Viewings and who should do them
1st October 2018
When you have decided to sell your home, one of the first things you will be doing is choosing an estate agent. One of the key decisions is whether you want to carry out the viewings yourself or if this is something you would like the agent to do for you.
Some estate agents believe that the owner of the house is the best person to show people around, after all, they ‘know the property best’.
Other agents, and us included, think they themselves are the only qualified person able to conduct the viewings, believing that viewers may feel a tad uncomfortable if the owner of the house is showing them round.
We believe that a mixture of both can be the best way forward…
As agent who carries out the majority of viewings, we ask our vendors to complete our comprehensive viewing notes, to ensure we are fully prepared for all the questions from the viewers.
The first viewing
In our opinion, the first viewing should always be conducted by the estate agent. Selling houses is what estate agents do – they are experts in selling and know exactly how to pitch the conversation. A good estate agent will give the viewer just the right amount of information to wet their appetite, without overloading them with too many unnecessary details. Estate agents are also very accustomed to building a ‘rapport’ with viewers, and ensuring that they feel comfortable enough to share any feedback or concerns. If concerns are aired at this early stage, the estate agent can iron out any problems immediately.
Your agent should arrive in plenty of time to ‘prepare’ the house for the viewing, but you could always help them by lighting any fires/candles, turning lamps on, making sure cushions are plumped up and generally doing any last-minute tidying.
Once your estate agent arrives, it’s best for you to leave the house; you could go and do a food shop, visit your friend for a coffee, or walk the dog… just make sure you are out until you get the ‘all clear’ from your agent.
If you have a dog it definitely needs to go for a walk, not everyone loves our furry friends as we do. We will often arrive in plenty of time for the owner to attach the lead and head out so that dog beds/bowls and toys can be put away.
A second viewing can be conducted by the house owner, presuming the first viewing went well and there were no problems or issues.
If, however, the second viewing involves more people, for example, a partner or another family member (some viewers like a second opinion from friends or relatives, particularly if they are first-time buyers), it may be best to leave it to the estate agent again. We suggest you have a chat with your agent and use your discretion.
So, your second viewing is imminent – just the same applies as with the first viewing. Make sure your house is spotless, tidy and ‘staged’ ready to ‘wow’ your viewers. If you, the owner, are conducting the viewing, be friendly and calm. Shake their hand and make them feel welcome, without being too overpowering. Allow them time to wander around the house alone so they can discuss their ideas and thoughts. It may be an idea to offer them a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit when they return downstairs so you can have a chat and build up a rapport. If they feel comfortable with you, it allows them to bond with the property too.
Also, if you have built up a relationship with your viewers, it makes it less likely that they will put in a cheeky offer, and more likely that they will offer a reasonable and respectable amount (us Brits are probably too embarrassed to make an insulting offer once we have met someone face to face). Any negotiations on price are more likely to be respectful, which is a bonus.
We suggest that you discuss a strategy for viewings with your estate agent, which should put your mind at rest about the whole process of welcoming strangers into your home.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0161 871 7071