Essential house viewing checklist

Viewing a property is your chance to discover everything about your potential new home. Don’t miss a thing with our essential checklist.

Get the most out of your property viewing

Viewing properties can be one of the most exciting parts of buying a new home, but it can also be daunting. Buying a property is one of the biggest and most expensive decisions you can make, so it’s important you get it right.

If you walk into a viewing and can immediately see yourself living there, it can be easy to overlook things. That’s why it’s well worth going in prepared with a list of things to ask and check.

Before your viewing

Do as much homework on the property as possible before attending the viewing. This can generate questions to ask the agent or highlight specific things you want to check on the day. Consider:

  • Visiting the local area before the viewing, ideally at different times of the day

  • Looking at how long the property has been listed online and if the price has changed

  • Whether the photos highlight any concerns, e.g. cracks or damp that you should take a closer look at during the viewing

If the property has been on the market for a long time or the price has been reduced, ask the agent why. It might highlight issues you should be aware of.  

What to ask when viewing a house

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can think of during the viewing. If the agent can’t answer them there and then, ask them to find out and let you know. Here are some general questions to ask when viewing a house:

  • Why is the owner selling? This could highlight any issues they’ve had with the property or help you when negotiating a price, e.g., if you get the impression they’re desperate to sell.

  • How long has the property been on the market? If it’s been on the market for a few months, this could indicate that other buyers have been put off by something or that it’s overpriced. 

  • How long have the owners lived there? If they’ve only been there a short time, try to find out why. It could suggest something isn’t right about the property or area.

  • What’s the area like? Ask about the local crime rates, schools and amenities. You should do your own research in this area, but the agent's response to these questions could be telling.

  • Has any work been done on the property? If there has, make sure all the correct consents were obtained. Otherwise, it could cause significant delays further down the road if you have an offer accepted.

  • What is included in the sale? Fixtures and fittings, including white goods are sometimes included, so it’s worth finding out. If there’s a garden shed or a greenhouse, ask if the buyer plans to take it with them.

  • What is the council tax band? You can use this information to find out what your council tax bill will be. Also, ask if they can find out how much the utility bills are to help you understand what your monthly outgoings might be.

  • Have the sellers found a property? If they’re still looking or they’re in a long chain, this could lead to delays and potential complications down the line. 

  • Do any local plans affect the property? If the house has a nice open field at the back, you want to know if this is going to turn into a housing estate in the near future.

It’s worth remembering that the agent wants you to put a bid in, so their answers may not be the whole story. Where possible, do your own research to check the things you’re particularly concerned about. 

House viewing checklist

Here’s a room-by-room breakdown of what to look at when viewing a house:


  • Condition of worktops and units

  • Water pressure from taps

  • Space for your white goods (if not included)

  • Space for table and chairs

  • Gas or electric hob

Living room

  • Space for furniture - sofas, TV etc

  • Number of wall plugs

  • Position of aerial outlets

  • Position of radiators

  • How much natural light the room gets


  • Condition of the suite - will it need replacing soon?

  • Shower water pressure

  • Condition of the sealant around the bath and shower

  • Signs of mould or dampness

  • Is there an extractor fan


  • Condition of brickwork - are there any cracks?

  • Condition of the roof - are there any loose tiles?

  • Type of windows - is there any condensation?

  • Condition of the rendering

  • Condition of the garden - will it need a lot of work?

  • Position of the garden - is it north-facing or south?

  • Condition of the gutters and drains

  • Condition of the fences

  • Large trees close to the building

Local area

  • Parking - are permits required if there is no off-road parking?

  • Traffic on the road

  • Local shops and transport links

  • Air and noise quality

General checks

  • Look and smell for damp throughout

  • Access to roof/loft

  • Locks on windows and doors

  • Mobile phone dead spots

  • Insulation in loft and walls

Viewing a flat

  • Leasehold or share of freehold

  • Details of freeholder

  • Years left on the lease

  • Service charge/ground rent

  • Condition of communal areas

  • Number of flats in the building

  • Position of neighbours - above, below, etc.

Top property viewing tips

Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your property viewings:

  • Don’t rush: Take your time going around the property methodically, asking all the questions you have and checking each room carefully. Putting an offer on a house is a big decision, so don’t rush or be put under pressure to leave by the agent.

  • Don’t go alone: Always take someone with you to a viewing. If you’re buying with someone else, make sure you both attend and even take a third party along for another opinion. They may spot things you miss and offer a valuable outside perspective.

  • View the property more than once: This can be tricky when there’s a lot of competition, but a second viewing can really help you spot issues you may have been blind to the first time around. Try also to view it at different times of day to see how things like the light and traffic change.

  • Take photos and videos: It’s best to ask the agent’s permission first, but taking photos as you go around can be helpful, especially if viewing several properties.

  • Explore the neighbourhood: Spend time in the area before or after the viewing. Walk around and see how close the local shops are, or take time in a local cafe to get a feel for the area. Try to go back at different times, like rush hour or weekends, to see how the area changes.

  • Listen to your head: It can be easy to let your heart take over when viewing a property, but it can mean you overlook problems. Try to keep your emotions at bay and go through the necessary checks to help you make an informed decision. 

Our expert says…

“Viewing properties is one of the most exciting parts of buying a new house. It’s also your best chance to discover everything you can about your potential new home, so try to make the most of it.

“These checklists and tips will help ensure you don’t miss anything important and could even help you negotiate a good deal when you come to make an offer.”

Property viewing FAQs

It depends, but agents will often book you a slot of up to 30 minutes. Try to use all the time you have, and don’t be rushed to leave before you’re ready.

If you want to go back for a longer viewing, speak to the agent to arrange a more in-depth appointment so you can take your time and make sure all your questions are answered.

There is no right or wrong answer to this, and you should look at as many as it takes to find the right one for you. 

However, if you fall in love with the first house you view, try to see at least another two or three for comparison. It’s always a good idea to book as many viewings as possible on the same day to help you compare them.

It’s important not to be negative about a property during the viewing. This could get back to the seller and impact your chances if you do choose to put a bid in. 

It’s also best not to openly discuss your financial situation, as this could give away information that could harm your position in any negotiations. For example, if you let slip your budget is bigger than the property’s price, the sellers could use this to hold out for more money.

Also, try not to be overly enthusiastic in earshot of the agent or seller. Again, this could put you on the back foot when making an offer if they know you’re desperate for the property.

Getting childcare isn’t always easy, so there should be no problem taking your kids with you. However, if you have younger children, it may be worth trying to go without them for the first viewing. This means you should be able to fully focus on the property and getting all the information you need. 

If you like the property and want to do a second viewing, this could be a good time to take your children along. It will be their home, too, and their input and opinions will be important.

If you like a property, try to view it at least twice, but you should see it as many times as you need to be confident to make an offer. 

It’s easy to fall in love with a house on the first viewing, and often, a second viewing can help you see it through more rational eyes.

Try to take different people along to your second or third viewings to get as many perspectives and opinions as possible.