Use Blue Alpine’s website to find out as much as you can about a property that fits your investment criteria. You can use the search functionality under Properties. You can view the photographs, particulars (online brochure) and local information that is available with most descriptions. All of this information will help you make a decision but viewing the property is critical. As soon as you have found a property that is of interest, book a viewing by contacting the agent listed on the respective property page. Blue Alpine, as the commercial consultant (agent) is likely to host the viewing for you, but it could also be the vendor instead that conducts the viewing.
Dome viewing tips:
- It is better to be direct in your feedback when viewing with an agent as it is not their property and so they’ll summarise your feedback in a professional way back to the vendor.
- If the agent has more than one property of interest, you should be able to see them all in one go, time and locations permitting.
- Spending time with the agent gives you the chance to use their knowledge, so ask as many questions as you want.
Direct Vendor viewings:
- If the vendor is conducting the viewing themselves, do not forget that this is their property. As you are being shown around, ensure that you ask for permission to open doors, closets, bathrooms, etc, or take photographs and check about taking off shoes when you go into residential elements of the property.
- Some vendors can be emotionally engaged with their property and may want to sell the property to someone that they think will appreciate it. Making a good impression and building rapport will, therefore, help in the negotiations if you like the property.
- One of the advantages of being shown around by the vendor is that they probably know the property best and any of its idiosyncrasies, so it’s a good opportunity to ask questions.
- Sometimes vendors can be over-enthusiastic about their property which can be time-consuming if you have decided it is not of interest. Think in advance how to conclude the viewing politely if you have seen enough.
What to look for on viewings:
When you view a property, you are likely to get an instinctive ‘feel’ for what is on offer and whether it could suit your investment criteria.
A few things to consider are:
- Consider the time of day at which you are viewing the property, it might be very different at night compared the daytime.
- You are generally not going to be buying the contents of a property, so if it has fixtures or furnished, try to imagine it without the tenants or vendors’ belongings.
- Some developments will use smaller furniture to make rooms look bigger, take a tape measure to make sure that your fixtures or furniture will fit.
- Use all of your senses. You can often smell damp before you can see it.
- Find out what’s behind any locked doors.
- If the property was previously rented, ask for copies of all the safety certificates.
- Be realistic. Purchasing is often a case of how you make your compromises. When going to a viewing looking for a perfect fit to your investment criteria might leave you disappointed.
- Many buildings will be restricted as to what security or media can or cannot be installed (CCTV, satellite TV, etc). Check what arrangements are available and who the current provider is.
Disclaimer: The information Blue Alpine supplies is for educational purposes only, to provide investors with an overview of information regarding investing in UK commercial and residential property. This information is not to be treated as advice; it is to be used as a reference point to further conduct your own research. Assumptions made in the commentary and analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than Blue Alpine’s – and, since we are critically-thinking human beings, these views are always subject to change, revision, and rethinking at any time. Please do not hold us to them in perpetuity. The authors and Blue Alpine are not to be held responsible for misuse, reuse, recycled and cited and/or uncited copies of content within this article by others.