Many of us spend more time choosing a holiday or even a pair of new shoes than we do choosing which property to buy. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. The average time we spend viewing a property is only around 15 minutes. And many of us don’t go around for a second viewing. So, with that in mind, here is our advice and our top tips for getting the most out of viewings.
Don’t waste time viewing properties you can’t afford
At the moment, the Edinburgh property market is very fast. You will probably have noticed this yourself; you arrange a viewing only to have it cancelled because the property is under offer.
So, first make sure you know what your budget is and second find out what the property market is like at the moment (ie how much you are likely to have to offer above the Home Report Value) and concentrate your efforts and your time viewing by only viewing those properties you can afford.
Added Value: We will always be happy to give you help in setting your budget and advice on the market.
Don’t waste time viewing properties that have issues
Always check the Home Report. The easiest way to get the Home Report is to go onto the ESPC website where most properties in Edinburgh are listed and you will be able to obtain a copy of the Home Report easily and quickly. Check the Home Report to make sure the property does not have any damp issues or settlement issues.
We have more information about Home Reports in the Home Report Section of our First Time Buyers Guide.
Arrange a viewing for as soon as possible
As mentioned above, properties for First Time Buyers in Edinburgh are selling quickly at the moment and so try to arrange your viewing for as soon as possible and if, once you have viewed the property and like it, get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can note interest and find out more about the property for you.
We have more information about Noting Interest in the Noting Interest, Closing Dates and Making Offers Section of our First Time Buyers Guide.
The great thing about the property portals and agents’ websites is that you can find out in advance of a viewing what the property is like from the photos and floor plan and a lot from reading through the Home Report.
Although there is nothing like a viewing to give you the confirmation that this property is or isn’t for you, there are advantages for going prepared.
What is it about the property that you want to find out? Make a list. Know in advance what questions you have (see below for more information about that).
What are the usual viewing arrangements?
There are basically two types of viewing appointment available:
- The open viewing and
- The appointment viewing
The Open Viewing is usually on a Sunday afternoon or Thursday evening but can be at other times. These are usually advertised on the property portals or agents’ websites or when you phone the agents to arrange a viewing, you will be advised about them.
Open Viewings are usually done by the sellers themselves rather than the selling agents and so it is likely that the seller will be showing you around.
As the name suggests, an open viewing means just that. Anyone can turn up during the open viewing times and get to have a look around the property. So, there is no set time.
The advantages of this for you are:
There is no problem of being late if there is a hold up in traffic or you spent longer viewing the property you have just viewed.
It is more anonymous so you don’t feel self-conscious and less likely to feel on-the-spot.
You can get a feel for how popular the property is. After all, if you get there and there are already 15 other buyers having a look around, then you can be fairly sure that the property is going to be popular and therefore more expensive.
The disadvantages are:
That you don’t get to look around the property on your own and so will probably be more aware of getting in the way of others than fully taking in the property; and
You might not have the time/chance to ask the sellers your questions.
However, the open viewings tradition does work well and so don’t be put off by it. It is just part of the process.
Viewings by Appointment
On the other hand, getting an appointment to view, means this is your appointment and it will not usually be shared with other buyers. You will have the time to have a proper look around and to ask questions.
Again, viewings by appointment in Edinburgh are usually done by the sellers, especially if your appointment is in the evening but are also done by viewing agents or the selling agents.
Who is likely to be showing you the Property?
As mentioned already, in many cases it will be the seller who will be meeting you and showing you around although it is also just as likely that it will be the selling agent or the viewing agents for the selling agent.
It is not a bad first question for you to ask when viewing a property so that you know who is showing you around. A seller is more likely to be able to answer your questions than the agent or viewing agent.
Useful Questions to Ask when viewing a Property
We have a Blog article all about this and so rather than take up space here, why not take a look at our Questions to ask Whilst Viewing Properties.