What to Ask When Viewing a House for the First Time

Fact-checked

Choosing a house to become your next home is exciting, but it can also be strenuous. But to make the process simpler, you can be prepared before venturing into house hunting. So we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask when viewing a house and have addressed the essentials of buying a house to help you with an informed decision.

Questions to Ask When Viewing a House - Image 1

Preparing for a House-Viewing

Each prospective buyer should plan before buying or renting a home. Being well-prepared before you begin house hunting will speed up the process and bring you closer to your dream house. In anticipation of a house viewing, you should take the following steps.

  1. Set a budget: Decide on how much you’re willing to spend and look only at houses within that price range.
  2. Choose a location: Find a desirable property location (or several) and look only at properties in that area.
  3. Hire a real estate agent: Your house viewing checklist would be incomplete without a real estate agent who can help you find a property that meets your requirements and budget. And they can help with all the paperwork.
  4. Conduct independent research: Even if you’ve hired an agent, it’s good to conduct your own research into the property and surrounding area.

These are the most critical steps house buyers need to take to prepare for a house-viewing. After going through these steps, prospective buyers can schedule a viewing.

DID YOU KNOW? Brits don’t move house too often. The most common reasons for moving include lack of space, downsizing, jobs, and relationships. The average Brit moves once every 23 years.

14 Questions to Ask When Viewing a House

Once you’ve prepared for the house-hunting process and scheduled a viewing, jot down all the necessary questions before the viewing. Our list below includes all the essential questions to ask when you go house-viewing.

How Long Has the House Been on the Market?

The amount of time a house has been on the market can give you insight into the actual state of the property. If it’s been on the market for more than three months, you need to ask why and look for any problems with the house that aren’t obvious upon first viewing.

How Old Is the Property?

If you’re wondering what to ask when viewing a house, one of the first questions you need to ask is ‘how old is the house?’ This question is crucial because the older the home, the more expensive its upkeep. If you’re not willing to spend much on maintenance, look for newer properties.

Why Is the House for Sale?

The reason why someone is moving can indicate potential problems. If an individual is moving because of a new job or lack of space, you shouldn’t be concerned. But if the seller is moving because of disagreements with the neighbours or expensive upkeep, this could be an issue.

What Is Included in the Sale?

One of the most commonly overlooked questions to ask when house viewing is what is included in the sale or rent agreement. This is a critical question if you’re renting a house. All fixtures, built-in closets, and appliances should stay, but owners might want to take some furniture or household appliances.

Have There Been Renovations Done?

The owner should tell you about any renovations or additions to the house. You need to know what was replaced and when and if there were any additions to the home that might not be legal or up to standards.

Are There Problems or Disclosures?

If you don’t know what to look for when viewing a house, the answer is problems. It’s wise to ask the owner about any existing issues or disclosures you should know about, such as mould, lead, asbestos, and pest or water damage.

How Much Are the Bills?

It’s a good idea to ask about the cost of the utility bills for the house and Council Tax in the area. If the cost of living in that area is too high, you might reconsider your choice—you’ll be responsible for paying these charges regularly.

How Strong Is the Water Pressure?

It might seem trivial, but one of the essential house viewing questions includes the strength of the water pressure. Minimal or low water pressure can be a problem in everyday living, and it’s typically quite expensive to fix. You can even ask to check the pressure yourself.

Which Direction Is the House Facing?

A good question is which way is the house facing, thereby giving you an idea about the amount of sun exposure to the house, garden, or terrace.

What Is the Neighbourhood Like?

When thinking about things to ask when viewing a house, don’t forget to ask about the neighbourhood. You should be aware of ongoing disputes with the neighbours or noisy neighbours, especially if you’re considering a semi-detached house. You should also ask about the crime rate in the neighbourhood and check out burglary statistics for that area.

Is the House in a Conservation Area?

