At last, the house that you have fondly loved, but no longer meets your family’s needs, is on the market and the estate agents have worked their magic. It’s time for the house viewings. (Also see our guide to choosing an Estate Agent and finishing off the snag list: preparing your house to sell).
You’ve got a couple of house viewings booked in, and you are all trying your hardest not to get too excited about the prospect that the next couple who walk in to view your home could be the ones who are buying your house.
When selling your house, there are two standard options for house viewings; viewings that conducted by the owners, and viewings that are conducted by the estate agents – i.e. a professional house seller!
Both of these approaches to selling your house have their pros and cons; the home-owners will obviously know more about the house that’s being sold and will be able to answer questions from the house buyers and maybe convey more emotion about the positive aspects of the house for sale.
Alternatively, the estate agents are well practised in selling houses and they are experts in letting the house do the talking – not over talking and putting house buyers off with too much information.
The Estate Agents are experts in following up on any buying signals from the house buyers with qualification questions – ensuring they handle any objections with the skill of a pro salesperson.
Whichever option you choose for selling your house, you most likely want to know how to sell your house quickly and that mostly comes down to you making sure that the house is ready to view.
Make sure that the house is tidy, organised, and decluttered. Try and package up and ship off stuff you don’t need to temporarily house it in a low-cost storage unit. Make sure that everything in the house has a place so that you don’t give an impression of a lack of storage by having all your stuff spread over the house and on the surfaces.
Clear away that desk lamp that’s on the worktop. Things like this are saying to buyers that you have a gloomy kitchen.
It’s a good idea (on a nice day) to have the windows of the house open in advance. The house shouldn’t be too hot or cold, but there should definitely be a sense of fresh air in the house and no stale smells. There mustn’t be any condensation on the windows. The bathroom
Out in the garden, make sure you have recently cut the grass and got rid of the cuttings to the local household refuse site or in your brown bin. Ideally, do this the day before so that it’s a fresh cut but not too fresh in case your prospective purchasers are also hay fever sufferers. You don’t want the prospective buyers of your house to be trying to view your house through streaming eyes!
You may have heard of the age-old tips and tricks for house viewings including having fresh coffee brewed on the side, fresh bread (or part baked rolls) freshly baked, and flowers displayed around the house might be clichés, but the truth is that these little touches do work when you are trying to sell your house quickly.
If you are doing the house viewing, then try and find out about the viewers in advance from the estate agents. Use this information to shape your questions to them. Use open questions and let them speak, learn what they like and dislike and make your house fit their likes. Do not give more information than necessary. You may say something that puts them off.
For example – if the Estate Agents have told you that the people viewing your house are interested in it because they want to start a family, then make sure that you have thought through what this means in terms of the features they are looking for.
If the potential house-buyers are looking for a slice of suburban heaven ready for their transition from care-free twenty-somethings to nappy-bag-carrying parents – then make sure you include a short context statement about “the local school is just wonderful – it has a real family feel to it” followed up by an open question “are the local schools important to you?” to enable the buyers to then go on and talk about the specific details that are important to them. You can then make sure that you have answered positively any of their questions in this area.
Open the curtains and let the light flood in. If you have the slow warming energy saving lightbulbs, then switch them in before the buyers arrive. They won’t hang around in each room long enough for light to fill the room.
Open or shut doors strategically so that the journey around the house is an unfolding story – you don’t want them to stand in the hall and see the whole house without moving a foot.
And one of my biggest bug-bears; let the buyers walk into rooms first. If you go in ahead of them then you are adding an unnecessary body into
It should go without saying but smile and be friendly. Have a good reason for moving… Just don’t say it’s because “we hate the house, it’s a money pit”
Oh… And good luck!
photo credit: Kevin Shorter