The house is ready, you’ve addressed any issues, de-cluttered etc., and it is on the market. Now it is time to convert interest into an offer. Understandably not everyone may find this a completely enjoyable experience - your pride and joy being judged by a complete stranger - but unfortunately if you want to sell your house you cannot avoid it. So get yourself organised, show your house at its best and you might actually enjoy it!
Make it as easy as possible for people to see your house; be prepared to fit in with the viewers requirements rather than the other way round. Open viewings can be useful, however be aware that some buyers may prefer to view without others around. A viewing can last anything from five minutes to over an hour, so allow plenty of time.
Sellers often tell me they are concerned about time wasters but in my experience these are few and far between here, and sometimes interest comes from most unlikely source. Although it may not be right for that particular person, if they are impressed they will tell others and that may lead to more interest.
Take a quick look round beforehand to make sure everything is ready, not forgetting the entrance; remember first impressions are vital. Fresh flowers are a nice touch, open curtains to let in as much light as possible, and having the lights on will create a more homely feel. In particular as the kitchen is now seen by many as the most important room in the home, make sure yours is looking at its best. The smell of brewed coffee won’t fool anyone but is infinitely more attractive than stale tobacco. If you have a dog consider getting someone to take it for a walk and if you have a driveway make sure your car is out of the way so your potential buyer can park easily.
An initial guided tour will help the viewer find their way around, and always start with the best feature, perhaps a room with great views. Finish in the same place so they have a favourable lasting impression. Don’t forget the garden - for buyers with children this may be a major consideration. Focus on the positives and point out the main features but don’t go into too much detail as it may be distracting. The first viewing is often just the start, a way for the buyer to get a ‘feel’ for the house and to see how it compares with other properties they are considering.
Above all give the viewer space and don’t rush them; the more relaxed they are the more likely they will make an offer. Offer a second viewing. Buying a home is likely to be their biggest financial outlay so it is only right that they may need some time and may also want to view at different times of the day. Be prepared for questions. What is included in the sale? What broadband speed is available? Energy bills, amenities, school transport? Have the Home Report available.
Try to find out whether they are interested. This can be difficult as people often hold their cards close to their chest, but if you are on friendly terms you should be able to have a sensible discussion. Buyers, do be prepared to give constructive feedback, and if you are not interested, say so. Sellers prefer honesty to being led up the garden path. Sellers, if someone isn’t interested, don’t take it personally. Just put it down to experience and prepare for the next visit!