11 Tips – What to Consider for a House Viewing

Viewing appointment – You have been looking for a new property for a long time. Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne or Munich, a house for the family because the apartment is simply too small for everyone, a new apartment because you want to move in with your partner or simply a move to a new city. When looking for an apartment, you always come to one point at some point – the viewing appointment. For many it is an exciting appointment, because you can now see the real estate, which you have only seen in pictures until then, but for others it is also a stressful appointment, where you meet other interested parties, the landlord or the real estate agent. Do you have to bring documents with you? How do you behave best? And how do you make the perfect first impression to really get the dream property?

Avoid Mistakes: This is What you Have to Consider

Finding the right property often proves to be more difficult than expected. Especially in big cities there is a real battle for the best properties in inner city locations.

In order not to make any mistakes that in retrospect have become your downfall, there are a few things to consider. From the important first impression at the viewing appointment, to the good organization of all documents. So that you don’t forget anything, and can move into your dream property soon, here are the 11 most important tips.

The First Impression Must be Right

No matter whether you have a single viewing appointment with the landlord or agent, or whether you view the apartment with further applications, the first impression must be right! But this requires more than a broad smile and a firm handshake.

Your appearance should appear neat and professional. No jogging pants, no T-shirt with food leftovers. You don’t have to wear a suit either, but a well-groomed appearance will make you look immediately likeable and take you one lap further down the list.

In addition, they should always appear friendly, but also determined. Insecurity can quickly be misinterpreted. Therefore, be clear beforehand what you want and appear confident but natural. Probably the most important thing at an inspection appointment is that you arrive punctually at the appointment at all costs. This shows that you are reliable and well organized. This is a big plus point that you can collect right at the beginning.

Good organization is, as so often in life, the be-all and end-all of an inspection appointment. You should be well prepared and, above all, have all the necessary documents at hand. This is a one-time organizational effort, because once you have collected everything together, you can reuse the documents for each viewing appointment.

Documents: Checklist

To these documents, there is a lot to it, for example:

  1. Identity card
  2. Self-assessment
  3. Income statements
  4. Employment contract
  5. Certificate of the previous landlord’s freedom from rent debt
  6. Schufa assessment
  7. Possible references of the previous landlord
  8. Possible rent guarantee (in case of insufficient income)
  9. Eventual curriculum vitae (required in a few cases)

Self-Assessment, Schufa and Sympathy Points

To give the self-disclosure directly at the inspection date provides a good impression and a relationship of trust with the landlord. It is usually requested only later, to seize it beforehand does not harm however, but shows its commitment.

Also the Schufa self-disclosure is not demanded, but shows openness on its part and saves the landlord work. In general, the documents requested for the inspection date are communicated in advance. If this is not the case and you still turn up with a complete folder full of documents, this may give you an advantage over other applicants and sympathy points.

Know What You are Looking For

Usually you go directly to an apartment search, looking for a certain number of rooms or a number of square meters. However, before the viewing appointment, you should think carefully about what you really want and above all what you really need.

You should be clear about how many rooms you need, the approximate size of each room, on which floor the apartment should be, what you expect from the kitchen and bathroom, whether you want a balcony or a garden, whether the apartment must be suitable for pets and how much you can plan for renovation work. Of course, you should also be clear about the budget and how much the additional costs per month can be.

You should always remember your needs during the appointment, because you will soon lose yourself in dreams of a great, big apartment, which you don’t really need and can’t afford. Try to think practically and rationally and not to be distracted from your search.

Do not be afraid to ask questions during a viewing appointment. If you ask the right questions and thus show serious interest in the property, the landlord or agent will be better remembered as a potential tenant.

Interest is completely normal in the search for the dream property and this should be shown calmly. It is important to ask the right questions, which are also related to the property and thus to be able to better assess whether the object fits his ideas.

Questions During the Inspection: Checklist

Some of the questions that come in handy at every visit are

  • What is the equipment / condition of the apartment? ( fitted kitchens, renovations, etc. … )
  • What does the rental property include? ( cellar, garden, parking space, … )
  • Are pets allowed, if so which ones?
  • Who lives in the neighbourhood and what are the conditions there?
  • How much are the additional costs and are they already included in the warm rent?
  • Are there any shopping facilities / transport connections in the vicinity?
  • What are my duties as a tenant? (cleaning the staircase, shovelling snow, taking out the garbage cans, … )

All these questions, show a serious interest in the property on your part and also help you to assess whether the property is really the right one for you.

