Property

A Guide to Viewing Second-Hand Property

Whether you are buying or selling, when looking for a suitable second-hand property, there are many details you need to pay attention to aside from the basics of price, transport facilities, school network, facing direction and location.

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Real Estate Agent
Before the actual viewing begins, you have to first sign an Estate Agency Agreement if you choose to enlist the help of a real estate agent because the agency wants to prevent other agencies from stealing its business, so remember not to view the same flat with different agents to avoid disputes and paying double the commission.

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Suitable Property
When choosing a suitable flat or building, the basic considerations include flat layout, facing direction, view, building quality, renovation, built-in appliances, building facilities, building maintenance and the neighborhood.

Eye for Details
When you arrive at the property, you should carefully check the following items, so that you don’t have to spend extra money for the unforeseen and stay within your set budget.


Water Leaks
This happens most common in walls, windowsills, wooden floors and the ceiling. If there is water leakage, the wall will have water marks or peeling paint, should a bathroom be behind the wall, then the bathtub is probably causing the leakage; the ceiling will have traces of rust or rusty rebar; wooden floor will be swelling or darkened.

Windows
Remember to double-check the condition of the hinges and screws of all windows, the integrity of the waterproof seal, the bottom pull nails, and underneath the hinges and make sure that they are not scratched or oxidized.

Walls
Knock on the tiled walls in the bathroom and kitchen, and all the other walls in the property, and if the noise sounded loud, there may be a structural problem and the paint might start to peel or become loose, so you should take care of things as soon as possible.


Water Pressure
To check if the water pressure of the toilets and sinks is strong enough, you can first fill the sink and toilet water tank with water and watch how fast the water can drain, plus at the same time, check for any leakage in the plumbing.

Drainage
There are usually drainage holes on the floor of the bathroom, kitchen and terrace. When you run a test on the sloping, simply place a marble on the ground to see if it will roll towards the drainage holes. In addition, you should pour water into the drain to see if there is any blockage.

Air Conditioner
For both window-type and split air conditioners, you need to check the supporting frame holding all components that are exposed or located outside for safety and rusting, so to avoid falling objects from height and causing any human injuries or casualties.

Other Items to Check:
All doors, gates, windows can open and close properly
The support and sturdiness of cabinets
All light switches and socket operate
Inventory of items that come with the property
Flat and mailbox keys<


The Right Weather
If possible, schedule for 2 viewings or more of the property during different weather conditions. On sunny days, you can have a more detailed inspection of the property’s interior and see the view from the flat; and on rainy days, you can check for any water leakage problem.



Property Information
In order to protect your own interest, you should check with the estate agent to confirm that there is any unauthorized structure or renovation and user restriction of the property. Your agent is responsible for providing all information pertaining to the property, and the relevant records can be searched at the Buildings Department. In addition, you should read the Deed of Mutual Covenant to understand the rights, responsibilities and rules that need to be observed by owners and occupants.