In the olden days, way back in the time before the internet, the only way to sell your house was through a high street estate agent. Thankfully times have moved on and there are other options. More and more people are starting to wonder what estate agents are doing for that thick cut of the wedge from their house sale. Online estate agencies are on the rise and people are even starting to sell their house privately.
If you’ve decided to cut yourself free from the high street, you’ll have to learn how to do your own viewings for prospective buyers. Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as you think it might be as you know your house better than anyone and are passionate about getting it sold.
As you are giving buyers the first impressions you don’t want to blow it as soon as you get them in the door! Learn from these dos and don’ts so that you can conduct a professional house viewing.
Dos & Don’ts
- DO be welcoming and friendly. Introduce yourself and ask them a few questions but keep it professional. People don’t want to feel like they are imposing but at the same time they don’t want to feel like they’ve been invited round for dinner. It’s important that they can imagine themselves in your house so a more detached manner works better.
- DON’T ask too many questions or just keep talking.
- DO start with the best room first. You know the best bits of your house and the parts that still need a little work and so point them in the right direction.
- DON’T try and hide any problems. Lying is not going to get your house sold. Be honest and the buyers will make of it what they will. You could always offer to have things fixed, walls repainted if it seems like something is an issue.
- DO point out key benefits, like anything you’re leaving behind or features that might help sell it but keep it short and simple.
- DON’T try and sell it. We learnt that you can tell pretty fast if people like it or not – you start reading people. I’m not saying rush them out if they aren’t gushing over the garden but if they don’t look interested don’t try and sell it to them – you just end up sounding desperate.
- DO get rid of the kids and tidy up. I can’t recommend staging your house enough. You don’t have to be a professional to make a huge difference in the look and appeal of your house.
- DON’T bother with clichés – baking bread, brewing coffee won’t make much difference. A good quality air-freshener will be enough. If you’re worried about pet smells then get an honest friend or family member to come and have a sniff.
- DO – Give them time to look around themselves. Don’t follow them round – people want time to discuss things between themselves. Just make sure you’re on-hand for any questions.
- DON’T go overboard and demand to know what their intentions are before they leave.
Questions Frequently Asked During Viewings
Interested people will naturally ask questions and it’s important to be prepared.
- ‘Why are you selling?’
- ‘How long has it been on the market?’
- ‘How many viewings have you had?’
It’s a good idea to have answers ready as you don’t want to say something that will put people off – like it’s too small or ‘we need to be near some good schools for the kids’. Be honest about time on the market and viewings – the latter might even give a sense of urgency if they’re interested.
Don’t rely on high street agents when you don’t have to. Whether using an online estate agent or selling privately, learn how to show off your house at its best so that you can take control of your house sale and most importantly keep as much of the money as you can!
Have you done your own house viewings? Share your experiences here.