As a result of the global pandemic, virtual property tours have become the new normal in the property world. They give home buyers and renters the opportunity to get a sense of the property, which can lead to an offer or a viewing of the home in person once the time is right. The concept of virtual tours is advantageous for both customers and estate agents, but what sort of questions, as a viewer, do you need to ask your estate agent whilst participating in a virtual property viewing? The specialist team here at Hancock and Partners have put together this blog to help you. 

Make a checklist of your property essentials

Before a virtual viewing, make a list of your must-haves and ask the estate agent to spend longer on these during the tour. Check that it has the required number of bedrooms and if you were attracted to a particular feature or room, ask for a 360 floor to ceiling tour of this part of the home. 

Can I view the garden? 

This is obviously only relevant if there is a garden, but this can often be overlooked when looking at houses online, so a virtual tour is the perfect opportunity to have a quick glimpse of this outside space before progressing any further. You may be looking for a large outdoor space if you have pets, or you may have a passion for gardening, or you simply want to see whether it will be easy to maintain. These are all important reasons why you should ask to see the outside space when looking at new properties on a virtual tour. 

Is there a garage or parking space?

If you have a large number of cars within your household and off-street parking is essential, it is important you establish this straight away. On a physical tour you would be able to determine the parking situation as soon as you arrive, but as you are not visiting the property in person, this is something you will need to ask your estate agent. They will be happy to show you the available parking or garage space, which may be a short distance from the property if it is a flat you are viewing. The tour may even begin with the estate agent showing you the exterior at the front of the home, which gives you the chance to look at the parking spaces available. 

The internal space

Ask the estate agent conducting the virtual tour to take you through the natural flow of the rooms so that you can quickly see how you would live in the space. Does the layout and arrangement of the rooms match your living requirements? This is particularly important in multi-level properties where children’s bedrooms may be a long way from the master bedroom. Ask the agent providing the virtual tour to walk towards windows and show you the view looking out from each room. 

What are the heating arrangements? 

Heating is, of course, essential, so it is important to understand what type of energy supplies the heating system and when the boiler was installed, when it was last serviced, and if there’s a warranty that comes with it. Older boilers will need replacing, and you do not want to discover – once moving in – that your heating system is not up to standard. Even in a renting situation, if the property has a very old boiler this could still have a big impact on you, despite being the landlord’s responsibility. 

Whilst on your virtual viewing of the property, ask to see the radiators in all the rooms as well as the boiler and establish its make so you can understand more about its current condition. 

Why are the current owners selling?

This is a good question to ask, as it could potentially highlight some aspects of the property you may not have realised. Most homeowners move out for legitimate reasons, such as a change in circumstances, lifestyle choice or to up or downsize, but it is always worth learning the reason behind their move. 

Is there a chain? 

This applies to people buying rather than renting a property, as a chain is the link of buyers and sellers in a set of property transactions. The longer the chain, the higher possibility that the sale could be delayed, as everyone in the chain is buying and selling properties at the same time. Usually, the shorter the chain the faster you can move. This doesn’t have to be a deciding factor on whether you are willing to progress further with the sale, but it is something to take into consideration – especially if you are looking to conduct a swift relocation. 

How much are the bills? 

This is a good question to ask on a virtual tour, as you can establish from the offset whether the property is energy efficient. It’s a good idea to be aware of these extra costs, on top of the rent or mortgage, so that you can plan finances accordingly. Speaking to your estate agent about the council tax and utility bills can help you ensure you can afford the home, before going ahead with an offer. In the case of a rental property, you may not even be responsible for all of your bills. 

About Hancock and Partners

Established back in 1991, we are a leading independent estate agency, with one of the largest lettings’ portfolio in Chichester. We have been working throughout lockdown helping our clients to sell, let, rent and buy homes, and you are in safe hands with our knowledgeable and experienced team. We were the first estate agent in Chichester to offer virtual viewings for prospective tenants and home buyers, which allow them to enjoy a fully interactive walk-through and ask our estate agents any questions they may have,

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, you can call us on 01243 531111 and our team would be happy to help. Alternatively, you can also complete the contact form on our website and someone will contact you as soon as possible.