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By this estate agents mean the detailed description of the properties registered for sale giving all the individual particulars about the property. They should give a fair description of the property, but are not the result of an accurate survey. The information is largely gleaned from the seller during the negotiator’s inspection of the property at the outset. You can rely on the accuracy of these particulars as Regulations made under the Property Misdescriptions Act say that any false or misleading information could be an offence.

These days most property will be available on the Internet sometimes with the full particulars accessible, other times listed more briefly by whatever criteria matter most – location, price range, type, etc. With the increasingly sophisticated technology and faster transmission speeds, virtual tours of property are possible. This feature may help but they can distract: what you are looking at is the way the present owners have it furnished and decorated. That is not what is for sale! You are merely buying bricks and mortar. And maybe a few carpets. If anything looks remotely possible, please go and see it!

Incidentally, while on the subject of property descriptions – estate agents generally talk about property as being either ‘post-war’ – meaning built since 1945; ‘pre-war’ – if built between 1918 and 1939, and ‘period’ – for anything built before the First World War.

Property is not easy to date accurately, especially when modernised and adapted over the years, usually to appear to be more modern, but sometimes to imitate an earlier period. If the exact age of the house is critical to you, ask your solicitor to check from the deeds, or ask your surveyor to report his opinion on the point. The older the property, the less reliable will be any date you are given.

Remember an estate agent’s particulars are drafted to help sell the property and outline the features which may appeal to a wide range of potential purchasers. However we do not want you to waste time looking at something totally inappropriate. So please check with us if there is any feature – garden size, outlook, local facilities, whatever – which matters to you. This is especially important before travelling some distance to a viewing. That said, in a few years time you may well be able to inspect (and probably print off your own copy) the Home Condition Report which will have some of this information included – at least relating to the property.

While we try to keep our register of available property up-to-date, things can change very quickly especially in an active market. If you see something which seems attractive to you, don’t think about it for too long, follow it up immediately. You need not make a firm offer straightaway but once we know it is on your shortlist we can keep you informed of other interest. And if we know what you are looking for we can let you know as soon as anything suitable comes available – that’s all part of our service.

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