At last the house is on the market and the estate agents have worked their magic. You’ve got a viewing booked in and you’re trying to not get too excited about the prospect that the next couple who walk in could be buying your house.
There are two options for viewings; viewings conducted by the owners, and viewings conducted by the estate agents. Both approaches have their pros and cons; the owners will know more about the house and be able to answer questions, and maybe convey more emotion about the positive aspects of the house for sale. Alternatively the estate agents are well practised in selling houses and they are experts in letting the house do the talking and then following up on any buying signals with qualification questions – ensuring they handle any objections with the skill of a pro salesperson.
Either way, you should ensure that the house is ready to view. Make sure that it’s tidy, organised, and decluttered. Try and ship off stuff you don’t need to a low cost storage unit. Make sure that everything has a place so that you don’t give an impression of a lack of storage.
Clear away that desk lamp that’s on the worktop. It’s saying to buyers that you have a gloomy kitchen,
Have the windows open in advance. The house shouldn’t be too hot or cold, there mustn’t be any condensation on the windows. The bathroom mustn’t smell damp.
Cut the grass and get rid of the cuttings. Ideally do this the day before in case your prospective purchasers are also hay fever sufferers.
Fresh coffee, bread, and flowers might be clichés, but the truth is that they do work.
If you are doing the viewing, then try and find out about the viewers in advance from the estate agents. Use this information to shape your questions to them. Use open questions and let them speak, learn what they like and dislike and make your house fit their likes. Do not give more information than necessary. You may say something that puts them off.
Open the curtains and let the light flood in. If you have the slow warming energy saving lightbulbs, then switch them in before the buyers arrive. They won’t hang around long enough for light to fill the room.
Open or shut doors strategically so that the journey around the house is an unfolding story – you don’t want them to stand in the hall and see the whole house without moving a foot.
Let them walk into rooms first. If you go in ahead of them then you are adding an unnecessary body into the space and making it feel more cramped.
Smile and be friendly. Have a good reason for moving… Just don’t say it’s because “we hate the house, it’s a money pit”
Oh… And good luck!
photo credit: Kevin Shorter