Never go to a Viewing Alone

Whether it is an individual appointment or a group appointment, you should never go to an apartment viewing alone, even if you are looking for an object just for yourself. This has different reasons. Firstly, you have a second opinion, from a friend or family member, who can tell you again from a different perspective and as an outsider whether the apartment is really the right one. In addition, four eyes always see more than two, and your companion will notice defects or mistakes that you would not have discovered yourself.

If you are not looking for a property just for yourself, it is a good idea to bring the people who are moving in with you to view it, so that the landlord or agent can get to know everyone who would move into the property and so that they can also discuss with the other tenants whether the property is the right one.

Check the condition of the property

Deciding to buy a new property is a big decision that you should not rush into. Even if the apartment completely suits you at the viewing appointment, you should still sleep on it for one night to be able to think about it in peace.

It helps if you take pictures of the apartment at the viewing appointment, as a small reminder and to be able to look at the apartment again from your perspective, but also to show it to friends or relatives and to be able to obtain further opinions. Take the opportunity to take a close look at the apartment and look for small things that might be damaged or broken.

Defects: Checklist

  • Is there modern wiring and enough sockets?
  • What is the condition of the windows and doors? Can they be opened and closed easily? How do the seals look like?
  • Where is the washing machine connection?
  • Are there any mildew stains or wet spots?
  • Is there a draught somewhere in the apartment?
  • Are the exterior walls well insulated?
  • What kind of heating is used?
  • Is the apartment well-listened?
  • Where is the TV connection and which one is available?

Take a Close look at the Surroundings

The environment and the location of the apartment is also a decisive criterion. First you should check if there are enough shopping facilities within walking distance, how the transport connections are and if there are schools, for example. This can be easily found out by taking a short walk through the neighborhood after the viewing appointment and taking a closer look at the surroundings. You should also check whether the surroundings might disturb you in your idyllic living.

  • Is the apartment on a busy street and could the noise disturb you?
  • Is the bedroom window facing to a street?

Even thin walls and loud neighbors could become a problem. If you are seriously considering the property, consider whether you really have everything to live in the area

Attend Viewing Appointments During the Day

A viewing appointment should always be made during daylight. This not only allows you to see and judge the apartment better, but you will also recognize blemishes much better in daylight than in the evening. It is also important to be able to judge how much daylight enters the rooms, where the sun comes from and when it shines in which room.

There should be enough windows to ensure daylight illumination during the day. Viewing appointments that are made in the evening are often not very professional, because good real estate agents know that you should see an apartment in daylight. So try to avoid such viewing appointments.

Convince the landlord / Broker of Yourself

If the apartment is right for you, all you have to do now is convince the landlord of your suitability. You can achieve this not only through a perfect first impression, good organization and the right questions, but also through little things that play into the landlord’s hands.

This can be that the desired moving in date fits exactly to your ideas, that you have possibly handicraft skills with which you can help with the renovation and perhaps even save a month’s rent or even small ideas with which you can accommodate the landlord.
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Be positive and always put yourself in the position of the landlord and ask yourself ‘ What would I expect from my future tenant instead of the landlord?’. Fulfill these expectations and the apartment is as good as yours!

During an inspection appointment not only you ask the questions, because if the landlord is really interested in you, a small interrogation is waiting for you, too, for which you should be prepared. Therefore, be prepared for questions concerning your financial situation and your professional activities.

The landlord naturally wants to make sure that you can pay the rent on time!

Therefore, if such questions reach you, don’t digress too much and explain precisely and to the point what you do for a living or what your financial situation might look like now and in the future. You should also be prepared for personal questions, such as the desire to have children or the like.

In any case, answer them honestly but do not digress too far. Your landlord would like to be able to assess you and not learn your entire life story. So be careful and think of good and precise answers beforehand.

The Right Farewell

Also the farewell at an inspection appointment should be well thought out. If you are seriously interested in the apartment, you should emphasize this clearly when saying goodbye.

If you notice already at the inspection that the apartment simply does not fit, you should be fair and tell the real estate agent or landlord so that you do not spoil anybody else’s chances.

Also clarify clearly if and when the landlord or agent will contact you. If you still receive a rejection, don’t be offended but ask the landlord or agent politely if they have a similar apartment on offer that is vacant or will be soon. This way you will keep the contact positive and maybe you will find your dream property this way.