PART ONE - PREPARING FOR VIEWINGS
DE-CLUTTER DOESN’T MEAN AN EMPTY HOUSE
Yes, you want your rooms to be light, bright and spacious – de-cluttering can help you to achieve this.
However, everyone has ‘stuff’. Most buyers are upsizing, so your potential buyer is thinking of where they’ll store their ‘stuff’.
Rather than getting rid of your ‘stuff’, make sure it’s tidy and organised - thus showing your home has practical advantages, too.
SCRUB, SCRUB, SCRUB!
There’s no getting away from this.
Unless you’re selling a house that needs a refurb, your property needs to show that it’s ready to move into.
Concentrate on the areas where potential buyers will walk through in the first 60 seconds. This includes external fixtures and features.
AIR THE HOUSE
Get fresh air into the house before trying to add warmth or a welcoming scent.
If the weather is cold or wet, then air the house in advance.
DRESS THE BEDS
Buy some throws and cushions so you can dress the beds especially for viewings.
CLEAR AWAY LAUNDRY AND DISHES
No one wants to see this when viewing a property, so make sure everything is clean and tidy.
PART TWO - CARRYING OUT A SUCCESSFUL VIEWING
Carrying out a viewing is one of the most misunderstood areas of estate agency.
Due to many popular home-improvement TV shows, there is a belief that your estate agent needs to promote not just the house’s current best features, but also its potential, the area, the schools, the neighbours etc, etc. ‘Zzzzzzzzz!’
When selling the home to buyers, the challenge is how can you talk less, but sell more. These tips will help you to overcome this challenge...
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
Don’t rely on the condition of your prized kitchen or bathroom to seal the deal. It’s too late.
The buyer may already have made up their mind; their first impression has made an impact; gained in no more than the first minute of getting out of their car.
After the first few minutes, the potential buyer is either thinking ‘Yes, I want to see more’ or ‘No thanks! How can I end this viewing as quickly as possible without being rude?’
Unfortunately, the viewing process can be as brutal as that!
SELLING VS TELLING
Without question, your agent needs be to taking the viewing every single time.
The main reason is a sales technique called selling vs telling.
If you don’t know the buyer’s precise requirements, you’re going to end up bombarding them with information; most of which will be irrelevant.
And by this point it’s too late to ask ‘What does your ideal home look like?’ or ‘Why are you looking to buy?’.
However, a good agent will already know the buyer’s ‘hot buttons’, so will highlight the relevant features and benefits of your home easily.
GIVE TIME AND SPACE
Once your agent has given a brief overview and why they think your home is perfect for the potential buyer, they should be left to wander and discuss in privacy.
LOOKING FOR BUYING SIGNALS
However, I would always say ‘Please feel free to have a look around the house, and if you’re still interested I’ll be here in the [name of room] to tell you more about the sellers’ circumstances’.
If the potential buyers come back and start asking questions, you know they’re interested.
If they say something like ‘Thanks, we’ll get back to you’, the house isn’t for them.
PART THREE - OBTAINING BUYER FEEDBACK
The first thing you need to know is that the potential buyer knows whether your home is a property they’re interested in or not by the end of the viewing.
They may not know for certain, but a good agent will definitely be able to pick up their vibes.
At the end of the viewing, the best agents will start off with a statement; thanking the viewers for attending and then asking some probing questions before they leave.
Here are a few I use:
What are your first impressions?
- Am I getting closer to what you’re looking for?
- What’s the best time to call you to get your feedback?
- Previous viewers are already asking me to call them to arrange a second viewing. Would you like me to call you too?
- How does the property compare to the others you’ve seen?
Have you received feedback like the following?...
‘We really liked the house, but not sure it’s for us.’
‘The bedroom was too small.
‘The property needed too much work.’
If you have, then you’ll know how frustrating these comments can be.
However, these comments need to be probed. Here are a few points your agent needs to investigate:
- Which properties are you being compared against?
- What are their price points?
- What areas are the buyers looking in? Your home may have a smaller sq ft due to being in a more desirable area.
- What condition are those properties in, compared to yours?
EXTRACTING AN OFFER
If the answer to the above is positive, then your agent will ask for an offer.
If not, don’t worry you’re only getting started.
An experienced agent will be able to get the buyer talking about their apprehension and then offer a second viewing or give permission to offer a lower amount.
At this point, your success will be based on your agent’s ability to negotiate.