Property viewing do's and don'ts

Your guide to knowing what to say, do and look out for

When you view a property, it's a unique opportunity to gather valuable information that you'll never find on estate agent ads. But to make the most of your viewing time, you need to know where to look and what to ask. Our guide to the do's and don'ts of property viewing can help you see the real house behind the seller's sales pitch.

Things to remember when viewing properties

  • Do look at the outside of the house too

    It's important you're aware of any structural problems that could cost you money. A professional survey should be obtained to ensure the property is suitable.

  • Do visit at different times of day

    Light and noise levels can vary in the morning, afternoon and evening

  • Do check for damp problems

    Look for mould, peeling wallpaper and bubbling paint

  • Do test fixtures and fittings

    Everything from taps and light switches to seeing how windows open

  • Do take a camera

    It's a great way to remember and compare properties, and spot things you might have missed

  • Do make a property wish list

    It will help you focus on what's important to you in a property

  • Do think about your furniture

    Make sure your bed and sofa will fit

  • Do open cupboards

    Having adequate storage space is an important factor

What not to do when viewing properties

  • Don't view a property on your own

    Take family or friends to get a second opinion

  • Don't be rushed

    Take as long as you need to look around every room

  • Don't get carried away

    It's easier to make realistic decisions if you stay objective

  • Don't get distracted by furniture

    They won't be there when you move in

  • Don't be led by the estate agent

    You'll get a better impression of the space if you can walk around freely

  • Don't judge a house by its décor

    You can change the carpets and the colour of walls

  • Don't let faults put you off buying

    You're entitled to negotiate on the price

  • Don't be afraid to ask the seller questions

    About the number of viewings, why they're moving, how old the boiler is, whether there's a chain etc…

  • Don't make any snap decisions

    Come back for a second or third viewing

Property viewing etiquette

Building a positive relationship with the seller and estate agent could make all the difference if you make an offer, go to sealed bids or want to negotiate on price. Here's our top tips:

  1. Arrive on time
  2. Make sure your shoes are clean or take them off
  3. Don't waste time if you're not serious about buying
  4. Never voice any criticisms out loud
  5. Leave children at home

The content of this article is believed to be correct at the time of publication and is provided for general information purposes. When buying or selling a property you should obtain appropriate professional advice and this article is not intended as any substitute for or supplement to that advice and must not be relied upon as such