Dos & Don'ts of House Hunting

Front door of open house when house hunting

If you are looking to buy a new house, there are some dos and don’ts of house hunting that you should abide by. You might think that this isn’t important or won’t impact your ability to buy a home. However, you could find that the owner of the property is the one carrying out the viewings or they may be present at open house viewings. 

Making a good impression on the owner of the property could prove important in having your offer accepted. To help you make the best impression possible, we have put together a house hunting checklist, including the following;

  • Do Arrive on Time
  • Do Check Thoroughly
  • Do Ask Questions
  • Don’t Bring Children
  • Don’t Negotiate While Viewing
  • Don’t Make a Mess

Do Arrive on Time

This might be one of the most obvious pieces of advice but it is important that you arrive at the viewing on time. Turning up significantly late to the viewing can give a bad impression that you are not interested or invested in the property. If the agent has multiple viewings booked in then you might also find they rush your viewing to get to another property and you don’t get a good chance to thoroughly view the property. You could end up being unsure and having somebody else make an offer on the property that day.

 

Do Check Thoroughly

It is also important that you are making sure you thoroughly check the property while viewing it the first time. Although the owner may be happy for second viewings, if the property is popular you could end up missing out should somebody else put an offer in. If you are unsure on what to look for when buying a house, start with important things like the boiler, electric switchboards, and look for any neglect issues like damp. Checking these things could affect your offer if the boiler looks old or you notice signs of damp that would need fixing and cost you significant investment. Even if it is an open house, it's good to check these things and point them out as it could put other potential buyers off and lower the asking price.

 

Do Ask Questions

Another important thing to remember is to ask as many questions as necessary from the agent selling the home. They should provide information on things like when the boiler was installed or which council tax band the property belongs to. Before heading to the viewing, make a list and ensure you ask all of the questions before leaving the property. If you notice something out of place, make sure you raise that with the agent too. This indicates you are a serious buyer and that you know the value of property, which could mean the agent relays this to the owner with any offer you make.

 

Row of houses on street corner with street sign

Don’t Bring Children

There should be a caveat that older children and teenagers are fine to bring along in some cases, but if you have young children it is a good idea to view the home without them. Although they should undoubtedly be part of the house hunting process, if they are going to be a distraction and you need to give them undivided attention you will not be viewing the property thoroughly. You could end up missing small details about the property or forgetting to ask that burning question if you are distracted by caring for your children. See if a relative can look after them while you view the property and perhaps bring your children to look around the home on a second viewing.

 

Don’t Negotiate While Viewing

This is a big red flag to agents or property owners. As much as you like the property, you shouldn’t negotiate with the agent or homeowner while viewing. Although it can be tempting to put in an offer while there to confirm your interest, it is always best to follow the correct procedure. An agent should give you the opportunity to offer following a viewing and inform you of any interest or offers from other parties. Making an offer in person could come across as too keen and they could try and push you to make a higher offer. An agent could get upset with any offer not put directly through them too and complicate the selling process if the owner decides to go directly through you.

 

Don’t Make a Mess

Another important part of home buying etiquette is to make sure that you don’t make a mess in the property. Always offer to take your shoes off when viewing and make sure if you are being thorough in checking you don’t leave things out of place. This can irk owners if they are still living in the property and create a bad relationship for any future negotiations. Don’t use the toilet unless you absolutely have to as this is also bad etiquette. With the agent or owners permission, however, you can flush toilets or turn on taps to inspect the plumbing. Just make sure there is nothing for the owner to clean up after viewing as this will start the relationship off on the wrong foot.

 

If you follow these top tips in our house hunting checklist then you should have good etiquette when viewing properties and it should set you up for a good buying experience. Problems can always arise though and if there are delays, you might want to consider self storage while you wait for final confirmation.

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