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to request to view a house without the owner's presence?

(136 Posts)
nightowlmostly Sat 22-Oct-11 18:16:15

We want to see a house for a second viewing, and would prefer it if the owner wasn't there this time, as they were there last time and it's just not as easy to have a proper critical look around when you are also trying to be polite about someone's home. I'd like to see it with just the estate agent before committing, as it is a lot of money obviously!

My DH asked the estate agent on the phone and he said she seemed a little surprised, as if it was on odd request, is it? I would have thought it was quite common for people to want to see houses without them there, everyone in RL that I've mentioned house hunting to says it is much easier to look properly without the vendor present.

Just wondered if IABU!

betterwhenthesunshines Sat 22-Oct-11 18:17:21

YANBU, for all the reasons you mention.

GirlWithALlamaTattoo Sat 22-Oct-11 18:18:36

Hmm, it sounds odd to me. I wouldn't want strangers in my house without me there. But, I wouldn't hover around, I'd say hello and then let them wander around unsupervised.

That's daft, isn't it? Anything they could do with me out, they could do just as easily with me hiding in the kitchen.

TheOriginalFAB Sat 22-Oct-11 18:28:33

I find it daft that when spending so much money, people spend relatively little time choosing a house.

Surely it is in the vendor's favour to leave their house, where possible, so that buyers can have a proper look around and potentially buy the house sooner rather than having to have lots of people round before someone is willing to buy it with the vendors hovering.

ToothbrushThief Sat 22-Oct-11 18:30:29

YANBU in your request but the home owner is entitled to refuse. I hate selling, having loads of strangers trooping through, picking over my stuff and peering into cupboards and wardrobes.

Having been on unaccompanied viewings I'm shocked at how disrespectful the EA was. Not only did they laugh at the decor and personal pictures but they discussed the vendor in terms of driving down the price (a sale is a sale... rather than really 'selling' the house to us)

nocake Sat 22-Oct-11 18:31:55

That's not at all unreasonable. You want to have a good look around before making an offer and it can be hard to do that with someone hovering around. Some people will just let you get on with it, as GirlWithALlamaTattoo says, but there are lots who won't and it can be quite awkward to be poking around behind cupboards while they're watching you.

pinkdelight Sat 22-Oct-11 18:44:23

Some estate agents make sure the owner is never in, so not an odd request at all. Yanbu

ScarahStratton Sat 22-Oct-11 18:45:57

YANBU I'd prefer to look round without the owner there. Much easier to be shown around by the estate agent, as you can ask questions and have a good look at cupboards and things.

HecateGoddessOfTheNight Sat 22-Oct-11 18:59:49

Can't you have a good look round with them there?

what is it that you want to look at that you feel you can't while the owner is there?

nooka Sat 22-Oct-11 19:01:05

It's not an unreasonable request, but it is one that the sellers can refuse if they don't like the idea. It's not up to the agents btw, they can recommend to the sellers that they are not there for viewings, or they can tell the sellers that they need to do all the viewings or some viewings themselves (I'd find another agent if mine told me that, as what are you paying for otherwise) but they can't take viewers around without the sellers being there if the sellers have stipulated that they want to be there.

NoOnesGoingToEatYourEyes Sat 22-Oct-11 19:03:41

YANBU to want to do it.

But they might have a contract where they have to pay extra if the estate agent comes out to do viewings.

One quoted us a price and then said they would charge us £250.00 more to do up to ten accompanied viewings if we didn't want to do them ourselves. After that they would want a further £100 each time they did up to ten more.

worraliberty Sat 22-Oct-11 19:04:05

I think it's odd, yes.

Lots of vendors choose not to be there and sometimes have an 'open day' which they don't attend...but otherwise you'll normally find them there.

I wouldn't worry about being critical because you're considering spending a lot of money buying their home.

You haven't been invited to tea.

