How to prepare for a viewing?

In this post, we discuss items that should be in your property viewing preparation checklist before going to a property viewing with a real estate broker. These tips will help you understand how things work and help you make the most out of every viewing that you go to.

1. Provide clear and specific requirements

If you haven't yet, provide specific and clear requirements to your broker so the broker will be able to filter the listings out there so that the ones that don't meet the requirements are not added to the viewing.

"I need a 2 bedroom condo" is not enough. What's the minimum floor area you are willing to consider? How many parking slots do you need? The shape of the unit or what is the view from the window of the unit? and so on and so forth. These requirements vary per type of use of the property. I have other posts that will tackle requirements for each specific type of property in more detail e.g. requirements for a condo, for a house and lot, for a commercial space etc.

 When I started in real estate the first few viewings resulted in the following comments when we were already viewing with a client.

a. "I don't like the angle of this side of this room" (i.e. unit is not square or rectangular)

b. "The property is too old"

c. "I don't like a bungalow type house"

d. "I don't like perimeter houses"

e. "The asking price is too high vs the budget"

f. "The property doesn't have a pool"

g. "We need a property with at least 2 parking spaces"

The result? We had to skip viewing the listings which meant time and effort was wasted since it does take time to travel from listing to listing unless they are all in the same area.

The sound bite here is to make sure to provide detailed requirements to the broker. If you do not know what you want and it's your first time you may let the broker know and a good broker should be able to elicit the requirements by interviewing you.

2. Agree on a start time and end time of viewing that works with your schedule. 

Start or appointment or meeting time means the time all have agreed to meet at the rendezvous point.

It is very important to understand that this time is NOT the time to depart from a previous meeting or engagement.

It is the time to ARRIVE at the rendezvous point no more no less. It means American time. 

You may have heard that in the Philippines, there is what is called Philippine time which means people arrive late even up to an hour or more i.e. fashionably late. This is unacceptable.

Please hold people accountable for their actions unless there are external factors that are out of their control i.e. acts of God or natural disasters etc. Otherwise, time can always be managed.

So given there is a start time there is naturally and end time in case either party may have another appointment.

Should either party, for example, be late for the meeting, it is only right that the party running late contact the other party ahead of time to let them know the estimated time of arrival and reason for running late.
    The sound bite here is to always be on time for the viewing at the rendezvous point. And if just in case you are ever late, give a heads up to the other party.

      3. Get the right critical few people at the viewing 

       Decide on who are the important people who have to be with you during the viewing. Make sure they are with you at the viewing so that you won't have to go another round of viewing again. Inform the broker how many you are so that arrangements can be made.

      Usually, you want these people to be there:

      1. Enduser - the actual person or persons who will be using the property.

      2. Decision-maker - the person who is given the full authority to decide if the property is right.

      3. Financier - this is the person holding the money.

      4. Extended advisors - all the other people who may get a say as inputs to the rest of the parties especially the end-user and decision-maker.

      Yes, a single person can hold these roles but it also may be split up across various people depending on the situation.

      The sound bite here is that the right people should be at the viewing so that you don't have to view the property multiple times.

      Should a video walkthrough of the property be available, best to get all stakeholders to review the video before even going on a viewing.

      4. Provide vehicle information for entry if needed 

      Do provide, when needed, full name and license plate number of the ones driving so easy to prepare entry for parking or security guards checkpoints.

      5. Familiarize yourself with the rendezvous point 

      Typically a rendezvous point will be designated. Please check google maps a day before so you are familiar with the rendezvous point is located. You may also use waze. If you are unfamiliar do advise you broker so that he/she can provide you with a map of sorts.

      Location of parking places also will help so that you don't have to fumble around looking for parking. If you are unfamiliar with the area please let your broker know so that they can help advise where parking is available.

      6. Charge your mobile phone


      Some coordination is needed when in a convoy of cars. Also for cases where you get lost keeping your mobile phone charged ensures a hassle-free continuous communication. The last thing you need is getting lost in a village where you have no way to contact the other party.

      7. Prepare your note pad or checklist 

      You might want to prepare your checklist or list of requirements you have provided the broker so that you can easily rate the property based on your checklist.

      But in my experience I rarely see people hold on to a checklist and they typically soak in exploring the property through and through since they pretty much know if they like the property when they see it.

      There are cases where you get the urge to take pictures of the property but please ask permission first. Many cases where personal effects are still in the property and owners don't want them exposed or owners have strict rules about not photographing property since they don't the property to be publicly exposed.

      8. Bring an umbrella and a drink 

      Keep safe from rain or extreme sunlight. A small one will do especially those automatic ones so it will be easy to open and pack-up. I got myself a fibrella umbrella from SM before and I love these umbrellas since the one I have is:

      a. small and compact fits in a bag

      b. automatic open

      c. automatic close

      d. has ultraviolet light protection

      e. reversible in case of strong winds - just flip it back

      d. limited warranty

      Whenever I go out I always pack it up and bring it with me. A lot of times viewings are out in the sun when looking at vacant lots or when giving a tour of the surrounding area around the property. When you buy a property you are not only buying the property but also the immediate area around lends value to the property. I typically tour my client in case they are not familiar with the area.

      Also given the sun, and the duration a viewing may take, a bottle of water will keep you hydrated from all the walking and/or talking.

      9. Tape measure 

      If you have furniture and appliances that you will bring with you to the new place then you probably want to measure things at the current place first before going on a viewing. And then when going on the viewing bring that tape measure along.

      Some of the things that people have measured based on my experience at the viewing are the following

      a. height and width of space for refrigerator - to check if their existing refrigerator will fit in the space in the kitchen

      b. the frontage of property - to check how many cars for parking can fit or there might be a minimum for say, for example, a gas station.

      c. ceiling height from the floor

      d. door width - for bringing things inside the house

      This list can go on and on but one key thing to note if things don't fit there may be ways to disassemble the item and reassemble them inside the property. Also re-doing specific sections of the property to fit appliances and furniture you are bringing is also an option.

      I typically bring my own tape measure along for my clients so in case the question should come about measurements voila! I have a tape measure!

      10. Plan ahead to be on time 

      I cannot overemphasize how important it is to always be on time for viewings so I am also calling it out here. Depending on the number of properties, a lot of coordination has gone in the background working with the owners, other brokers, security, caretakers and so on. So please be on time for the viewing. Delays will cause a rippling effect down the queue.


        It's always good to prepare before going on a viewing. By preparing and planning for a viewing, it will save you time, effort and money.

        Hope you enjoyed reading this. If you are looking for property: