How to view a property

February 23, 2021

It’s easy to feel out of place when viewing someone else’s home. You walk into rooms and think “yes, that’s a bedroom”. You don’t know what you are meant to be looking at. You end up looking but not seeing. Only once you have moved in do you realise all the things you missed.

In this blog we will give you the tips you need to efficiently view a house and make sure it’s ready to become your perfect home.

Don’t just view the property, view the area

If you have read our reviewing the market blog, you will have already visited the area and decided that it’s suitable for your family’s needs. But even so, you should start your view by looking at the area. Park nearby and go or a fifteen-minute walk. You should look for:

  • Where are the local shops?
  • Where is the bus stop?
  • What is the walk into town like? Is it hilly?
  • How will the kids get to school?
  • What’s the local parking situation like?

View more than once

You should always view a property more than once. If it’s along way away, stay overnight and take the opportunity to see the area at night.

You should try and arrange your visits at different times of the day, both during the week and at the weekend. It’s amazing the different things this lets you see and hear.

It’s also a good idea to view the house with someone else. If you’re buying on your own, take a friend or family member along. They will be less invested in the house and can give you an objective opinion. It’s even better If your friend happens to work in the building trade and can give you ideas of what work needs doing and an estimate of costs.

Start with the outside

It’s easy to miss the outside of the property, the estate agent might be waiting to usher you in, but your viewing starts with the outside.

You have seen the local parking situation, but what’s the parking situation at the property? Are there yellow lines or permit holder restrictions? Will you be able to fit your cars on the drive?

Are there overhanging trees? Not only will tall trees block out the light, but their roots can also damage the building.

Now look at the building. You should look at:

  • Is the guttering ok?
  • Are there any signs of damp?
  • Are there any signs of cracking? Especially around chimneys, doors, and windows
  • Does the roof look new, ok, or old and irregular?

In the house

Remember that the estate agent will try and rush you around. They work for the buyer and get paid if the house sells. They will try and point out things that will help the sale, ignoring any problems.

They will also try and sell how suitable the house would be for your family. Don’t let them. You have your completed Home Needs Checklist and you know what you need. As you walk round the house, compare it to your needs.


As you move round the house think about the flow of the house. Sometimes this is hard to see on the floor plan and you can only tell when you are walking round. How do you get from the kitchen to the front door?

Don’t just focus on the amount of space but how you would use the space.

Will your furniture fit?

When you walk into a room with furniture, it’s easy to think your furniture will also fit. But what if they have a double bed and you have aking-sized; will your bed fit in between the fitted wardrobes?

People living in a house will buy furniture that fits.

Don’t be afraid to take a tape measure and check your furniture will fit.

Where are the plugs?

It’s not just the location of plugs that can cause problems. Houses can have items in strange annoying places. Light switches behind doors is an example.

As you walk round the house, picture yourself using it. Do you have to walk downstairs to turn the landing light switch on?

Finally think about where the radiators are placed. They don’t have to be under windows, but it can be hard to add furniture if they are not (three walls can be taken up with the door, window, and radiator).

How old?

Yes, the house has central heating, but how old is the boiler? How quickly are you going to have to spend money on the house?

Also find out how old the cooker, wardrobes, bathroom suite and double-glazed windows are.

Make sure you see

Don’t just look at a room but really see the room. It’s easy to scan the room without looking for the details. Make sure you look high and low. Look out for any cracks, creaking stairs or signs of damp.

Under, behind and in

People hide things from view. People will hide torn wallpaper with a coat stand. Take a torch with you and look in the corners and behind furniture and doors.

Open all the doors and windows. Make sure there are no problems. You don’t want to move in and find the patio doors don’t open.

Turn on taps and check the water pressure and hot water temperature. In fact, ask the estate agent to make sure the heating is on so you can check the radiators are hot.

Look in cupboards, especially under the sink. Is there any sign of mould or damp? Also, how much storage is there?


Light makes a big difference to the feel of a room. So, ask where the sun comes from. Do you get sun into the house or are there buildings or trees in the way? Which parts of the house get sun? A south facing conservatory can become an oven during the summer.  

The garden

How you access the garden can impact how you use it. This is not only the location of the door, but is there a patio and are there stairs? Also is there a side gate?

As you look round the garden focus on how you would use it. You should think about:

  • Light – does it get sunlight? What times of day?
  • Privacy – is the garden overlooked?
  • Safety – is the garden safe, is there a pond your kids could fall into?
  • Maintenance – do you enjoy gardening? If no, how much work does the garden require?
  • Storage – where will the kids’ toys, BBQ or lawnmower go?
  • Trees – do they block the light and are they far enough away from the foundations?

Now look back at the building and look for any signs of damage.

Finish with questions for the owner

The owner knows the house better than anyone. You want to find out as much about the house as you can.

But be careful how you express things. What you say can help or hinder any negotiation. Be positive but non-committal. If the owner isn’t there, ask the estate agent to get back to you.

You should ask the following questions:

  • How long have they lived there – the longer the better
  • Why is it available – if they have outgrown the house, this might help your decision. Also knowing this can help when negotiating price
  • How long has the house been on the market – if along time, it is probably overpriced
  • How many viewings have they had – why is no one else putting in offers?
  • Are there any management charges – you need to build these into your budget
  • How old the central heating system, roof and windows – so you know if there would be any big bills coming your way
  • Is the property on a water meter – this can affect bills that you would want to build into your budget.

Don’t be pushed into giving feedback too quickly to the estate agent. Go away and take your time to think about the house.

What to do now

If you have found the right house you will need to negotiate a price, pick a solicitor and arrange a mortgage.

We will be coving these topics in our next few blogs.

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Batsrock Limited, trading as Wisey, acts as an intermediary for the purposes of introducing its customers to Yes Mortgage Services Limited, part of the H L Partnership.

YeS Mortgage Services Limited is an appointed representative of H L Partnership Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. YES Mortgages Services Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 08872874. The registered office address is Yes Mortgage Services Limited, Four Winds, 22 Windmill Lane, Avon Castle, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH242DQ.

You will not receive advice or any recommendation from Batsrock Financial. Such services will be provided by Yes Mortgage Services Limited.