Property viewing: how to prepare for buyer and tenant visits
Whether you’re selling or letting, a property viewing is essential for any would-be buyer or tenant. You’re asking them to think of your property as their new home. A neutral canvas can help them see how to use the space as their own.
Follow these easy steps so you can make a property viewing a success.
- Quick fixes to enhance a property viewing
- Tidying up before a property viewing
- A property viewing starts from outside
- How to stage your home for a property viewing
- Some final thoughts
- What to do if you’re already prepared.
Quick fixes to enhance a property viewing
If your home is in reasonably good condition, it’s easy for visitors to spot small areas of disrepair during a property viewing, as they will stand out more. A few things to look out for are:
- Missing or broken door handles
- Holes in walls
- Broken tiles
- Cracks in plaster
- Torn carpet
- Scuffs on the walls.
These small things will make a lot of difference to your property’s appearance, so fix them where you can. If possible, it’s worth giving the place a lick of paint, because it will really freshen it up.
If your property has tenants, let them know you’d like to carry out some small repairs. Remember to give at least 24 hours of notice. However, make sure they agree to the visit.
Tidy up before a property viewing
It may seem obvious, but even a small amount of mess can be off-putting. In short, this means:
- Do the washing up
- Put away laundry, toys, and clean dishes
- Straighten out and plump up cushions
- Make the beds
- Put away toiletries in the bathroom
- Make sure shoes aren’t lining the hallway
- Move pet items — such as beds, litter trays, and cages — and make sure they don’t smell
- Open the windows so the place is fresh.
This can be a bit hard if your property has tenants, as a property viewing can feel intrusive. It’s in tenants’ interests to be co-operative, though: the quicker you find replacements, the fewer visits there’ll be to the property. Also, if you’ve been a good landlord, they’ll want to do what they can to help.
Gently remind tenants you’d like to carry out a property viewing, and you’d be grateful if they tidied up. Again, you must give 24 hours of notice and they must agree to the visit.
You also might want to provide a cleaner free of charge the day before they move out, to make sure it’s ready for any property viewings.
A property viewing starts from outside
The first thing your buyer or tenant sees is the outside, and an uninviting exterior gives the wrong impression. You want to try and create a good feeling before anyone steps inside. Here are a few things to increase kerb appeal:
- Move bins to the back of the property
- Remove weeds and rake up leaves
- Trim hedges
- Add some greenery
- Make sure door numbers are level
- Make sure the doorbell works
- If there’s a gate, make sure it open and closes properly
- If possible, provide somewhere to park. Move your own vehicle so visitors can park in the drive if necessary.
It’s also a good idea to give clear instructions on how to find your property. It’s stressful and off-putting if visitors spend a long time looking for it and gets the property viewing off to a bad start.
How to stage your home for a property viewing
‘Staging’ simply means preparing your home for a property viewing and increasing its appeal, and there’s really no limit to what you can do. You could make some refurbishments to add value, but even the small things can make a lot of difference. Here are a few ideas:
- Lounge: add a few plants or a vase of flowers, some cushions or throws on the sofa, and maybe a rug if you have hard floors — it will certainly soften the space
- Kitchen: a tea towel over the oven door — or even some oven gloves — will make the place seem more homely
- Bathroom: hang freshly laundered towels over the railing, and fold the toilet roll into a pointy tip
- Bedroom: launder the bed linen and add a few scatter cushions
- Scent: try something neutral to appeal to all tastes. Remember, the best smell is often no smell
- Layout: consider rearranging furniture to maximise space — or to show how the space can be used. For example, if you have a daybed, pull it out to show your property’s full potential.
- Inspiration: look through some magazines to see how professionals do it, and get some ideas.
This can be difficult if your property has tenants. But if it’s empty and unfurnished, these final touches will make the space feel less cold. Before a property viewing, see if you can add some furniture. Then tenants can visualise how to use the space.
Did you know?
Unfurnished rental properties usually include flooring and curtains/blinds, often white goods, as well as an oven/hob. It’s then up to tenants to provide anything else they want.
Property viewing final thoughts…
While it’s hard to let go of your emotional attachment to your home, it’s useful to do so now. A neutral home without too many personal effects will help buyers see it as their own. Also, decluttering now will help no end come moving day.
For more home-seller tips, visit our Knowledge Hub.
A lot relies on whether your property has tenants and your relationship with them. Hopefully, they’ll understand you need to find new tenants and will be co-operative.
However, if your relationship with them isn’t the best, it’s worth waiting until they’ve left before you carry out a property viewing — you don’t know what they might say! Once the property is empty, following these steps should be easy and you’ll find tenants in no time at all.
For more landlord tips, visit our Knowledge Hub
Already prepared for a property viewing?
Why not have one of our experts show buyers or tenants around your home? Drum up the competition with an open house viewing, and have up to eight buyers or tenants see your home over a one-hour time slot.