of the neighbourhood’s dynamics, which can vary depending on the day and time.

Following these steps will certainly help mitigate the risk of future issues with your chosen property, but it’s important to note that no list can guarantee the absence of issues. This is an exciting time, so be sure to enjoy the process! Just remember to take your time and conduct thorough checks.

If you’ve found a property you’re ready to purchase, we can connect you with our residential property team, who can manage the entire process for you, from initial instructions through to completion.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
29th April 2024
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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