Open inspections started as a benefit for buyers, but they’re now a key part of the property buying process. Despite technology entering the market that allows buyers to look around properties from the comfort of their living rooms, there’s still nothing like walking around a property yourself and getting a feel for it.
When you go to a property inspection, you need to make the most of it. Here are some points to bear in mind:
1) Create a Checklist
We all forget things. You might have a question in your head all the way over there, but completely forget it when you’re stood in front of the agent. By creating a checklist you’ll remember everything you need to ask, as well as all the things you should be looking for.
Add points to your checklist including location, size of the house, nearby amenities, and how close it comes to your dream property. You’ll likely be looking around more than one home, so a checklist will be a useful reference point to look back on and decide which ones stand out.
2) Try to Ignore the Staging
When you get to the open inspection, any seller who cares about their property will have dressed it up to look its best.
They’ll have moved furniture around, bought decorations and potted plants, as well as turned the lights on and the heating up to showcase the property in its best state. Do your best to look past this, however, and focus on what the property will look like with your belongings, and whether you’ll fit in.
Just because a dining room looks great as is, that doesn’t mean it’ll fit your family. The same goes for living rooms – no matter how gorgeous they may be, they’ve got to be able to accommodate you.
3) Explore the Neighbourhood
Although you’ll be living in the property, you’re also going to be spending a lot of time around the neighbourhood. As they say, the worst property in the best neighbourhood is always better than the best property in the worst neighbourhood.
Take a walk around the area and get a feel for whether it suits your needs. Look out for local amenities, any signs of crime, and work out how close it is to local schools and public transport.
4) Look Closely for Damage
You can use an open inspection for more than just looking around the place. Find a quiet area away from the agents and listen to see if you can detect any unnerving sounds. Why? Because these could be indicative of old piping or poor insulation, which will cost you a hefty sum once you’ve moved in.
You should also check the kitchen and bathroom areas for signs of damp, because if there’s mould on the walls, you can bet there’ll be mould behind the paint, too. Once again, this isn’t something you want to have to factor into your budget.
Looking around an open house can be an overwhelming experience, as you’ll have a lot to take in. By bringing a notepad with you and working through a checklist, you’ll ensure you cover all the points you need to.