Wednesday, October 17, 2012
House hunters need to be better informed before they start
viewing properties for sale, according to estate agents. The
National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has reported a rise in
the number of enquiries from buyers who are unsure of what to ask
member agents when searching for a new property.
NAEA members have found that house hunters - particularly first
time buyers - are often unsure of what they should be looking for
during an initial viewing, and what questions to ask about a
property and its history.
The NAEA have stressed the need for buyers to apply a common
sense approach when viewing a property to ensure that they can
avoid costly surprises later on.
Mark Hayward, President of the NAEAsaid: "Buying a house is a
huge undertaking. However, our members often find that house
hunters would benefit from a more informed approach.
"It is easy for a buyer to fall in love with a property based on
first impressions, but it is important that they look beyond the
aesthetics and think more practically about the property, its
history, and any potentially hidden problems.
"Good estate agents will always try to answer your questions and
highlight any issues that they are aware of such as recent
damp-proofing or remedial works. But whilst serious issues will be
picked up further along the buying process during a structural
survey, buyers can save themselves time and money at the outset by
asking some sensible, basic questions."
When viewing a property for the first time, remember to:
- Ask direct questions -It is important to be aware of what you
are buying into - That means asking the tough questions you might
normally consider impolite so you uncover problems at the outset.
Always enquire about why the seller is moving on and ask whether
there have been any issues with the neighbours. The seller doesn't
have to tell you about any problems with the property, so it's up
to you to investigate.
- View the property at different times of the day -It is worth
looking at the property once during the day and once at night to
identify any obvious problems. Having the advantage of being able
to view any outside areas will help with your early decision making
and noise levels might change depending on how close the location
is to bars and other public venues.
- Ask yourself if the property suits your requirements -Even if
there are no obvious faults with the property, it is important to
consider whether it represents the most practical option for your
needs. Think about whether the rooms are big enough for your
furniture and if the place will require significant
- Consider the location -Remember to take a walk around the local
area surrounding the property to check its proximity to any main
roads or overhead flight paths that could add excess noise. Look at
off-street parking and any planned developments as well.
- Don't be pressurised -Buying a house is one of the most
important decisions you will ever make. Take your time looking
around the property and try not to cram too many viewings into one
day. If you see one you like, go and view it at least a few times,
listen to what the agent or seller is saying and think objectively
about your decision.