Advice guide centre
As your property goes on the market, make sure your property is prepared and speak to your agent to agree how and when you are able to do viewings. A full-service agent will normally offer accompanied viewings however some agents will offer the option of you undertaking the viewings yourself.
Agree in advance any times that are difficult for you to accommodate a viewing, for example during children’s tea time, so you don’t have the frustration of the agent always calling to arrange a viewing at the most inconvenient of times. Outside of these times try and be as flexible as possible, and having your home ‘always ready to view’ during the marketing period will help accommodate the last-minute viewing.
- The easiest way to handle viewings is to simply go out and leave the agent to do what they do best. A buyer will generally be more comfortable if the owner is out, so they can have an honest dialogue.
- Ideally if your agent holds a set of keys, there is no reason for your usual schedule to be interrupted.
- If you are going to be at home, say hello and then leave the agent and the buyer to it and busy yourself doing something away from them.
- Avoid following your agent and buyer around the property and adding your own commentary as it may undermine the agent.
- Don’t try and eavesdrop, you may not hear what you want to hear, especially if your property is not the right one for them.
- When the viewing is complete, thank them for coming, but avoid asking what they think or if they will be making an offer – leave the agent to do this and gather the feedback for you.
- Group viewings are increasingly popular and can attract competition between buyers.
Vendor direct viewings
If you are going to conduct the viewings yourself, here are a few suggestions that will help it go smoothly
- Be ready for them: If you are not prepared for their arrival, it could create the impression that you aren’t really interested in selling the property
- Be properly dressed: You don’t need a suit and tie but look like you were expecting them, if you look well dressed, it’s likely they will assume the same about your property
- Smile: Viewings can be intimidating for both buyers and the seller, so a smile will break the ice at the beginning
- Don’t talk too much: When we’re nervous we can often keep talking just to fill the silence and this can be off putting. If you are worried about saying too much try asking the buyer questions instead
- Don’t be personal: Sometimes we move during stressful or emotional situations, so always avoid being too personal when talking about your property. The prospective buyer doesn’t need to know the detail of the divorce you are trying to work through or that you don’t really want to sell the house but you are being made to!
- Refer to the agent: If you have instructed an agent to manage the process, don’t give the viewer your contact details for them to call you with any questions. Directing all contact through the agent which keeps a smooth professional base for negotiations.
- It’s not personal: One of the most important things an agent can do is to take the emotion out of the viewing, especially if the potential buyer is not as keen on your property as you are. Try and take a step back from the situation and avoid being defensive where possible.
It is important to remember that for the period you are marketing your property, your home should be set up ‘to be sold’ rather than set up ‘to be your home’. You may need to store additional belongings and perhaps be tidier than you would normally be, but recognising that doing so for the period the property is on the market, will help you get the best out of the sale.