Property Inspection Game

Attending open for inspections is part and parcel of the property research process. Whilst looking inside other people’s homes, or brand new developments can be exciting, after a while it can also become rather exhausting. So we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to keep you on track when at a property inspection:

Plan your attack

  1. Inspect properties that you can realistically afford. It may seem like a fun idea to snoop inside the mansion with the pool, tennis court, and home cinema, but if you can’t afford the place then you’re just wasting time and energy. Stay on task and only look at properties within your price range.
  2. If possible, dedicate a half day or full day to inspections and see as many houses as you can during that window. Seeing multiple properties in one day is likely to speed up the process of elimination and is a much more effective use of your time, as opposed to inspecting a property every night of the working week.
  3. Write up an open for inspection schedule and visit properties in a geographically logical order where possible to save time and petrol (as opposed to racing back and forth across town).
  4. Treat it like a sporting event. Pack snacks, water, and don’t forget to break it up with a coffee stop here and there.
  5. Take notes. If you are viewing several houses in a short space of time, sometimes they can start to blur into one another. Be sure to take notes on each property you visit.
  6. Ask the real estate agent questions e.g., when was the property built? How many people have been through it? What is the settlement period? Why are the owners selling? How long has it been on the market? Can you provide me with the relevant paperwork to confirm that any renovation work completed was done so with permits, and by a registered builder?
  7. If you are really interested in a property, it may be worth viewing it multiple times – both during the day and at night – to assess things like changes in traffic conditions, street parking, and the kind of light the property receives at different times of the day.
  8. If you are time poor and/or would prefer to have some added assistance with your property search, you may want to consider hiring a buyer’s agent (also known as a buyer’s advocate). Buyer’s agents are licensed professionals that work on behalf of clients to take the time, effort, and emotion out of the home buying process. They look for suitable properties based on the client’s search criteria and provide informed appraisals of dwellings that make the shortlist. Buyer’s agents can also be used to negotiate the sale of the property, and are sometimes engaged purely for their bidding expertise at auctions.

Outside

  1. Assess the streetscape and neighbouring properties – is there ample street parking? Are the neighbouring properties well kept?
  2. Consider chatting to the neighbours to learn more about the street and local area.
  3. Look at the façade of the house – is it in good condition? Does the property have street appeal and does this matter to you?
  4. If the property has a balcony, courtyard or backyard, is it secure?
  5. Identify nearby shops, parks and facilities, as well as anything that might detract from the property i.e., is it on a busy and potentially dangerous main road?
  6. Check the orientation of the property. North-facing properties are said to capture the most direct sunlight throughout the day.

Inside

  1. Once inside, look in all directions – up, down, and sideways to ensure that you are seeing everything from the light fixtures down to the skirting boards.
  2. Check for storage. Assess the size of the wardrobes and find out if there are additional storage options like a linen press.
  3. Turn on taps to check the water pressure.
  4. Open all doors to ensure that they don’t jam.
  5. Don’t be put off by the seller’s furniture and decor, and equally, don’t be seduced by it either. Try to look beyond the styling of the house and concentrate on the property’s layout and whether it is conducive to your lifestyle.
  6. Keep your ‘must have’ list handy and check features off as you go.
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