As a buyer, the first time you see a property will usually be at an open house. These are good as you can see lots of properties on one day in a short period of time, and then work out a shortlist.
Once you have that shortlist, the next step will often be to arrange a private appointment for a second viewing.
These are very useful as they allow you to look at the property without the crowds, and in your own time. You can choose the time of day that you view the property, and maybe bring along a friend or family member for a second opinion.
Here are a few things you should look at carefully to help you make the decision:
Are you happy with the aspect and the light – if you feel the cold very badly, you may prefer a west facing house. If you feel the heat, you may prefer south. Either way, you should be happy with the levels and quality of light that comes into the property.
Is the property in a location that suits you – close enough to a station, a school etc. This is the one thing you can’t change!
Check with the agent that all contract inclusions actually work – turn on the air-conditioner, turn on a few taps, open and close the garage door. Once you’ve exchanged contracts, you’ve bought the property in its existing condition so you should check that everything works.
Just stand quietly in the property and see whether you can visualise yourself living there. I know this sounds a bit hippy, but so often buyers tell me that they have no particular reason for buying a property other than it just felt right.
Here are a few things that, as an agent, I don’t think you should let stop you from buying a property:
You don’t like the wall colours – paint is very cheap and easy to change.
A particular piece of furniture you own won’t fit in a particular room – unless you’re talking about a priceless heirloom, you really shouldn’t let an existing piece of furniture dictate the property you buy. If everything else about the property works for you, just think what fun you’ll have buying a new lounge or dining table which is just perfect for the new house!
Anything that can be solved with a few established shrubs or trees – many things that look like issues, such as the next door neighbours, can be easily fixed over time by careful planting.
A lack of fences – again, this is an easy fix if everything else about the property is right.
After you’ve seen the property a second time, if you think the property is for you, don’t hesitate… go ahead and make an offer!