News & Advice Buying

Check list of needs and preferences

Potential home buyers will often find that after looking at anything from eight to 12 properties they have become confused and unable to remember clearly what it was that appealed to them or was seen as a disadvantage in the homes they have visited, says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group.

“It may surprise many people to know how easily this can happen but, believe me, I have seen it occur time and again,” said Clarke.

Most estate agents, he added, will give the potential buyer a summary, often accompanied by both external and internal photographs, of the features and characteristics of each home they see. These, said Clarke, will obviously be useful reminders to the buyers – but they need supplementing.

Clarke advised home buyers to draw up a check list of their needs and preferences, e.g. so many bedrooms, the maximum distance from such and such schools, so much garden or workshop space, so many power points in the kitchen and similar small details.

Then, on visiting the homes lined up for inspection, they should, said Clarke, tick off these features against the check list and make notes of anything that has pleased or disappointed them, e.g. the wrong colour tiles, the size of the bath, the lack or small size of a shower, inappropriate or unattractive lighting, the ‘wrong’ flooring or possibly décor or layouts which might be unsuitable for their furniture, a lack of natural light, insufficient security or unsafe play conditions for children (this last item specially needs checking in sectional title schemes).

Lists of this kind, said Clarke, will serve as useful reminders and result in the buyer being able to draw up a short list of homes which he would probably want to inspect again.

Just how essential an exercise of this kind can be, said Clarke, is shown by fact that occasionally, having signed an offer for a home, a buyer will suddenly realize that there is another home which he has seen and which, all things now considered, might have suited him better.

“A good sensitive, empathetic estate agent will usually prevent this from happening, but the fact that it does occasionally occur should serve as a warning to all home buyers to keep a comprehensive check list of the kind I have advocated,” said Clarke.

Issued by Rawson Properties

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