My First Property

Can I Take Photos When Viewing Property?

We are all told to be as thorough as we possibly can when it comes to the house-viewing process.

As you'll find out via the other articles in this section of the site, it is recommended to come up with a checklist of things to take a look at when going around a potential home, so that you can tick these off and check they meet your requirements as you go around, and also so that you don't forget.

In addition it is recommended that we look at the property several times, at different times of day, and also consider the wider surrounding area, too. Only then should we think about putting in an offer, it is suggested.

Given this, then it can be seen that it could be useful to take some photos. Particularly if we are going around several properties, then we might get confused: was property A the one with the big living room and kitchen with an island, or was that property E, or F, or Z...

Set against this is the fact that the literature for most properties these days has several photos, that should be enough to jog your memory, BUT of course they tend to show a property from its best angles.

However, if you go to a property and notice that the garden slopes much more than you thought, say, or has steps to the garden, and you want to check with an elderly relative if they think they'll be able to manage it, then it's easiest to ask that question by showing them a photo and seeing what they think.

So in summary, it can clearly be useful to take your own photos when going around a property, either to jog your memory later, to stop you getting confused about different properties, or so that you can photograph potential problems and think about how to resolve them from the comfort of your own home. Or even if you're really keen so you can best visualise how you are going to make use of the unusual nooks and crannies of the home when you take ownership of it down the line!

The question is - should you do so? Are you allowed to take photographs of a property when viewing it? Central to this is the privacy of the current owner, and of course the fact that you are a complete stranger to them, and could have any sort of motive, from genuinely wanting to jog your memory later, to just being nosy, to something more nefarious or sinister.

The general consensus seems to be that you should always ask permission before taking photos when viewing a house - from the Estate Agent who is showing you round, or from the vendor if they are there. If the Estate Agent is not sure, they should check with the vendor; some vendors have the discussion with the Estate Agent beforehand. You should not bring out the camera and just assume it is OK - always check first; many will say it is fine, whilst others are not comfortable for obvious reasons.

Certainly most would draw the line at videoing, however, but if you have permission to use a camera then the one on most phones would suffice for the simple need you have when viewing of noting anything significant visually for future consideration. Also worth noting is that if the vendor is reluctant, they might soften on a second or third viewing when it is clear that you are serious about making an offer and not just being nosey taking photos of their fixtures and fittings!

Last update: 26 May 2015

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Finding Property at a House Auction
  2. Why you should visit a house at different times of day
  3. Budgeting and Saving Tips
  4. All you need to know about mortgages
  5. Buying Furnishings From The Seller


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