As the UK finds itself in the depths of a third national lockdown, fortunately the property market has been allowed to remain open. However, with viewings in London being kept to a minimum and heavy restrictions in place, many agencies are offering virtual viewings as an alternative to in person viewings. This has proven extremely popular, with a lot of people feel more comfortable viewing properties in this way currently, and a number of sales having been agreed from virtual viewings alone.
However, you need to exercise caution when viewing a property virtually, particularly if you don’t intend to view it in person or have to put an offer in swiftly. Here are our top tips for viewing a London property virtually and as comprehensively as possible during lockdown.
- It’s very hard to take everything in when you’re viewing a property, physically or virtually. However when you undertake a virtual viewing, you have the added benefit of being able to save or download a copy. This is useful for going back and viewing the property slowly in your own time. Be sure to ask the agent, owner or landlord for a copy if you are not provided with one.
- Different agencies conduct virtual tours in different ways. Some may offer a ‘live’ tour, where an agent takes you around, others may send out pre-recorded tours. Where possible, request a live tour. That way you can rest assured that the video hasn’t been edited and you get a more authentic impression of the property.
- Remember to ask to see any outside space. If you were viewing a property in person, you would look around the garden, outside parking space and neighbours properties automatically. Ask your tour provider for a viewing of the outside space and exterior.
- Ask your agent for a clause which states ‘subject to a physical inspection’ if making any agreements prior to an in person viewing.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your tour provider to give you an up-close view of any electrical fittings or areas of concern: damp, damage, etc. If there is any hesitancy on the providers behalf to do this, be extremely cautious about making any offers or agreements.
- If you are thinking of making an offer on a property you have only seen virtually, there are certain circumstances that mitigate risk. For instance, you will be much safer making an offer on a new build or newer house than an old property without seeing it in person, as there is less likely to be major structural issues.
- And, remember, above all it’s always vitally important to have a professional survey undertaken – whether you view the property or not, but even more so if you haven’t seen the property in person.
For more information or to discuss our services, contact London Building Surveyors today.