Whether you’re a first-time seller dreading the thought or a seasoned pro selling for the umpteenth time, there’s a lot to learn about conducting a successful property viewing.
Such a vital part of the selling process, the viewing is the link between being On The Market and being Sold subject to contract. So, we’ve devised a sure-fire guide to making sure your viewing goes perfectly.
Before the Viewing
Positive Mental Attitude
(A positive mental attitude is the belief that one can increase achievement through optimistic thought processes)
Whilst this might not be the top of most advice lists, I believe developing a positive mental attitude before every viewing is the quickest way to increase your chances of selling.
To explain the point, imagine a negative seller talking to their friends over a glass of wine the night before “We won’t sell this house, it's on the main road, the kitchen is 30 years old”
They will start to believe this and it will show.
On the other hand imagine the positive seller “We will sell this house, I’m certain of it, it’s got great transport links, that’s why we bought it, and the price is attractive as we’ve decided not to install a new Kitchen”
If you assume you’re not going to sell the property, I’m POSITIVE you won’t!
Focus on the Positives
This doesn’t mean omit the negatives, it means to accentuate the positives.
The negatives will arise on the survey report and will be more likely to lead to a withdrawn offer if not discussed, so we advise raising them factually at the correct moment in the viewing, not as the buyer is walking through or out of the door!
Focus on the aspects that made you fall in love with the property, the features, something unique, gadgets... and if the buyers aren’t local, give a positive report on the local area.
It may even be handy to spend half an hour noting the positives about your property, prior to the first viewing.
Your agent shouldn’t have taken the property to market without advising you how to correctly prepare your property.
However, If not, I've got you covered.. see my 2 blogs on First Impressions:
If you’ve left it a little late, the 2 essential tips from these blogs to take into a viewing would be
A staple of any well-presented property, however, if you are listing your property for sale we recommend one extremely deep clean, followed by regular cleaning throughout your sale process.
Professionally clean your carpets – Even with strict shoes off policy, winter see’s mud/dirt dragged through your property and summer attracts more visitors. All in all your carpets bear the brunt. Having your carpets professional cleaned will restore them to close to brand new.
Another one bites the dust! - Halloween is just around the corner but that’s no excuse for cobwebs.
Kitchens & Bathrooms should be the cleanest rooms in the house. Not an excuse for the other rooms to be upside down but make sure you assign a large proportion of your time to the Kitchen and Bathrooms.
Kill the Clutter
When it comes to prepping your property for sale, the best of intentions can be killed by unnecessary ‘stuff’. Don’t muddle your shelves, sides, tables with knick-knacks. Instead, try grouping a few specifically chosen items to add to the room.
In a snug, for example, remove or store the 80 books of varying condition and place 3-5 books of a good condition, propped up by a candle, vintage camera or that snow globe you never thought you’d use (if nothing else it’s a conversation starter).
Instead of scattering family photos, a section of wall dedicated to telling a story. This will leave further room for accessorising and leave the room feeling minimalistic, clean and tidy.
It would also be advisable to
- Have the house at a cosy temperature (put the heating on a timer if you’re coming from work)
- Light candles and use soft lighting (lamps, dimmed lights)
- Kill Odour - Remember, you might not be able to smell it, buyers can!
Prior to your viewing, you want to know as much as you can about the viewer:
- Buying Position
- Where they are moving from
- Who is the house for
- Their criteria specifically
There is other important information to be gathered prior to the viewing but this will differ from agent to agent.
Common questions that will most likely be asked.
- How long has it been on the market
- The reason for the sale
- Boundary information
- Technical information (Boiler, Loft Boarding, Cavity Wall Insulation)
- Running costs
- Guarantees on windows, boiler etc.
Remove the pets
Having a pet can be a fantastic conversation starter, however, it’s easy to forget that not everybody’s comfortable around pets, in fact, children can often be frightened and nothing is more exciting to your dog than new people to meet!
If your viewer is put in an uncomfortable position they will be rushing to leave your property, regardless of how close to the school it is or how attractive the price is.
It might be a nuisance but pop your dog around to your friend’s house for an hour.
During the viewing
A nice warm welcome
A very simple, but understated part of the viewing, but make sure your ready and you're listening for their arrival. Greet the buyers at the door pleasantly and ask them if they would like a drink (It's handy to have an assistant nearby for this as carrying out the viewing and making tea isn't easy).
Appeal to the individual
Consider the features that appeal most to that specific buyer.
In a couple, for example, establish which buyer is looking at the practical aspects of the property. For example, room to extend, more floor space etc.. as well as considering their financial investment... will the windows need replacing? Does the boiler need replacing? – To impress this type show them the gadgets! Electric gates or a built-in sound system.
And which buyer is considering the feel of the place, can they see themselves living there? Can they imagine sitting out in the summer, relaxing in the bath, having the family around? – It’s difficult to appeal to this as it’s a feeling, we would recommend giving some actual space and some thinking space.
Order of showing
Start with the best, end with the best.
Start in the best room on the ground floor, take the lead and show the rest of the ground floor then make your way to the garden! – Proceed to the upstairs, showing the bedrooms smallest to largest – showing the master first will make all the other bedrooms seem small – Make your way back downstairs and end in the room you started in!
Why show the garden middle viewing? If you get stuck out in the garden at the end of the viewing a few negative things can happen, things you really only learn by mistake.
- It's colder than you thought but you can’t cut the conversation short.
- It’s closer to the car and the viewers can make a quick exit!
Finishing the Viewing
We wouldn’t advise entering any negotiations at the property.
Whilst you may be delighted to get your minimum figure, you really need time to take stock of how good the offer is against the buyer’s position and other prospective buyers.
To avoid the doorstep negotiations, I ask my sellers to simply cite this line “Thank you for coming to have a look, if you think of anything we didn’t go over then Matt at Amber Homes will be in touch tomorrow and he can forward anything on to us”
On the flip side, if a buyer hasn’t made their mind up, this makes them feel comfortable that you aren’t asking for a decision there and then, however, it does indicate that tomorrow, we would love to know their thoughts or intentions.
Be positive, be prepared and finally be yourself!