Let the house hunt, begin!

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

House hunting can be such a drag. Not to mention exhausting. Here are some top tips on how to get the most out of your search, even during a global pandemic.

Me and Kieran during the second viewing of our home. Armed with a notebook to keep my phone free for photos and a tape measure. Double denim and sequin tote optional.



Write a list

A list is a bloody good place to start. Jot down all of the things that you would like from your new home and then separate them into want vs. need. Don't worry what other people think of your list. Remember this is your home, so it has to work for you.


Research, research research

Part 1:

Sign up to all of the sites (Rightmove etc) and to all of your local estate agents. Set aside time to check daily, if not twice a day. It will feel long AF at the start but once you've got into a routine you'll soon be armed with a truckload of market research.

Part 2:

Before booking a viewing, check out the area. I'm talking street view, satellite view...all of the Google Map views. This will self-write your questions ahead of the viewing — is the land behind the house protected? Who has access to the footpath going through the garden? Who owns the commercial property next door and will that impact access, noise and bins nearby?

Part 3:

Get to your viewing early. Have a mooch around, read the noticeboards, check out the local pub or cafe (covid pending) and see if there are there any neighbours that you can chat to. You basically want to get a vibe of the area.


Part 4:

Finally, plan out a typical day and how it will work for you. What's your commute like? Where's the nearest shop? Run a WiFi test online to check that the signal is strong enough if you're WFH.


Add filters

In contrast to what we are all trying to do on social media, when it comes to house hunting it's all about filters. Chuck a few £K on to your price bracket, add a couple of miles to the radius, make sure you add features that are important to you (fireplace?) and then search again without those features. You'll soon work out average prices, ones that have been on the market for a while, selling prices and spot the new ones.


The viewing

It goes without saying, be polite and friendly. The agent works for the seller but building rapport may help you whichever way the viewing goes. Good? Great, there's a chance the agent will put in a nice word for you or call you back first if there are any other buyers. Bad? The agent should hopefully have some other properties that they can show or send details for.

If the property isn't right, explain why. If it is right then book a second viewing whilst you are there. After the initial buzz has died down, you'll want to see the property again to make sure there isn't anything that you glazed over in excitement. This is a great chance to bring someone else with you for a second opinion if you can.

Take photos

Video the property top to bottom, front to back and then go around again and take photos. You'll forget things (did the bathroom have a window?) and you'll most definitely want to capture things that the advert didn't. After the viewing, organise all of the photos into an album on your phone so that they're easy to refer back to.

Offer

Ok, you've found a place. Submit your offer in as soon as you can after the viewing. It keeps the momentum going with the estate agent and adds weight to your enthusiasm.


Make sure your offer is made over the phone and then followed up with an email straight away. Have a draft typed up and saved so that you can hit send as soon as you’re off the phone. This shows you are efficient and serious about your offer. Start how you mean to go on and all that.


Top tip: Make sure your offer is always Subject To Contract (STC). This means that you are willing to proceed with the sale unless the searches or your solicitor finds anything dodgy.


So, in a nutshell, research, know the market and be nice.


Let us know how you get on and if you found our tips useful!


Harriet & Kieran



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