How to make the most of your property viewing (what to look for) ….

5th June 2023
Home > News > How to make the most of your property viewing (what to look for) ….

Dolan Property

Your trusted Marbella real estate agent and property specialist on the Golden Mile.

How to make the most of your property viewing (what to look for) ….

5th June 2023

By Michael Dolan


Buying a new property; be it your dream villa, a starter home, or a buy-to-let investment; is exciting, and whether this is your first time getting a foot on the property ladder, or you are a seasoned pro, you will want to get it right.

However, choosing the right place for you, and spotting any potential problems, can be a little overwhelming. There is always a lot to take in when viewing a place, and that means things can be easily missed. Knowing where to look, and what to look out for, can give you some extra assurance that you are on the right track.

Here are our top tips to get the most out of your property viewing.


Prepare, and do your homework.

It is always best to be prepared. Ideally, sit down before you even start viewing any properties and write a detailed description of what you are looking for. If you give this to the real estate agent, they can ensure the properties you view are the ones most likely to meet your criteria. Saving you from traipsing around numerous houses and apartments that were never going to be right for you.

Make a checklist, it is easy to forget things when you are under pressure. Include a list of questions that you would like answered. What are the local schools like? Where is the nearest medical centre? How far away is the supermarket? You might not get an answer to all of them, but you will likely get an idea.

Which is why it is also important that you do your own research. Check out the location online, ask people you know who live in the area, choose an agent who is local and well recommended.


Does it have everything you need?

Make sure that the property you are viewing meets all your needs. Does the layout work for you? Is it the right size? Does it have a garden/terrace? Are there enough bathrooms?

Do you have a big extended family or lots of friends, do you entertain regularly? Do you need to factor in extra room for guests? Check that there is enough space. Is the lounge a good size, what about a dining room? Will you have a spare guest bedroom?

What about storage? Is there plenty of storage space, or is there the capacity to make some? It is no good having a beautiful family home, with nowhere to stow all the paraphernalia a household collects. 

Take your time.

Take your time over your viewing, don’t feel pressured by the presence of the current owners or an agent, to rush through and only have a quick look around. Really get the feel of the place. If you like it, go back again for a second, or even third time. Try viewing at a different time of the day, it is always best to do the first property viewing in daylight so you can see better, but you might want to try in the evening when the neighbours are home, or when the bar down the road is open, just so you can check out the noise level. Maybe even take a friend or colleague with you, someone whose judgement you trust, who can be detached, unemotional, and completely impartial.

If you are buying a doer-upper, then take your builder or contractor. Get them to have a look at what needs doing, give them a chance to properly assess any damage or work that you intend to undertake. This way they can be honest about what is achievable, and how much it is going to cost.

Take plenty of photos, especially if you are viewing several properties. This way you will be able to remember them correctly, and review them later at your leisure, in quiet, possibly with another friend or family member who can ask pertinent questions.


Red flags

A red flag doesn’t automatically mean you wouldn’t go through with a sale, but if there are any potentially expensive issues, you’d rather know about them in advance, and budget for them.

Some common things to look out for include –

  • Damp - Check for damp and mould, or any big patches of stain.
  • Boiler - Ask how old it is? Has it been tested?
  • Cracks - Small cracks could just be the house settling, but large cracks could be an indication of an issue with subsidence or the foundations.
  • Electrical issues - Turn on a few lights, check the plugs (tip: take a mobile charger with you and see if it charges your phone when you plug it in). You are not going to be able to tell if all the electrics are okay simply by looking, however, if there is a major problem this may give some hint.
  • Windows/double glazing – Do the windows work properly. Can you open and shut them okay? Not all properties have double glazing, and here in Spain it may not necessarily be a requirement. But if you are looking to buy a home in a colder climate it could be expensive to have to add throughout.
  • Central heating – Again, not commonplace in Spain, and probably seems unnecessary (though it can get cold in the winter months), and no heating at all may be a problem for you. So, check out what is available at the property.
  • Air conditioning - Almost a necessity if you are here on the Costa del Sol in July and August. Does the property have air con, what type? It can be expensive to run some models, so see if it has the ones with economy setting; just so you know what you are getting yourself into.
  • Roof/brickwork/gutters - Are there any tiles missing? Can you see any obvious damage? What is the brickwork like? Are the gutters okay, or are they hanging off?  

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you an idea of where to start.


A lot of property experts will tell you the same thing; that it is fairly common to get a gut feeling the moment you walk into the right place for you. If there are issues, it doesn’t mean it’s a complete no. But it will help you to decide what you can afford, and it will stop you being hit with a nasty surprise, after you have already signed on the dotted line…



Property Sales in Marbella


If you are looking for a holiday retreat, a permanent residence, or you want an investment property - Marbella’s mix of the luxurious gated developments, picturesque mountains and beaches, and the private tranquil urbanisations make it the place to buy on the Costa del Sol.

We are seeing a huge demand for all categories of real estate - apartments, townhouses, detached villas - and we are actively looking for all types of properties for our buyers. It is a vendor’s market and if you are looking to sell, now is the time.

We understand that choosing a new home is a big step, and for those of you buying or selling a property in a foreign country, it can be very stressful. Our team of real estate experts provide a full ‘hands on’ service. We work in partnership with you (our client), your lawyer and any other professional advisers or consultants.

Dolan Property is here to help you through the whole process, every step of the way. We are based in the heart of Marbella’s Golden Mile and specialise in high quality, desirable properties in prime residential locations; Nagüeles, Sierra Blanca, Cascada de Camoján, East and West Marbella, Istan Road, Nueva Andalucia, and the new Golden Mile in Estepona.

Dolan Property specialists are committed to the highest levels of business and ethical standards, and we are proud members of the Leading Property Agents of Spain (LPA).

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