What to ask when you're on a house viewing

When you’re viewing a property, especially if you really fall in love with it, you can easily forget to ask some of the key questions you need to know before purchasing. It can also be daunting wanting to ask so many questions and you may feel rude or like you’re overwhelming the estate agent, but they’re necessary for you to know and they should have the answers for you!

1. How long has the house been on the market?

This indicates how sought-after the property is, and if it’s been on for over 6 months you may need to ask yourself why this might be.

 2. What is the position of the sellers?

If they have already found somewhere and or circumstances have changed and they need to move quickly, they may be in more of a position to negotiate.

 3. How long have the sellers lived there?

If they’re moving after a short period of time there might be neighbourhood problems, or it may just be a change of circumstances but it’s worth asking!

4. What is included in the sale?

For example curtain poles, garden sheds etc. By ensuring the sellers have a full inventory it will set out clear intentions. Knowing exactly where the properties boundaries lie is also important.

5. Is the house listed, or in a conservation area?

If you’re thinking about an extension for the property, this is a must know!

 6. Which way does the house face?

South facing gardens are more appealing to those keen gardeners.

7. What is the area like?

Including nearby facilities, neighbours, traffic situations etc.

Top Tip: Have a check of your mobile phone signal while you’re there, and if the signal is poor ask the vendor what network they’re on and what their signal strength is like.

8. Have there been any offers on the house so far? If so, what were they?

To ensure you’re competitive, and are in with a chance.

9. What is the Council Tax and utility bills like?

These added expenses could really add up your monthly outgoings – you can ask for energy efficiency ratings as well. Other key questions like this include asking if there is loft insulation, wall cavity insulation and how old they are.

10. Has any decoration taken place recently?

This may be freshen a room up but it may also be to cover damp or cracks which can be misleading!

Top Tip: is to view the house at different times of the day if you can. Visit at least twice if not more times and discover for yourself how the lighting, traffic and external noises change. For example at 11am it may be lovely and bright and peaceful but at 6pm it’s a heavily noisy commuter route.

There will of course be other questions you want to ask, but these are a great starting point. We hope with these questions in mind you’ll feel at ease and confident to discover what you need to about your potential new home.