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Property Viewings are an Art, not a Science

February 2019

Getting footfall across the threshold is key to securing the sale of your home. The more viewings you have, the more likely you are to end up in the fortunate position of having offers on the table. Of course, the more offers you receive, the more likely you are to get a top result.

I’ve made this point before, but it is SO important. The agent’s front of house office team are critical in your house sale. It amazes me that so many vendors still overlook them, but these are the people to whom interested parties will first speak. These first impressions can make the difference between getting a viewing and turning potential buyers away. So this team needs to be able to talk fluently, with enthusiasm and knowledge about your home. It will give potential viewers confidence in the agency and start to build a sense of trust, which means they are more likely to book a viewing.

Therefore don’t be afraid to ask those at the front end to go and see your home themselves, before it officially goes on the market. If they’ve seen it in person, they can sell your home more effectively and talk about it genuinely, which any buyers will sense. If you’re unsure how knowledgeable and experienced your chosen agent’s front of house team are, go and ‘mystery shop’ them in advance of instructing them.

So you know viewings are critical to getting your property sold, but how do you get the best out of them once they are booked?

Well, presentation is key. Don’t listen to ‘experts’ who suggest removing all family photographs and painting rooms clinical white. A property purchase is an emotional process, so why present your home like a bland hospital? No one likes going to hospital! Of course, you need clean and clear sight lines and no one wants to see your clutter, but do have books, ornaments and family photographs out as this gives your home lifestyle appeal.

The front door and entrance hallway are the first things people see and initial impressions are vital. Make them as inviting as possible and avoid having coats, bags and shoes lying about. Keep it clear of other obstructions and ensure it is clean and welcoming. Imagine an agent bringing a couple and their children to view your home on a rainy day. How will you give the impression of space while getting everyone inside as quickly as possible with the least hassle? A useful trick is to have the door into the first reception room wide open, so people can filter from the hall straight in.

Creating the right ambience is important, so make sure your rooms are displayed to their best with subtle lighting, either natural daylight through clean, unobstructed windows, or subtle diffused light from well-placed lamps or wall-mounted uplighters. Overhead or pendant lighting can be a bit harsh, so only use it if absolutely necessary.

In my opinion, agents should always accompany potential buyers and you, the seller, should make yourself scarce. If you’re hovering and listening to what the viewer is saying, you will definitely not get honest feedback, which can be extremely valuable. When the viewing is being wrapped up, the agent should bring the viewer back to the room or feature that they most admired, so this aspect will be lodged in their mind when they leave.

To ensure the agent has key information to hand, give them a ’crib sheet’ with brief bullet points which answer any questions viewers might have, such as queries about any works carried out, rights of way, local schools, amount you pay for utilities, furniture that’s included in the price and that sort of thing. Having that information at their fingertips will impress potential buyers.

In the current mixed market, viewings and communication have never been more important, and showing someone around a house is an art. Get these key cornerstone points right and you will maximise all your viewings.