When attending an open for inspection, there are a few essentials to bring with you: A tape measure, a note pad, a phone to take photos, and of course, an enquiring mind. This is your one chance when it's acceptable to be a sticky beak, so have your eyes and ears peeled.
Conduct a critical analysis
Bring your magnifying glass and binoculars, and leave behind your rose coloured glasses. Despite the excitement and anticipation, conduct a critical analysis. Look for any wall holes, mould, cracks in the wall, stenches etc. These may be covered up with paint, scented candles or other techniques, so be aware of other masking strategies. Are there signs of a previous tenant that smoked inside such as yellowing walls? When was the last paint job? Run the tap to check the water pressure.
Listen to what other people are saying whilst viewing the house as they may notice something you don't. Take note of any squeaky floors, breezy windows, and leaky taps. Pay attention to any noisy, busy roads, train tracks or crossings.
Look at the neighbourhood
Discover the neighbourhood - is it to your liking? Speak to the neighbours and get a feel for the area. Are there shops, a train station or a freeway nearby? Another important factor to consider is the parking surrounding the property.
Be aware of the techniques used to make rooms look bigger and more spacious. Is the bedroom roomy, or is there just minimal furniture? Ensure all essential furniture would fit without cluttering the room. Perspective and practicality is key!
Open cupboard doors, pantries, wine cellars, laundry rooms and secret hideaways. Any water stains and corrosion to the walls backing onto the showers or baths are a bad sign. Check inside the cabinets in all wet areas as water problems result in hefty repair fees. You may work out why the property is on the market just through your analysis of any damage or flaws. Check on any furniture or appliances included in the rent for example fridge, washing machine, dryer.
Impress the landlord
If you've found a comfortable property, you need to make a good impression on the agent and landlord to prove you are a suitable tenant. Whilst they will check your rental history, you want to make sure you appear reliable and respectable. Arrive on time, don't be too critical of the property and dress appropriately. Request more information from the estate agent to help you make an informed decision.