Step 4 - Getting the most out of viewings
Now you have signed a contract with an estate agent and they have compiled your Home Information Pack, you need to get your home ready for viewings and give your house the best chance of selling. First impressions count so put yourself in the buyers' shoes and think about how you can enhance your property's draw.
Consider its "kerb appeal"; the first thing potential buyers will see before they even get past the front door. Here are some things to look out for:
- Does the front of your house need smartening up?
- Could the front garden be tidier?
- Would the front door look better with a fresh lick of paint?
- Could the front windows do with a clean?
Look at the inside with a critical eye too:
- Keep it clean and tidy. De-clutter and use sensible storage. Potential buyers will want to visualise how they can fill the space
- Undertake any minor repairs that need doing so buyers will need to really try hard to find any negatives
- If you want to re-decorate, go for neutral tones, which will appeal to a wider audience
- Make your house comfortable, cool on hot sunny days and warm if it's winter
- Banish smoke or pet odours. Open the windows, brew some fresh coffee and add finishing touches such as fresh flowers, to brighten the place up
- Bring out the best features such as fireplaces and use mirrors to increase the sense of space.
Our advice for handling viewings to make the best of the opportunity to sell your home.
Once you have received an offer, be prepared to negotiate. But remember, you don't have to sell to the highest bidder. A lower bidder might be better if they:
- Are paying cash (so don't have to wait for mortgage approval)
- Already have a mortgage "agreed in principle"
- Don't have to sell a property first (they could be first-time buyers or investors) or are in a short chain
- Can fit in with your timescales better than other buyers
If you are buying from a developer, see if they will offer a part exchange to buy your property from you.
Jargon Buster: Gazumping & Gazundering
A term used to denote a situation where the seller has accepted an offer but subsequently accepts a higher offer from another purchaser. This is legal and ensuring the property is taken off the market is one way of reducing this risk. Gazumping happens most frequently in a seller's market. Gazundering is the term for when a buyer reduces their offer just before the contracts are exchanged in the hope of forcing the seller to accept less for the property. Again this is considered legal.
Once you have accepted an offer you will probably be asked to take it off the market. It's your decision, but if you do, tell your agent that if the sale has not progressed after two weeks you'll want it back on the market.
If it's not selling…
- Ask your agent why they think it's not selling. What's the feedback from viewings?
- Can your estate agent 'freshen up' your property details on Rightmove with better photos and a more engaging description?
- Was the exterior photo clearly taken a long time ago in a different season? If so, ask the agent to take a new one
- Do you need to reduce the price?
- If a survey revealed a problem that led a buyer to renegotiate or pull out, consider getting repairs done.
Did you know..?
Your local estate agent can increase the attraction of your property on Rightmove by up to 10 times! Ask for details of Premium Listing or Featured Property advertising.