NinkyNonker Sat 22-Oct-11 19:07:24

I wouldn't consider being in for a viewing, why would I? What are they going to do in my absence? Makes far more sense to be out, likewise I normally expect the vendor to be out when we view, which 9/10 they are. I'm surprised this is seen as unusual.

colken Sat 22-Oct-11 19:08:36

I have only looked at new houses so no one has been living there but if I were to sell this one, I would not want strangers poking around my things. It is known that people come to look at houses with no intention of buying - just to have an afternoon out and, perhaps, take things without the owners' knowledge. I'm not saying that's what you'd do but we are all exhorted to be careful these days.

You could be from a fictional 'water board', and steal from my handbag for all I know.

NinkyNonker Sat 22-Oct-11 19:11:22

But they'd be with an estate agent? Unless they're dodge as well? Or you're proposing following them around each room and keeping a beady eye on them? I'd be out of a house pretty damn sharp were that to happen when we were viewing, and unless it were really outstanding I doubt we'd want to pursue it further.

mickeyjohn Sat 22-Oct-11 19:15:46

I know what you mean OP! We did a second viewing recently on a house and the owners were in (they were in on the first veiwing too - well, she was) and it was a NIGHTMARE! Me and my daughter went to look in the kitchen (DH and Estate Agent were in the living room) and they were in the 8 x 10 kitchen, just standing there, so we couldn't even go in!!! They didn't even offer to move out so I could have a proper look....arghhh! We felt really rushed, really pressured and it was really uncomfortable. Needless to say, we offered on something else! when the agent rang me for feedback i told them one of the main reasons we didn't buy it was because we simply couldn't SEE the bloody house as they were in the way! You are DEF NBU and i bet the agent would agree with you (having been an EA briefy I can tell you it's waaay better when they're out!) but there's not a lot they can do about it! Hope you find a house you like....the one we bought the vendors were out both times....completing in 3 weeks (fingers crossed!) YAY!

jennypenney Sat 22-Oct-11 19:16:31

I would want the owner to be there so I could ask loads of questions about what it's like to live there, are the neighbours friendly, what are your energy bills like etc, which the EA wouldn't necessarily know. Also I am weird about houses and like to know that the previous occupiers have been happy/content.

Having said that I would also like to be able to look in cupboards (built in ones, not bits of furniture!) to see exactly what kind of storage space I was getting and I would feel uncomfortable doing that in front of the owner in case they thought I was poking about in their belongings.

nightowlmostly Sat 22-Oct-11 19:35:08

Thanks everyone, interesting to hear different views. I'd never considered poking about in their stuff! It's not so much the looking at stuff I wouldn't want them to see me looking at, it's more being able to discuss things we might change or we don't like without offending, I know it's not a social visit but still!

Glad to know that for the most part people see where we're coming from, thanks all!

MrsJohnDeere Sat 22-Oct-11 19:37:07

Yanbu. Really off-putting when the vendor is present. You can't look around properly and feel like you're intruding.

KingofHighVis Sat 22-Oct-11 19:40:37

Not unreasonable at all. We bought a house earlier this year and I think it's probably best to view with and without the vendor. Although it might be useful to ask a few questions (they're always going to give biased answers though aren't they) I think there is a risk that you will like the owners rather than like the house. Or vice versa reject a house because you didn't like the owners.

Over all though the only time I felt uncomfortable having a good look around was when the house was let, and the renting family sat around in silence whilst we tried to discuss the house without being too disparaging about their furniture.

catinthestripyhat Sat 22-Oct-11 19:43:09

My mum is currently selling her flat and she has been out on all of her viewings. I think she prefers it. She did that on her last house too. She doesn't think there's anthing strange about it.

AnnoyingOrange Sat 22-Oct-11 19:46:19

we were present at all viewings when we sold our house, but left the agent to show people round.

we never saw the agent for the house we purchased - the owners had to show us round every time

cantspel Sat 22-Oct-11 19:48:49

I have veiwed alot of property in the last few months in our seach for a new home. Some the owners were present and some the agent did the veiwing, but the best one was a house we viewed where the owners did the viewing theirselves and when showing us their teenage sons bedroom he was lying on the bed with his laptop viewing porn.

ratspeaker Sat 22-Oct-11 19:54:21

In Scotland it's normal for the house owner to be the one showing folk round.
personally I wouldn't like strangers being in my house without me being there

mickeyjohn Sat 22-Oct-11 19:55:40


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