It’s essential to investigate properties thoroughly when you’re a potential buyer (or renter). That’s why I’ve put together these 49 key questions to ask when viewing a house – so you can make an informed decision about your future home, and make sure it’s the right move for you.
- Why Should You Ask Questions When Viewing A House?
- What Are The Best Questions To Ask When Viewing A House?
We’ve all been there – getting swept up with the excitement of finding our perfect next home online, wanting to go take a look at it ASAP, while letting all the potential issues get forgotten in the hurry.
It’s time to take off the rose tinted glasses, and make sure you’re getting all the right information about what you’re spending a LOT of your hard earned money on…
Why Should You Ask Questions When Viewing A House?
Questions lead to information – and that leads to empowerment in the whole buying process.
You get to make an informed decision, rather than working blind and getting caught out.
Mistakes can be costly, for example:
- If you know that work needs to be done – are you OK to do this, and will you have the budget to get it finished properly? Not knowing about this could cost you a lot more than you wanted to spend.
- If the house is amazing, but you move in and the area is unsuitable in some way – that’s going to cost you in lifestyle enjoyment, or cost you in terms of money for travelling to places that you want to be in.
- If the neighbours are noisy or argumentative – then that could cost you a lot of peace and stress.
So really, why would you NOT ask questions, right?
Whether you’re a first time buyer or a seasoned pro (and whether you’re renting or buying, or on your first or last viewing) this list of questions will help you approach house viewings with confidence and make sure you’ve got all the information you need to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.
You’ll save yourself money with a lower offer by catching any work that needs doing, and save yourself stress by checking for any red flags with neighbours or with little things in the house that could annoy you over time.
So let’s dive into these key questions so you can find the home of your dreams…
What Are The Best Questions To Ask When Viewing A House?
I don’t want to give a straight list of questions, because honestly it depends on what stage of viewing you’re at (1st or last), the type of move you’re doing (sale or rent), and who is taking the viewing (agent or owner).
With these options in mind – take a look at everything below – and I hope they help you to ask the right things, at the right time.
This should help stop you getting overloaded with asking everything on the first viewing, and help you work out what’s important to know, and when.
Related: There’s a place to write the viewing questions you want to ask, along with your viewing notes – in the Moving Planner. Check it out HERE.
List Of 4 Questions To Ask Your Estate Agent Before Viewing Properties
You may get these answers prior to a viewing – but they need to be asked when you’ve decided to check out any home you’re looking to move to.
- How long has it been on the market?
- Have there been any other offers?
- Will they be open to an offer if it’s below the asking price?
- What is the sellers situation? Can they move straight away? Have they found a place to move to?
1st Viewing – 18 Best Questions To Ask
This is the viewing when you get to know whether you like the feel of the house, whether you could live there etc…
You’ll be shown around by either the current owner or the estate agent – so some questions may be harder to ask because of their knowledge.
TIP: It’s totally OK to leave some questions with the agent and get them answered after the viewing. This is a HUGE purchase, you want to get it right.
Questions About The House
- What work have they done since they’ve lived there?
- Are there any warranties still valid?
- Is there anything about the house that they feel you need to know? Access for neighbouring properties across your land, for example.
- Are all property borders clear to everyone?
- Are the windows all double glazed?
- If parking is on road, or a shared drive – are there any issues? How many cars do they currently park there, do you have more that could become a problem.
- Is the house well insulated?
- Does the property have any restrictions on it like being listed, or have previous building plans been refused?
- Is there any existing planning permission in place that is are still valid?
Questions Specific If It’s A Flat
- What’s the service charge?
- What are the shared facilities incl. garden and parking?
- Who is responsible for what?
Questions About The Area
- What facilities are there in the local area? Shops, schools, parks, public transport etc…
- What are the neighbours like? Things like noisy neighbours can create a lot of stress. You’ll also want to know if there are people of your age and family situation close to you as this would be a bonus.
- Is traffic OK at all different times of day?
- Are there any things in the area that I need to be aware of? For example – building developments that have been planned, local disputes etc…
Questions About Their Situation
- How long have they lived there? A long time is usually a good sign!
- Why are they moving? This is a key question to ask because their reason may be an issue that you will come up against in the future, even though it may not be affecting you now. For example – if they want to move to a good High School – and you don’t have kids yet – then it will make you think whether you’re potentially happy to move in x years for this as well.
2nd Viewing – 7 Important Questions To Ask
You’re now much more serious about the house – and so want to know more of the details about it.
Questions About Running The House
- What are the average council tax and utility bills?
- What’s the water pressure like? Test by turning the showing on or running the tap.
- How is the broadband and wifi signal? Important for most people now – especially if you’re working from home. For example – when we moved we were with SKY but when they came to fit our new dish, we found out that they couldn’t get a signal because of large trees across the road. That meant we had to change supplier and we didn’t know – so we were without this service for a time and that could potentially have been prevented by asking up front.
- Are the boiler, fuse box etc.. regularly maintained and how old are they?
Questions About The Sale
- What is and isn’t staying? For example – light fittings, white goods and window dressings may be included in the sale, but are things you’ll need to cost in if not.
- Are any items for sale separately? We have sold artwork and a range cooker in a previous sale, and purchased a wardrobe that fit perfectly in a bedroom when we moved into our current house.
- How soon would you like / do you need to move? This will give you a good idea of the property chain and the timeline you’ll be working with, and whether that will work for you or not (maybe you’ll have to rent for a little bit, which will cost, for example).
Your Property Viewing Checklist Items – 15 Key Things To Ask Yourself!
These are things that you may now have to ask anyone else, but you’ll want to know by the end of the viewing(s).
- Is the house in good condition?
- Are any cracks visible? You may want to ask that these get checked specifically in the survey
- Light in the rooms – Which way does the property face?
- Can you hear traffic noise inside and outside the house?
- Is the garden (or any other outdoor space) overlooked?
- Is there scope to improve the house in the future? Have other neighbours done anything that you can see? i.e. is there a precedent for extensions etc..
- What’s your mobile phone coverage like? Check as you walk around the house.
- If there’s a loft, is it easy to access?
- Where’s the boiler? Is it noisy if it’s in a bedroom?
- Is there any mould or damp showing? Look for signs like peeling wallpaper and paint etc…
- What will I want to change in this house straight away, and what will the cost of that be?
- How much storage space is there? Will you need to add in fitted storage?
- Will the flow of the house work for you and your lifestyle? Will you need to reconfigure the space?
- Can you easily fit in the shower and bath? This sounds silly, but can be a real pain if you move in and find out that either are too small for you and now need to be changed.
- Check the roof for missing tiles, any bows, chimney issues etc… (does any of this need replacing any time soon?)
5 Great Questions To Ask The Landlord When Viewing A House To Rent
Of course, when you’re looking at a rental property, the questions above will be slightly different, so make sure to tweak as needed. But there are also some other things to ask that are the right questions for renting specifically.
- What can I do when I live in the property? For example, some landlords will let you decorate, others want you to not change anything.
- What deposit is required?
- How much notice do they need if I move out?, and what happens if they want me to move out sooner than contract?
- What contract length will be required?
- What’s included and excluded in the rent?
There you have it – all the possible things you want to add to your list of questions when you’re going to look at your potential new home.
Just remember to keep your head throughout the viewing, so you can grab as much information as you can.
Then you can be sure of making the right choice for you…
One that’s based on logic and emotion, not just excitement.
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