Unique Living
January 25th, 2019 | by Serge Cowan

This is The Advice I Give to Clients Before They Go on Viewings


Whether you’re looking at a beachfront villa or a town-centre penthouse, the viewing is the most important aspect of the buying process. It gives you the chance to see it ‘in the flesh’ and identify how well it would work for you and your family. In short, it’s a great opportunity and it’s vital to make the most of it, right from the moment you walk through the front door.

At Unique Living, we do most of the hard work before you even start viewing properties; taking the time to ascertain exactly what you’re looking for and making sure it’s within your budget. That means we’re already fairly confident that you’ll like it when you view it – however, we want to ensure that it really is the best possible property for your requirements.

That’s where you come in. At the viewing, you’ll be able to ‘get to grips’ with the property and figure out just how well it matches your lifestyle. Here are some tips on how to get the most from the experience.

Go in With an Open Mind

Some of our clients have precise visions of what they’re looking for. They want that specific villa with that precise view of the ocean. As such, when they see something that isn’t in-line with their aesthetic, it tends to put them off. Remember, if you don’t like an aspect of the décor, it’s usually easy to change it.

For example, if you loathe the tiles in the bathroom, that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Simply work out how much it’ll cost to install the right tiles, then deduct that amount from your offer. Remember, everything is negotiable when it comes to house-buying.

Listen to Your Gut Response

In our experience, most people know if the property is right within a few minutes of entering the house. That instinctive reaction is important and shouldn’t be ignored; you want to love this property for years to come, not just like it on a practical level.

Take the time to imagine your family living in it. Can you picture your kids playing in the lounge? How about you and your partner, sipping wine on the terrace? And what about location? Can you easily pop out to purchase food for your evening meal, if cooking is important to you? Is there good nightlife nearby (if you enjoy going out)? If it feels right, that’s a good sign.

Try not to show the agent how much you love it though, for obvious reasons. This is a sales process and if you decide to put in an offer, you’ll want to be in a strong negotiating position. That means maintaining a poker-face throughout; or even better, letting us help you with the negotiations to ensure the best possible result.

Explore Every Space

While you’re viewing the property, it’s still technically someone else’s home and it’s important to respect that. However, the whole purpose of the viewing is to immerse yourself in the space and imagine yourself within it. If you want to stand out on the balcony to soak up the view, ask. Likewise, if you need to see how large those fitted wardrobes are, it’s okay to request to look inside. If you’re going to be investing in this property, you need to know that you’re spending your money wisely.

Don’t be Pushed into Anything

Unique Living operate in such a way that we eliminate the need for pushiness, the minefield associated with buying a luxury international property, the cultural differences, and the negotiation process. Additionally, our partners give you the time and space to view the property at your leisure.

As a general note, it’s worth stating that you should never feel pressurised into anything when you’re at a viewing. If an estate agent tells you they’ve got an amazing property around the corner that they’d love to show you, don’t feel that you have to look at it. This is your investment and should be tailored to your needs. Always check what the price is and how it compares to your brief (though if you’re working with us, we’ll handle all of this for you).

There’s no rush to commit either. We’ve got clients that have been on our database for over five years and they haven’t found the right opportunity yet – but that’s fine. The important thing is that they find the property that’s right for them, however long it takes. This is a lifestyle decision, after all.

Stick to Your Budget… But Understand Your Budget First

When viewing properties, it’s easy to be swayed into thinking you need to spend just a bit more, in order to get something a bit better. My advice? Before you get started, sit down with us and let us help you to work out exactly what you can afford.

Sometimes, it’s possible to manoeuvre your spending in such a way that you get more for your money. Clients often tell me that they’ve got X million pounds in liquid assets that they can use to spend on a villa. That’s great, but what about potentially getting a mortgage? By spreading the costs, you can possibly get a higher priced villa, not to mention free up some cash for improvements or redecoration.

Work with the Right Agent

On that note, it’s wise to work with an agent that’s acting on your behalf. For example, we see ourselves as a mediator between the seller and the buyer, ensuring that the property price reflects its history, condition, and the market as a whole. This ensures that you don’t end up paying over the odds – that you don’t pay the “footballer’s price” for a property, as I call it.

Remember also that some properties are multi-listed with several agents. This means that the agent showing you around the property can tell you about the offers they’ve personally received so far, but not about any other offers made to other agents. Ensure you work with someone who has access to all the necessary information.

Take it Seriously

A viewing can be a lot of fun, not to mention exciting. After all, there’s nothing quite like stepping into a luxury villa and realising it’s the property of your dreams. But it’s important to keep a level head throughout the experience. Be prepared before you enter the house. Ask the right questions as you’re looking around. And imagine how it will work for you; not just now, but in the future too.

What advice would you give someone viewing a property? If you think we’ve missed anything out, we’d love to hear from you.

Serge Cowan

Serge Cowan

Managing Director and Founder

Serge has an extensive marketing background, after a broadcasting career, Serge moved into marketing where he worked for BSkyB & a number of leading Public Relations agencies.
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