Viewing a House

I’ve seen a property I like the look of. How do I arrange a viewing?

The most common way of arranging a viewing is to call the estate agent who is marketing the property. In some cases, there will be more than one estate agent marketing the property on a joint-marketing basis.

In that case, you can pick whichever one you want to get in touch with. When you call the agent, the response will depend on whether the agent or the seller is conducting the viewings.

Do sellers conduct their own viewings in Scotland?

Sometimes! In many areas of Scotland it is quite common for property sellers themselves to conduct viewings of their own property.

Having the seller conduct the viewing of their own property is one of the ways that an estate agent is able to lower costs: estate agency fees in some areas of Scotland are considerably lower than the UK average. If the seller is conducting the viewing, the agent will often go back and forward between you and their client, arranging a suitable time by phone.

What is an Open Viewing?

These are common in some parts of Scotland. They are usually conducted by the property seller and are fixed, weekly time slots where the seller will be available at the property and any interested party can come and have a look.

If you go to an open viewing there is a chance that you won’t be the only person in the property at the time. It does make it easier to pop in and out though!

What should I look for when I am viewing a property?

Even if you don’t ask a single question, a viewing allows you to see the property with your own eyes. You can ask yourself a number of things.

First, do you like the property? Second, you might have seen elements of the Home Report that concern you and you can check these out with your own eyes: sometimes a ‘2’ from one surveyor is considerably less serious than a ‘2’ from another surveyor. Last, look out for other things that would spoil your enjoyment of the property such as a bus stop right outside the window or groups of people hanging around outside the front door.

What should I ask when I am at a viewing?

Viewings are a good chance to ask questions about the property. They are also a good chance to ask questions about the seller’s negotiating position.

Be respectful and polite, particularly if the seller is doing their own viewings: you’re in someone’s home and they’ll be more likely to be open and honest if they’re not defensive.

You can ask why the seller is selling, whether they have bought another property already, whether they have had any problems with their neighbours, whether they have had any problems with the property, what decoration or renovations they have done, whether a quick sale would be attractive to them and finally whether they have an idea of what price they would be willing to accept.

Plus of course you can ask any other questions that occur to you! You might not get much information or you might get loads: you can only ask!

Right, I’ve got loads of information from the viewing and I’m really interested. What should I do now?

You’ll want to pass that information on to a solicitor so that you can Note Interest or make an Offer. Time for the next section of the Guide!