7 mistakes buyers make when viewing a property for the first time

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 4:25 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd January 2021, 4:25 pm
House hunting can be a stressful time, so make sure to avoid careless mistakes. (Photo: Shutterstock)
House hunting can be a stressful time, so make sure to avoid careless mistakes. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Whether first-time buyers or relocating to bigger home, many people feel overwhelmed at the fairly daunting prospect of finding a new property to live in.

The combination of nerves and excitement could mean some big errors are made that could jeopardise the chances of having an offer accepted or securing the right price.

Pete Mugleston, Mortgage Advisor and MD at www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk has put together a list of the top seven mistakes to avoid whilst house hunting.

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1 Being unprepared

When looking for a new home, it’s important to carry out thorough research and preparations before getting too carried away with kitchen islands, wood burners and roman blinds. You should learn about your mortgage options as well as the other costs involved with buying a property. This will allow you to gain a better understanding of your budget and a good idea of the kind of price range you are working within to avoid stretching yourself too far financially.

When it comes to the property itself, it’s good to research the surrounding areas to see what’s available in your price range if you look a little further afield than simply the town or city you currently have your heart set on. It’s also worth considering your nearest bus/ train schedule for post COVID-19 commuting routes, local Ofsted school ratings, parking and local crime rates before you start to look at houses.

2 Mentioning it’s your dream house

If you let it slip to either the current owner or the agent working on their behalf that the property being viewed is the home of your dreams, then you are putting yourself at an unfair disadvantage and may have to fork out more on your offer. A few compliments to let them know you’re a fan of the property is always nice as you don’t want to come off as uninterested, but the last thing you want is for them to start dropping competitive offers or raise prices because they know how much you like the house. Remaining neutral is always key regarding any negotiations.

3 It’s not what you ask, it’s who you ask

Sometimes, the questions you want to ask whilst viewing a property aren’t necessarily inappropriate, it’s just important to target them towards the right person. For example, it’s best not to ask the seller themselves why they’re selling the house. The reason could be to do with finances, personal issues or even a death in the family, so it could be quite a private and personal question which they may feel uncomfortable answering. So, it’s best if you ask any questions you may have to the seller’s agent in private.

4 Having a quick look around to be polite

Some buyers end up regretting how little time they spent looking around a property before committing to a purchase, so before making an offer it’s really important to take the time to consider the potential of the house, any issues with the properties age or foundation, and anything that could impact your future plans to make sure you can see yourself living there for the foreseeable future.

It’s important to think about whether the rooms are big enough for your needs, or if there’s enough storage space. You also need to be aware of anything that may needs repairing which could eat into your budget, including checking for damp, double-glazing and water pressure.

5 Criticising the current aesthetic

When someone lets you into their home for a viewing, regardless of whether they are selling or are a tenant, it is good to have some level of respect for where they live and the home they’ve created for themselves. Walking around and muttering to yourself or your partner all the things you’d like to change to property is quite frankly rude and could really upset someone who’s taken years to create their perfect home environment.

Yes, you may not like their wallpaper, the colour they’ve decorated their bedroom or the kitchen layout, but these are all things that can be easily altered to fit in with what you want further down the line, and it’s never a good idea to annoy the seller of an in-demand property as ultimately it will be up to them who they choose to pass the property on to.

6 Price negotiation

When viewing a house, it’s important to remember that that’s all you’re doing - viewing. Leave negotiating or stating what you think the house is worth for another time, especially if the sellers are present in the property. Take the time to view other houses in the area with a similar price range before discussing price with any estate agent. You’ll appreciate the fact that you went home to take in what you’ve just seen, and then you’ll be able to approach negotiations realistically with a clearer head.

7 Comparing house prices in front of the seller

Like negotiating price on a viewing, you shouldn’t compare house prices with the one you’re viewing whilst you’re there, especially not in front of the seller. Imagine you’re selling a house and the viewers come in and tell you they’ve seen one down the street for cheaper, you wouldn’t be very impressed nor very favourable towards them. Avoid discussing the other houses you’ve viewed and how you might get more for your money elsewhere. This is something else that can wait until you get home.