12 things to look out for during a viewing

Buying a property is a major decision to make. You’ve got to make sure the property is right for you and everything is functioning properly. Before you go for your next property viewing, look out for these essential factors and identify any warning signals to ensure you make the right decision.



Damp can give off a musty smell, you can identify damp by mildew forming on the walls, peeling wallpaper, blistering paint, dark patches, discolouration and mould. It’s caused by moist air condensing on the walls and is an indicator of the structure and ventilation of the building. Damp can lead to woodworm, health problems and fungal decay, and it’s a big problem to get rid of

Room Size

Make sure each room is of substantial size. Sometimes sellers try to put smaller furniture in the room to make it look bigger, please do not fall for this.


Run a finger down the window, is there condensation? This could indicate you need double glazing in order to save energy and keep the house warm and poor insulation. Are the window frames cracked and rotting?


Flush toilets and run taps to check water pressure, check that the pipes are not lead and that they are insulated. Check how hot the radiators are and how long they take to heat. Check in the cupboard under the sink are dry.


Any big cracks across walls and joints signal that the building may be falling apart and may not be structurally safe.


Check that all electricals work by flicking light switches and plug sockets on and off. Check that the oven, fridge and stove work. Ask about electricity bills or any warranties on electrical items.


Does the property have a garden? If so, is it big enough? Will you need to do some work on it or does it need sprucing up a bit? Is it north or south facing? Will it be too much to maintain? Take all of these questions into consideration when looking at the garden.

Phone Connection

Take out your mobile phone and check your data connection and signal. In this modern age, even things like mobile signal matter when buying a house, in fact, nearly half of 18-35 year olds rank mobile as a key consideration when purchasing a new property.

General Condition

Assess the general condition of the house. Look out for cracks in walls, how fresh the paint looks, how worn carpets or floorboards are, how tired skirting boards look, how creaky doors are. Understand how much TLC the property needs, and figure out how much you will need to set aside as a budget.

Viewing the roof from ground level

Look out for any missing or displaced tiles or leaky gutters. These tiles and gutters will need to be replaced, and potentially the the whole roof, which can be an expensive job. Flat roofs are particularly a problem, as have been constructed with cheaper materials. If you notice any standing water or cracks in this roof, warning bells should start going off.


Ask the sellers why they are selling. Ask how long they’ve lived in the property for – a short time could mean issues with the property. Ask what home improvements they’ve made to the property to find out how well maintained it is.

Noise and Local Area

When on your house viewing, just listen...Can you hear the next door neighbours making a racket, particularly look out for this if the property is a terrace. How well sound-proofed is the building? What is the property’s proximity from the road or railway? Noise levels may not be a primary consideration when viewing a house, but can become a big issue once living there and this is something to be mindful of.