Before investing in a property, you need to make sure you are asking the right questions when on viewings. If you believe you’ve found a home that ticks all the boxes, there are multiple questions you should ask on viewings. Here are 10 that the Hancock & Partners sales team suggest, so that you are as informed as possible before making an offer …

1. How long have the owners lived there for, and why are they selling?

This is useful to know because the owners could be moving due to awful neighbours, planned development works on neighbouring land, or too much noise on a Friday night. A good estate agent will be understanding and give you the right information to help provide you an idea – but usually owners are moving due to a change in circumstances rather than it being for anything negative.

2. How long has the house been on the market for?

If a property has been on the market a long time, it could be because there’s something wrong with it. A good estate agent will tell you of any issues, but do find out if there’s been any interest from buyers and if and why any offers have fallen through.

3. How much has the property gone up in value over the years?

Even if buying a property for lifestyle reasons, you’re still investing a huge amount of money. The aim is to achieve capital growth by the time you leave – but it’s not necessarily possible for every property for sale. Ask your agent about the value history for the home as well as the location to make sure you are making a worthwhile investment.

4. Will developers be allowed to build homes on neighbouring land?

The last thing you want is for your evening summer view over rolling countryside hills to be destroyed by the sight of a building site – and then multiple homes. Much of the land is protected from development, but do find out if there are any plans or approved applications for building more homes around a property.

5. Am I allowed to renovate at the house?

If you’re looking for something to make your own, but the house is listed or in a conservation area, there will be restrictions in place in terms of what you can and can’t do with renovations.

6. Am I near good schools, local amenities, transport links etc?

If schools are important to you, or being able to walk to a pub and/or vegetable shop is desirable for example, ask how far away they are by car, foot and two wheels. The location of your nearest supermarket, gym, train station or airport may also be useful to know. It’s always worth driving around yourself too to clarify this information.

7. Are the owners in a chain and when can they move?

Being in a multiple chain can cause sales to fall through – it takes just one party to pull out and the whole lot can come tumbling down. It’s important to know what the chain involves (if there is one), and whether any problems within it have arisen yet. It’s also useful to know when the owners plan to move. This is vital if you need to move quickly, but it will also help you work out realistic time frames.

8. Is the house noisy?

Ask the estate agent if you can view the house at different times of the day. This is so you can listen out for any noise. For example, late night pub disruptions, rush hour traffic, a nearby dual carriageway and even aeroplanes.

9. Are there any issues with damp, subsidence, electrics and plumbing?

When you have moved in, the last thing you want to find is that underneath the fresh lick of paint are dark residues of damp, or that the heating, wiring or plumbing systems need replacing. Ask about these factors, as well as when the floors, doors and windows were last replaced, what is the condition of the roof, and have there been any subsidence issues in the past?

10. Can you recommend a good surveyor?

It’s vital you carry out a building survey irrespective of what questions you ask, as they will be able to point out any issues the house may have currently or in the future. Definitely find out from your estate agent who they would recommend for the type of property you are interested in.


Find Out More

There are plenty more questions to ask on viewings such as rental potential if you are a landlord, phone signal, storage space and EPC Certificates, but the above should give you a good head start.

If you would like to view any of our homes in and around Chichester, please do contact Hancock & Partners to arrange a viewing, video tour or to chat through your requirements. Call 01243 531155 or e-mail