What to Ask When Viewing a House?

07th December 2023

If you are venturing on your home-buying journey, then it is vital that you know what to ask when viewing a house. Here at JonSimon, we are the go-to estate agents in the North West. Our award-winning team of estate agents have the best local knowledge of North West properties.

As a result, we have a clear understanding of what buyers need to be asking before putting down an offer. You may be thinking, what questions are important to ask when viewing a house? This article explores some of the most useful and purposeful questions to ask during a house viewing.

What to ask when viewing a house: We’ve got you covered

So, let’s delve into what to ask when viewing a house to help find your dream property. 

Questions about the property

The below section explores what to ask an estate agent when viewing a house.

Why is the owner selling?

This may initially feel like a personal question to ask, but the answer could reveal important information about the property which otherwise may have been missed.

On one hand, the seller simply may be relocating for work, or wanting a change in house size. On the other hand, their move could be due to negative relations to the property such as troublesome neighbours or issues with the property such as mould.

This question needs to be asked early on to avoid disappointment further down the line.

How long has the property been on the market?

Asking this question will indicate to you how fast you may need to act if you wish to put in an offer.

If the property is fresh to the market, you will likely have more competition with other viewers. Whereas, if the property has been up for sale for a long time then this could possibly be a red flag as there could be a reason why nobody has bought it yet.

Regardless of the answer, it is important that you view the property with an open mind and with your own personal requirements in mind.

Has the property’s value changed recently?

It is important to find out whether the property’s value has been increased or if it has been devalued. If it has been devalued, you will need to find out why as this could indicate potential problems with the property.

Has there been much interest in the property?

Discovering how much interest there currently is on the property is useful information. If you are aware that there is a lot of interest then this will encourage you to act faster to not miss out.

Bear in mind that the seller will choose the buyer based on all the terms of the offer as well as the offering price, and their confidence in you and your momentum to purchase the property.

Has the property repeatedly changed hands?

This question is critical to ask because if the seller has only lived in the property for a short period of time, along with previous owners or tenants coming and going after short periods of time, then this could be a major red flag.

This could suggest that something is wrong with the property whether it be an ongoing issue with the building or issues with neighbours. You will need to dig deeper to find out the reasons why.

Have the sellers done any significant renovations since they bought the house?

If the property has received any big renovations then you will need to get hold of planning permissions, and receipts from builders. Most big renovation projects require planning permission, so it is important that you have evidence of this.

Is the property leasehold or freehold?

You need to find out whether the property is leasehold or freehold.

  • Freehold is when you own the property and the land it’s built on for as long as you want.
  • Leasehold is when you own the property for a set period, but not the land it’s built on.

You absolutely need to find out this information when viewing the property. If the property is a leasehold, ask how long is left on the leasehold. Be aware that if the lease needs extending there could be costs and delays associated with doing so.

Which direction does the property face?

The direction the property faces will have an impact on when you receive sunlight throughout the property.

If you rely on the sun waking you up in the morning then you will need to make sure your bedroom is facing south-east. Similarly, if evening drinks as the sun goes down is important to you then you will need to choose a property which faces the right direction for this.

Is anything else included in the sale of the property, such as a garage, extra land or furnishings?

Finding out exactly what is included in the property is vital, including land and furniture. You shouldn’t presume that the parking spot out front will be yours, or the garden is yours privately.

Always check to avoid unwanted surprises after purchasing. It’s also helpful to know if any furnishings will be left behind such as washing machines or dining tables, as these could save you on purchasing your own when you move in.

Is the property in a chain of sale or is it chain-free?

Don’t jump in and make an offer without knowing when the current owners will be moving out. If they are yet to find a new property yet, or are in a chain then your buying process could be delayed. It’s important you are aware of a chain before purchasing.

Have the sellers had any offers?

You will be able to find out whether any offers have already been placed on the property, but you will not be able to find out how much has been offered. Finding out if any offers have been made, should incentivise you to act quicker if you are genuinely interested in the property.

What is the minimum price the seller will accept?

Asking this question is beneficial as it gives you an idea of whether there is room to negotiate when it comes to making your offer, saving you from making a wasted offer and getting rejected for the offer being too low.

Despite this, many sellers tend to put their houses on the market for more than they would accept. With this in mind, when negotiating a price, you should always begin low – no lower than 10% below the asking price though.

Ready to start viewing properties? We’re here to help you find your new home

With glowing testimonials and 5-star reviews, Jon Simon can assist you with every step of the home-buying process, with our end-to-end service, including what to ask when viewing a house.

We have accreditations from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), making us a reliable estate agent of choice when viewing properties to buy.

On top of this, we also support new and existing landlords with buy-to-let investments. 

Get in touch with us today, we would love to help you find your new home.

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