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Second viewings – why going back for another look could be the best decision for all in the sales chain

When buying a house and spending thousands or hundreds of thousands, the decision of whether to make an offer can often seem obvious within minutes of stepping through the door.

Many people say they just ‘knew’ that a house was right as soon as they walked in – blown away by what they see and eager to get things moving.

But should a decision be taken so quickly when partaking in what is usually the biggest and costliest transaction of your life?

Oscars’ Managing Director Alisdair Bott-Francis says he has seen some couples begin to discuss how a property feels right for them when only part-way around a house on their first visit.

And while gut instincts should be trusted – he advises caution, for all involved.

“In my years of working in this industry I have seen people fall absolutely head over heels with a property and put an offer immediately after the first viewing, only to then have doubts further down the line,” he said.

“Whilst of course we are in the market of selling homes, and everyone wants a quick sale, my advice would be to take the opportunity to get a good feel for a home on a first visit, and if it feels right, take up a second viewing.

“The second viewing is a chance to really consider key aspects which are going to impact on how right the home is for you over many years to come.

“You can get initially be bowled over by a property and be blind to the aspects of it which aren’t quite right for you or your family, which often are more evident after a second viewing.

“It is in nobody’s interest, anywhere in the property chain, for someone to have doubts or pull out weeks down the line after an offer has been made and accepted, so that is why a second viewing can be so key.

“It is also a great indicator for a seller of genuine interest, so it is important on the vendor’s side to be accommodating, and if a second viewing is requested, make sure nothing prevents it from happening.”

Alisdair’s advice to prospective buyers is:

1. Book a second viewing a few days after the first. This gives you time to think about the lay-out, feel and visualise how you’d live in the house. It also provides time to consider any doubts?

2. Choose a different time of day to visit the second time around, to see how the house and garden feel. It will give you an idea of how light the property is, when the sun is in the garden, and by making sure one of those times is a week day you will be able to see how the noise levels vary from a weekend?

3. Take time to inspect the less glamorous parts of the house. It may have a ‘wow’ kitchen, but is the bathroom big enough? Do the bedrooms offer enough space and is there ample storage for your family’s needs? Does the living room face a busy main road? These things may trouble you in time, and can’t be easily rectified, whereas anyone can change a kitchen!

4. Compare other properties on the market and don’t just view one house. Sometimes people write-off a property from looking online, but no matter how good the photos, you can’t tell how you feel about a property until you’re standing inside it. View other houses with your agent in your preferred area and in your budget, and compare.

5. When you’re completely satisfied you’ve found the right one –make your offer

Alisdair adds: “Once you are sure you have found the right property, make your offer as soon as you can.

“Once your offer has been accepted, an agent will not accept any more viewings or offers on that property, subject to the sale going ahead as planned.

“So if you know that it’s absolutely the right house for you, don’t waste too much time in putting your offer in, as you don’t want to lose it and be forever wondering ‘what if’.”

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