Forget the agent, why not do your own viewings?
Totally agree – if you are not worried about getting the best offer – but most sellers are.
The way in which a viewing is conducted is one of many vital elements you need to get right.
You are the person who knows your house best. Equally, you are the person who knows the buyers’ needs least. How your property is presented is extremely important, but once the potential buyer arrives, from there on it is their needs which are important, their opportunity to say what they like – or don’t like – about the property, and the skilled agent’s experience to guide them through the the property reflecting what would meet those needs and adding a perspective to the reasons why they initially might not have considered it further. A common error by sellers is to oversell their home, look too keen, or rush them around without allowing them sufficient time to really get a feel of what it might be like to live there.
Getting this part wrong can cost you thousands of pounds and many lost opportunities. Those agents who don’t offer it as part of their service are not supporting you when it matters most. Those who can’t be bothered to accompany viewers should be sacked!
It is absolutely critical that you are in the hands of an agent who regards this as a crucial part of the process. The next critical element is to leave your agent alone to conduct the viewing. Potential buyers are more likely to speak candidly about their needs and requirements without the owner present. They can take their time to view and not feel they’re intruding. They don’t need to concentrate on being a ‘good guest’; instead, they can concentrate on looking at the house – after all that’s what they’re there for. So, if you have children, dogs etc, take the opportunity to go out. Leave the house looking as immaculate as you can. If you don’t take care of the presentation, it will affect the final financial outcome, so pay attention to the detail. If you have pets, ask a friend to tell you honestly if the house retains any animal odour, check the teenage bedroom, mow the lawn, make sure the house is tidy, and the front entrance is welcoming. Buying a house is so often based on an emotional response so make sure your buyer’s is a good one.
Equally, be as flexible as possible on when people can view. It may be easier to let your agent have a key (with an agreement to phone beforehand so you can be prepared). If you’re going on holiday, don’t stop the viewings, that could be the ideal time as the agent can have easy access and you have only had to prepare everything once.
It is important also to remember it’s quality, not quantity, that counts; an experienced agent will have established what the buyers needs are in order to ensure your property reflects that criteria. Equally, they will have invested time finding out what sort of lifestyle they are seeking and, so, introduce properties they might not otherwise have considered – including yours. Understanding people is a vital skill – that comes with experience.