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Can I start measuring up before we exchange?

You’ve just found the house of your dreams. The sale is making good progress and you are starting to think about the practicalities of moving into your new home.

Can the sofa get through the front door?  What size curtains do you need to fit the bedroom window? Is the dining table too small?  Very often, homebuyers won’t have registered this kind of detail on the initial viewings and now, quite understandably, this information is key to a smooth house move.

But by asking for another visit before exchange, will it alarm the buyer that you’re having second thoughts and jeopardise the sale? If they have any reason for doubting your commitment, they might well start lining up other buyers to replace you.

Can you measure up before you exchange contracts?
Can you measure up before you exchange contracts?

There are no laws that say you can’t measure up before exchange. But one of the key things to consider before making another viewing request is to gauge the tone of the purchase so far. If you have made contact with the buyer’s solicitor and asked for initial paperwork and arranged a homebuyer’s survey early on, this will give the estate agent and the seller the impression you are committed to the sale. Asking for another viewing ‘to measure up’ is just another act of how resolute you are.

However, if the initial offer and acceptance period was a little bumpy - the seller might have had a lot of viewings or the property was in high demand with other potential buyers chomping at your heels – it may pay to have a little more patience until the contracts are exchanged.

The best thing to do is to have a chat with your estate agent so they can explain to the buyer the reasons why you want another look. A good estate agent will be aware of any tensions or concerns and will be the best person to advise you.

Most parties will want any dealings about the sale to be as open as possible. For the buyer this is the biggest purchase of their lives so far, so it’s important for them to get it right. Getting all the furniture planned out in the new house can only cement their commitment and excitement about moving in.

For the seller, if your buyer is having second thoughts wouldn’t you want them aired as soon as possible before you get close to exchanging? If someone is really going to pull out because their wardrobe won’t fit into a specific alcove, chances are the sale was doomed from the off.