Have you noticed? The search for a new flat is similar to the search for a new job. You have to consider which flat suits you and what elements are important. The up-coming viewing appointment seems like a job interview. We’ll reveal our tips for a successful flat viewing.
Speed is everything: Arranging a Viewing Appointment
When you see an interesting ad, you have to be quick. Call the contact person right away. It increases the chances that the apartment isn’t taken, yet. Especially flats in good environments that were put up recently are gone in just a few days. As a general rule, you should always call if you’re provided with a phone number. Contact over the phone is more personal and first impressions are important. You can show your friendliness over the phone.
If there’s no phone number, write an email for an appointment to view the flat. Remember that your email address shouldn’t be something like firstname.lastname@example.org. At least by now you should get yourself a serious email address. You can introduce yourself in the email and offer some background information about your job. The key is to be short and concise. Check for typos before you click the send-button.
Well Organized: Preparation and Documents for the Flat Viewing
Just like a job interview you should be well prepared for the viewing appointment. It’s important to bring the following documents:
- an extract of your debt enforcement register (you can get it from your local agency)
- application documents
- rent self-declaration
What to Watch out for at a Flat Viewing
At a flat viewing, you have to keep two things in mind:
- If you want the flat, you need to leave a good impression. To do so, read our tips below.
- During the flat viewing, find out if the flat really matches your expectations.
Pictures in the ads sometimes don’t correlate with reality. Be honest and ask yourself during the viewing if the flat really satisfies your requirements. There’s nothing worse than realizing after the move-in that the plastering is crumbling or that there’s noise caused by the wind. Or that the neighbors are actually in a heavy-metal band and like to rehearse in the living room. Here are some tips and tricks to help you to avoid being deceived.
Does the Flat Match Your Expectations?
- Viewing appointments on Sundays are fishy. The volume of traffic is lower than during the week and the standard noise level will be difficult to estimate. The best way is to arrange an appointment during the week during after-work hours. Then, the neighbors are coming back from work and there’s a lot happening on the street. This way you can estimate the noise level.
- Open your eyes. You’ll see the first hints about the household by looking at the entrance and hallways. Are there garbage bags or is everything clean?
- How are the cellar and attic? Is there a place for a bicycle or a baby carriage? It’s worth asking about it, if you need a place to store bigger things.
- Are pets allowed? If this question isn’t answered during the viewing, you should absolutely ask. It’d be a shame to realize that pets aren’t allowed after signing the rental agreement.
How Is the Condition of the Flat?
- Look at the flat during the day. Then you’ll see every flaw. Are there suspicious stains in the bathroom? Are the walls in good shape? What about the floor? And the sanitary facilities? In the daylight, you can also see if the flat gets enough light. For some people, it’s important that their flat or bedroom is angled to a specific cardinal point.
- Bring a friend along. Four eyes see more than two.
- Don’t forget your camera. It’s ok to take pictures. You can look at everything again at home.
- Consider if your washing machine can be placed and connected. It’d be upsetting having to buy a new one. If there’s a laundry, you should read the usage regulations.
- It’s worth having a look at the condition of the windows or asking for the energy performance certificate. Otherwise, the heating costs could quickly increase in winter. Also, it’s useful to ask what kind of heating they have. If they are old, you can expect higher bills. You can also ask if there are any additional costs during your viewing.
- Are there enough plug sockets? Nobody wants to have tons of extension cables and multiple plugs. Also, ask about TV, internet, and phone connection.
- Does the apartment include a built-in kitchen? Or can you take it from the previous tenant? What about built-in closets? Feel free to ask these questions.
Now Things Are Getting Serious: Leaving a Good Impression
The decision of who’s getting the apartment depends on two points. Firstly, the renter wants the formalities to be a quick transaction. Therefore, you need to have your documents ready. Secondly, a good impression plays a big role.
It’s indispensable to be punctual and to have a well-groomed appearance. Leave the baggy sweatshirt at home. The renter should not think that you’re going to tear down the apartment. You shouldn’t mention that you’re rather messy or that you like to collect tons of deposit bottles under the sink. But you shouldn’t pretend too much either. Be as natural as possible and ask interesting questions. For example, if you don’t like the current carpets, ask the landlord if you’re allowed to change them. Ask about the neighbors, about obligations of the house rules, about shopping possibilities etc. He or she will remember you if you show interest.
Be prepared to be questioned about your living situation and your earnings. You don’t need to tell stories, just be short and concise. It’s important for the landlord that you pay your rent punctually and that you treat his property with care. That’s the kind of impression you want to leave at the viewing appointment. Give the landlord your phone number so that they can contact you directly.
Tip: Especially in big cities masses of people go to a single apartment viewing. But maybe you’ll still manage to get a private appointment with the landlord. That way your chance of getting the flat will increase.
Before you Sign the Rental Contract: Check the Neighborhood
In case you don’t know the neighborhood of the new apartment yet, you can combine that with the flat viewing.
Public transport: How are the means of transportation? Is there a bus stop close to the apartment or will you be taking long walks from now on? How long does it take to get to work?
Parking spaces: How many parking spaces are available? Is there a “blue Zone”? Are visitor’s parking spaces available? Is a highway entrance close by?
Kindergarten and schools: If you’re moving with children, it’s important to enquire about kindergarten and schools. Leisure facilities like sports clubs, playgrounds and parks can also be an argument for or against the new apartment.
And after the Viewing Appointment?
Did you really like the apartment? Sleep on it and if you’re still determined that you want to move into that apartment, then write an email to the landlord. Thank him or her for the appointment and make it clear that you want the apartment. We wish you all the best.