What's Your View on Viewings?
As a home stager, I get to see inside lots of people’s homes. I’ve seen homes that the owners have fallen out of love with, homes where certain rooms have been taken over by the owners’ hobby, however ‘unique’ that hobby may be, as well as homes where the owners, despite wishing to downsize once the children have left, still have such an emotional connection to the place that deep down I know they will struggle to sell.
So how can that emotional tie be cut?
The honest answer it that sometimes it can’t – the upheaval of moving house and starting afresh can be too much for some homeowners at that particular time. The most motivated vendors I see don’t have that emotional connection; they may still love their property and wish they could relocate it along with their possessions but they recognise it as their most valuable asset and will do whatever they can to capitalise on this.
Dealing with maintenance issues, clearing clutter and making sure your home goes on the market looking its best is all part of this but having an Estate Agent who will conduct the viewings on your property is also hugely beneficial.
Obviously, you still need to ensure your home looks stunning (see my tips below) but giving the responsibility of viewings to your Agent means potential buyers get a wholly objective view of your property and it makes the process far more business-like – selling your home is, after all, a business transaction. As the vendor, it means no awkward small talk whilst trying to pick up on non-verbal cues as to whether the viewers like what they see. Will they book a second viewing? Will they make an offer? And as we all know, after a good number of viewings with no actual offers the whole process does get rather tiresome.
Accompanied viewings are standard procedure in London and the home counties and are becoming increasingly popular locally albeit slowly. It’s certainly worth asking whether your Agent of choice offers this service and if they do, let them conduct your viewings. After all, you’ve instructed them to sell your property.
Whether your Agent or you as the homeowner will be showing potential buyers around there are a number of things you can do beforehand to ensure a positive response.
- Make sure the bathrooms are sparkling. Remove toiletries and other personal possessions. A set of freshly laundered fluffy towels always looks great.
- The kitchen is the most important space of any property. Make sure all surfaces are free of clutter – a vase of fresh flowers and a large bowl of fresh fruit are simple additions
- Open windows before a viewing to allow fresh air throughout
- Switch all the lights on including bedside and table lamps
- Arrange for pets to be elsewhere – they may be part of your family but buyers haven’t come to see them
- Make the most of the outside space even if it’s limited. A small table and a couple of chairs with some pots of seasonal plants can brighten the dreariest of spaces.