The Property Viewing Commandments
Property viewings are where the worlds of science and art converge. There are elements that are logical, but more often than not it is a feel of how to conduct them. One needs to remember, that by the time a viewing takes place, it is highly likely that the interested party has done their research beforehand. In other words, positivity should be running high as someone has wished to take it this far. However now is the time to get it right, in order to maximise the opportunity.
Here are my top ‘property viewing commandments’ that will help you sell your home.
Don’t be home during the viewing
By far the most significant is that you are not there. First viewings on the most part should be handled by the estate agent – they have no emotional connection to the property and are far more likely to get open honest feedback from the viewer. Equally if there is something they don’t like, the estate agent can try to address their reservations. Only when it comes to second viewings and depending on the type of viewer should you (the owner) be there. However don’t be offended if the estate agents asks that you go out for a walk.
Know who will be showing your home
At the early stages of seeing the estate agents, you need to ascertain exactly who will be showing people around your home. This can vary wildly depending on the estate agent you go with. It is vital that a good majority of the team view the property, as they can then sell from a position of strength. There is nothing worse nor more infuriating than calling an estate agent and they say, ‘I’ll just get the brochure’.
Understanding your property
When it comes to the viewing itself, you don’t want a ‘door opener’ type viewing estate agent either. You need someone that knows the property, is there early to turn on the lights and can professionally accompany around. Do remember that on first viewings, people rarely want the detail and more of an initial look round. This is also why owners should keep away, as they often elaborate too much and overload the viewer. The key is that the estate agent listens and tunes in to exactly what the viewer is looking for and the reasons why. Then point out why your home would work for them.
Present with emotion
Another key point is that one should present with emotion and by that I mean you should ignore the media. They suggest you should clear out a room and remove all personal effects. However this is the wrong advice as a home is an emotional purchase. Viewers want to see how you live and the lifestyle that goes with this. Remove this and your sale will immediately fall flat.
Write a home cheat sheet
Given the number of properties an estate agent handles, it is worth writing them a brief cheat sheet of key points around your home for them to refer to. Who made the kitchen, what is the broadband speed, what are the neighbours like? This again will help them command the viewing and sell from a position of strength.
After the viewing, never ask how it went as you will get a false impression. The estate agent should wait 24 to 48 hours so that they receive considered and thought through feedback. If the estate agent receives a call from a viewer before this, you know they are interested.
Decline the virtual tour
Lastly, never put a virtual tour of your home online. Not only is this a breach of security, but you are giving a potentially interested party the option to say ‘no’ before they have even been through the door. They may have got the wrong impression, however if you give everything away upfront, what incentive does a viewer have to engage with the estate agent? None!
These are my property viewing commandments and if you miss these, then you may need to go to the sin-bin. For more helpful advise on selling your home, click here.