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House Viewing -AWKWARD!!

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
78 replies 6.2K views
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  • edited 22 October 2019 at 2:32PM
    shortcrustshortcrust Forumite
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    edited 22 October 2019 at 2:32PM
    With all due respect, surely there's not much you missed on a first viewing on a house worth £100k?

    What are you planning to do, look through their drawers?

    You can miss pretty much everything on a viewing if all your attention is taken up by navigating a weird social situation. We’re social creatures and it’s hard to divert your focus away from people.

    I don’t know why people get it so wrong because it seems so obvious to me. Show people around quickly then wait somewhere out of the way and let them have a look by themselves.

    ETA: It’s daft (and a bit snobby?) to suggest there’s less to notice in 100k house compared to a 300k house.
  • Caraway90Caraway90 Forumite
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    I'm in East Anglia, we viewed 5 houses and 4 we were shown around by the owners. The fifth was the estate agent as the owner worked away. It was always a little awkward, but the norm seemed to be they showed us around and then let us wander around again alone.
    I would prefer the owners showing me around as its their house so they know everything about it!
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  • diggingdudediggingdude Forumite
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    AdrianC wrote: »
    Maybe it was deliberate, and an invitation...?

    I'm a rough looking chap, he was out of my league :)
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  • capital0necapital0ne Forumite
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    Niv wrote: »
    When i sold my house I generally made myself scares......

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  • ChasingButterfliesChasingButterflies Forumite
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    It is a 13 year old 2 bed flat in Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland. I can't post link.

    The plus side of the owners conducting viewing is you can ask if there is a Factor, who the Factor is, annual charge etc an estate agent is unlikely to immediately know the answers to these questions.

    Taking someone else along to view can be useful in terms of they may well spot something (positive or negative!) that you didn’t on your first viewing.

    It isn’t unusual up here for owners to conduct viewings, it is in their interest to make you as welcome as possible so don’t feel awkward about asking to see x,y,z if they haven’t shown you.

    All the best.
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    shortcrust wrote: »
    You can miss pretty much everything on a viewing if all your attention is taken up by navigating a weird social situation. We’re social creatures and it’s hard to divert your focus away from people.
    I agree. That's why, all other things being equal, I'd not be offering on a property until after a third viewing, when I'd bring along two family members with long building experience and give it a real going-over....but we still wouldn't look in those wardrobes.


    First viewing: get a feel for it and let the owner talk. They often say too much!

    Second viewing: focus on the things that you missed or need clarification. Answer the question,"Could we see ourselves living here?"

    Third viewing: take at least one person who really knows about building, if you have one, or send in the surveyor, hopefully targeted to examine specific things.

    The social situation isn't necessarily tricky, but it can be, so we have a pact on first viewings, never to give any visual indication to each other of what we're really thinking. It isn't helpful, especially if the situation begins to resemble certain comedy sketches!
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  • edited 23 October 2019 at 7:29AM
    davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    edited 23 October 2019 at 7:29AM
    The plus side of the owners conducting viewing is you can ask if there is a Factor, who the Factor is, annual charge etc an estate agent is unlikely to immediately know the answers to these questions.
    That information should (mostly) be in the owner's questionnaire part of the Home Report, which you can read through at your leisure before deciding even to book a viewing.

    I agree though that agents are unlikely to give you useful answers to any questions about the property. I find that accompanied viewings are often conducted by people who know absolutely nothing about the property and just tell you to ask the office if you have any queries.
  • warby68warby68 Forumite
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    For OP, bear in mind that it is largely the vendor's choice how viewings are carried out rather than yours.

    For that reason, I'd probably not risk causing offence by asking via the agent for them to be gone (especially after you've actually met them !!) but learn to toughen up a little and manage the viewing and vendors better. There is nothing wrong with asking for some time alone - if you go back again just say you spent a little too long chatting than concentrating on the property. The vendors might be learning too. If you're really struggling take a chatty family member and get them to engage the vendor with questions while you wander alone, a bit of divide and conquer.
  • olgadapolgaolgadapolga Forumite
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    I used to hate viewing houses where the vendors were around. Once we viewed a house where one of the vendors, an elderly man, was in bed, terminally ill. It was very, very uncomfortable.

    The other thing I hated was the look of expectation on the vendors' faces once you'd viewed the house. That was particularly difficult if the house was just awful and there was no way on earth that a offer could be contemplated.

    But, on the flip side, we sold our last home ourselves so had to do the viewings. But we'd show people around and then let them wander about by themselves. Second viewings we just let them get on with it. I remember one couple who had a second viewing, complete with both sets of parents and a camera. Not a problem, agreed that they could take photos as long as my children were not in any. All was fine until they started opening cupboards (without asking, mind) and we heard a very large crash as a load of things fell out....exit very red faced prospective buyers!

    We thought that was the last we'd hear from them but they got over their embarrassment enough to make an offer. I think that they made three offers in the end but couldn't complete with someone else so we went with the highest offer.

    With hindsight, that may have been a mistake as the people we sold to were the most awful people ever. The young couple may have been easier to deal with!
  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    I used to hate viewing houses where the vendors were around. Once we viewed a house where one of the vendors, an elderly man, was in bed, terminally ill. It was very, very uncomfortable.
    "Probate sale?"
    "Not yet."
    But, on the flip side, we sold our last home ourselves so had to do the viewings.
    ...
    I remember one couple who had a second viewing, complete with both sets of parents and a camera.
    ...
    All was fine until they started opening cupboards (without asking, mind) and we heard a very large crash as a load of things fell out....exit very red faced prospective buyers!
    So, umm, you weren't expecting a second viewing to look in cupboards? And just rammed everything in there like some kind of cross between a Hello magazine photoshoot and Buckaroo?
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