If the listed property is located in a conservation area, any changes the house buyers might want to make can be restricted. This is one of those critical questions to ask when viewing a house to buy because the restrictions pertain to interior and exterior changes. If the owners don’t share this information, you’ll receive such details during the conveyancing process.

Is the House a Freehold or Leasehold?

Whether the house is a freehold or a leasehold can make an immense difference. If the home is listed as a leasehold, consider how much time is left on the lease and if you must pay ground rent. Keep in mind that this can decrease the house’s value in the long run, and it might be more challenging to get a mortgage.

Is There Much Interest in the House?

Although it’s not one of the most commonly asked questions to ask at a house viewing, it’s good to know how many other people have seen the house and if there were any offers. If the home is popular, you might need to make a more significant offer. But if it’s too much money, you can consider a flat or an apartment—it’s wise to learn the difference between the two.

Have the Sellers Found a New Home?

Among the most critical questions to ask when viewing a property is if the sellers have found a new home because they could move out sooner if they have. If they’re still searching for a house, the move might take longer.

DID YOU KNOW? House buyers in the UK rarely buy a house upon first viewingonly 26% seal the deal upon the first viewing. About 43% purchase a house upon the second viewing, 21% after three viewings, and 11% following four or more times.

Key Takeaways

Before a house hunt, you need to prepareset a budget, choose a location, and hire a real estate agent.
As a prospective buyer, it’s wise to ask about the age of the house, time spent on the market, renovations, and disclosures.
Bills, water pressure, and neighbourhood crime rate are points of interest for prospective homebuyers.
When house-viewing, arrive on time and take (permissible) pictures, but don’t go alone or bring children or pets.

House-Viewing Dos and Don’ts

After scrutinising the questions to ask at a house viewing, consider the following points you should and should not do.

Dos

  • Arrive on time
  • Visit at different times
  • Look at the outside surroundings
  • Open the cupboards
  • Test fixtures and appliances
  • Take (permissible) pictures

Don’ts

  • Be quickly put off
  • Make rash decisions
  • Use the WC
  • Bring children or pets
  • Go by yourself

Keep in mind these Dos and Don’ts when you go on a house-viewing, and don’t forget to ask the most critical questions about the house you’re looking at and the environs.

DID YOU KNOW? The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme offers equity loans to those buying a newly-built home. Approximately 81% (90,274) of all Help to Buy sales were made by first-time homebuyers.

Conclusion

After learning what questions to ask when viewing a house and what actions you should or shouldn’t take, you’ll be ready to schedule your first viewing and start searching for the home of your dreams. Carefully consider the advice in our guide and decide which house best fits your needs and desires.

FAQ

What should I look for when walking through a house?

When walking through a house, notice whether the home is clean and all the windows and doors are in working condition. And observe the exterior of the house and the state of the garden.

What should you not do when viewing a house?

When you go to a home viewing, don’t bring your children or pets, and don’t use the WC or take unsolicited photos.

What is the first thing to do when viewing a house?

Even if you know about the things to ask at a house viewing, keep your eyes open. Notice the owner’s approach and willingness to answer your questions. Are they reluctant to answer specific questions and only give vague answers?

How long should a house viewing take?

A typical first viewing of a house should take between 20 and 30 minutes, while a second viewing could take up to 60 minutes.

How many times should you view a house before buying?

After carefully considering the questions to ask when viewing a house, you can proceed with buying it if you’re comfortable with the seller’s answers. But ideally, you should visit the house at least three times and the neighbourhood two more times.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Alex is an IT wizz gone SEO gone fire-juggler. We’re not even joking. When he isn’t researching why one personal loan is better than the other and which piece of hardware you should buy next, he’s rollerblading or selling homes (because he does that, too, the smarty-pants).

Latest from Aleksandar

Best Payout Online Casino UK A Guide to Living Off the Grid [7 Things You Need to Know] How to Become an Appraiser in 2022 How to Flip Houses With No Money in 2022

Leave a Reply