A house viewing is always an awkward situation: it’s inconvenient for the current tenants and intimidating for the viewers. So here’s five tips on how to make sure your house viewing goes down smoothly.

1. The early bird does not get the worm 

During my first year my future housemates and I made the dire mistake of booking our viewing for 10 o’clock on a cold January morning. So, when we got into the house and the letting agent led us to the bedrooms, and after knocking several times, we discovered that the tenants were still fast asleep in bed. Luckily we didn’t wake them up, so we didn’t have to face that awkward encounter. Unfortunately, as they were still in bed their curtains were still closed, leaving the room pitch black and us never able to have a proper look at the rooms. Therefore, during future house viewings I’ve made sure to book them for more suitable times for students!

2. So, um…do you like bread? 

It’s always a good idea to ask the current tenants questions, which they won’t mind having been in your position before, just make sure you keep your questions relevant to the house or room your looking at. Don’t start chatting to them about what you thought of the new ‘Star Wars’ film after seeing they had a poster of it up on their wall, or how working on a dual monitor is better than a single after seeing their set up (and this very specific example actually happened, hence the specificity) Trust me, they won’t care and you’re not there to make friends, which brings me to my next tip. . . 

3. Don’t Linger

As previously mentioned, house viewings are always awkward and are an inconvenience to the tenants. The last thing they want is a group of strangers touring their house and judging their rooms so try not to awkwardly linger. By this I mean don’t have a chat to your mate about where you’re gonna set up your console when the room is yours, or how you’re gonna move all the furniture around. You can think about those things when you leave because, at the end of the day, you’re a stranger in someone else’s bedroom and personal space. I’m not saying get in and get out no questions asked, by all means get a good look at the place, just don’t overstay your welcome. 

4. Any Critique Opinions of the House Keep to Yourself

The last thing the tenants will care to hear are your negative opinions about their house, so for the love of God keep them to yourself! It doesn’t matter if you think that the carpets are tatty, that the walls are too dark or that the rooms are too small. You’re in someone else’s house so discuss this with your mates after the viewing, and this brings me to my final tip. . .

5. Be Polite and Respectful

At the end of the day you’re kinda barging in on the tenants’ daily routine, so just remember to be respectful when in other people’s house. Be polite when looking at someone else’s room and give them a quick thank you afterwards, courtesy always goes a long way! 

So there you have it. My five tips on house viewing etiquette. Honestly, you’re usually in and out within five minutes, but make those five minutes in the house worthwhile. Because remember, you’re going to be stuck with the house you choose for the next year! 

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Kelsey Rees Kelsey Rees, 11 months ago