Posted on 03 November 2017
If you haven’t booked yourself a viewing trip yet, now is the time. This is the fun part of the process, but do take a minute or two to see how to get the best from your autumnal viewing trip.
Late autumn is the time to get a bargain for your international property. Sellers who started out with high hopes and high prices in the spring are getting desperate. Estate agents have got Christmas presents to buy. Properties rarely look their best by the end of the winter so agents are hoping that last bit of greenery in the garden will give a bit of kerb appeal and before any damp problems emerge! If you’re heading south on a property buying expedition, here are some ideas on getting the best out of your trip.
Know what you want
Write out a profile of your ideal property and keep it handy. Estate agents will be keen to push the attributes of the property they have to sell, but are these what you really want? Keep your own wishes front of mind and stick to your budget. On the other hand, agents are experienced and trained to match the property to the person – they only work on commission, after all – so maybe they can focus your thoughts and offer real guidance?
Book a long enough trip
No-one ever bought a property unwisely because they had too much time, but some probably did because they were too short of time to ask all the right questions. A long weekend might work for a quick recce, but you will normally want four or five days for a proper look around. You should also not try to pack too much into each day. Charging between appointments and feeling stressed is less likely to result in a sensible purchase.
Get your team in place.
You can easily slip out of your comfort zone on a viewing trip, in an unfamiliar environment. Get in control by having your lawyer, currency specialist (we recommend Smart Currency Exchange) and maybe a surveyor already lined up. Also make sure that you take any vital documents with you, including things like marriage certificates if you want to buy as a couple. Ask your agent what you should bring.
Buying a holiday home is an emotional decision; can you put your finger on what you love about the property?
Take notes and photos
You won’t think you’ll forget the details of the property by the time you get to a buying decision, but you probably will. Don’t just rely on the agent’s photos – take your own photos of the rooms, the view and anything else that makes the property appealing (or indeed, less appealing). Take additional notes on sizes of rooms, distance to the nearest café, etc. Buying a holiday home is an emotional decision, so can you put your finger on what you love about the property? If an idea pops into your head – “this room would be great as a studio… knocking a wall through would make an amazing kitchen….” – jot it down.
And finally, imagination, imagination, imagination
For people viewing property in the summer for potential relocation, we advise imagining if you’ll still love it in winter. The same goes in the off-season but the other way round, especially if you’re looking for something past its first flush of youth. Imagine the pool when it’s baking hot and sparkling blue, the bougainvillea in full bloom on the balcony, picture that patio on a balmy Mediterranean evening with the cicadas singing…
But above all, imagine yourself there, and do something about it!
To learn about the property buying processes in your favourite location, download a free guide from Property Guides.