How to host your own viewings
So, potential buyers have been showing interest in your home. That’s great – now it’s time to convert that interest into offers.
We’ve pulled together our top 5 tips for hosting your own viewings.
Our Top Five Tips for showing people around
1. Get your property looking its best
First impressions count. Make sure everything is clean, tidy and well presented before your buyers arrive. Remove any unnecessary clutter and ensure your sides are clean. Open the windows for a few minutes to ensure the house smells fresh – if it is cold outside make sure you do this early enough in the day that the house is still warm!
If you’ve got a driveway, move your car so that your potential buyer can park easily.
2. Practice makes perfect
Practice showing buyers around the house – if you have a willing friend give them a tour of the property. If it feels logical, start in the best room of the house. This makes a good first impression and then you can also end here to answer any questions.
3. Use small talk to your advantage
Asking a few questions can help you establish who your potential buyer is and what they are looking for. You can then use this information to give them relevant information about your house and the area.
If you’re talking to a family, you should mention the park or the fact that it’s a quiet street. Perhaps the little room on the top floor would make a perfect play room or snug?
4. Take time to answer any questions
Give your potential buyers time to look around and ask questions. Buying a house is likely to be the biggest purchase we ever make so it is understandable that people want to take time looking around before deciding.
Make sure that you are aware of basic information about your property such as how old the boiler is, the council tax band and average utility bills. Knowing any good local schools or sort after amenities is also helpful.
Remember, you need to answer questions honestly. It is illegal to mislead a potential buyer about your property – for instance if they ask about planning permission and you have previously had this turned down, you need to be honest and tell them.
5. Make sure they know next steps
If it is a first viewing, you can let them know what do to arrange a second viewing or to make an offer. It can be helpful to highlight if you have multiple viewings lined up so they get a sense of urgency.
Questions you should be prepared to answer
We’ve pulled together some questions you should be prepared to answer so that you don’t get caught off guard.
1. What are the transport links like?
You probably know this like the back of your hand already. If you don’t, it might help to do a little research. This will be of key importance to commuting professionals.
2. What is the local area like?
This should be easy if you’ve lived there for a while, but remember to tailor your answer based on what you think they want to hear.
3. What are the neighbours like?
Hopefully your answer can be “Lovely, never had any trouble”. If not, prepare your answer well before you need it.
4. Is there anywhere to park?
If the property doesn’t include parking facility, try to help them out if you can. “There isn’t parking here, but the side-road a few streets over usually has spaces.”
5. How much are bills on average a month?
Remember to think about council tax, gas and electricity.
6. Does the property have planning permission for X?
Even if the answer is no, you can reference what has been done on the street around you. For instance if lots of people have done a side extension or loft conversion you can mention this.
7. Who owns the freehold?
If it is leasehold they might want to know how much you pay as a share of the freehold.
8. Can you move on the price?
The best way to tackle this question is to pre-empt it. Casually mention that you have been run off your feet with viewings to put them off asking.
If they ask anyway, and you don’t want to budge for the moment, just decline politely. They’re probably just testing the water – and you can always re-negotiate later on if you’re short of offers.