In a competitive market, it’s a challenge to get prospective buyers through the door, so when they arrive your property needs to be looking its best. Unfortunately, many owners don’t take the time to correctly prepare their property for viewings and this means that they aren’t giving the buyers the right impression.
By following our tips below, you’ll know that you’ve given yourself the best possible chance of a sale.
Try to get into the mind of the buyer
First impressions count, so imagine a prospective buyer walking over the threshold to your home. Consider EVERY detail and how it looks to the buyer. As it’s hard to be impartial, why not ask a friend to do it with you and point out what they notice, so that you have the opportunity to tidy things away or make small improvements to things which could be putting buyers off.
Declutter and depersonalise
Remove overly personal items and clutter. Nobody wants to see your toiletries in the bathroom, your washing on the radiators or your family photos on display. The buyer wants to imagine themselves living in the property and so it needs to be as close to a clean slate as possible.
Open up ahead of time
If you are not present for viewings, make sure your agent or keyholder opens up the property prior to the viewing. There is nothing worse than a potential buyer walking into a dark, uninviting property.
Light it up!
Make sure that ALL lights are ON throughout the viewing, and don’t turn them off as a buyer leaves a room - they may want to go back for another look!
Show off those views
Make sure curtains and blinds are fully open to give a sense of the location, allow buyers to admire the view and of course let the maximum light into the property.
Make it smell nice
Ensure there are no bad odours. If your property is empty this may need to be managed ahead of time as properties can get damp and musty when they are unoccupied. Air and heat a property in advance and ahead of each viewing flush toilets, spray room fragrance, bring in fresh flowers and light scented candles. There’s nothing as off-putting as a bad smell!
Manage the temperature
If it’s a warm day, switch on the air conditioning beforehand. Likewise, if it’s cold outside, make sure it´s warm inside your home for the viewing. You want your prospective buyers to feel comfortable and know that your property is a lovely place to live no matter what the temperature is outside.
Keep pets out of the way…completely!
Most people are pet-lovers, BUT dogs and cats (and birds and gerbils!) are an unnecessary distraction during the viewing. Also, if prospective buyers are nervous around animals or allergic, this will put them off.
Remove yourself from the viewing
It may feel unnatural, but your agent KNOWS the buyers. They will know the buttons to press, the observations to make, the objections to overcome. And your buyers will be able to talk freely about the property in your absence.
If you do need to be there during the viewing, don’t interfere. Try to stay in the background and keep out of the way. Trust that your agent knows what they are doing.
*Currently, of course, in-person viewings are looking very different due to Covid-19 restrictions. You can find the government’s latest advice on moving home in England during the pandemic, including guidance on viewings, by clicking here. There is separate advice for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but the rules are broadly similar.
**Sean Woolley is the founder and director of leading real estate agency Cloud Nine Spain.