If you are looking to sell your property – whether it is one which you occupy as the owner or one that you have bought to let – one of the more onerous tasks might be the hassle of showing people around.
Whether it is a question of you having to be there to greet a viewer who simply never turns up, fielding awkward questions about the property or cleaning up after countless muddy boots have marched through your home, the stresses may be immense.
Tips on the handling of viewings
Since viewings themselves are likely only to add to that stress, here are a few tips from Fulham estate agents Lawsons & Daughters on handling them:
• there is the more or less unavoidable necessity of you being available during the period when you are opening your home to potential buyers;
• this remains true whether or not you have instructed estate agents, given them a set of keys, and asked them show potential buyers around;
• your input is still going to be needed if questions are raised that the agent cannot answer or if a potential buyer makes an offer on which you need to indicate your acceptance or not;
• if your agent has a set of keys, they should phone ahead of their visit, so as not to catch you out in the middle of your shower, for instance;
• any keys you do leave in the hands of an estate agent of course need to be kept safely and not handed to anyone else, such as authorised surveyors;
• if you are going to be conducting viewings yourself, it is worth taking a few simple precautions for your personal safety and security of your possessions – avoid showing people around when you are alone, for example, and arrange viewings when your partner or a friend can be there with you. Keep items of particular value well out of sight;
• if you have pets, note that wet dog smells or a fouled cat litter tray may turn people off, so get a friend to take the dog for a walk during viewings and make sure kitty’s litter tray is nice and clean!
• first impressions count – and perhaps never more so than when showing someone around your home. It makes sense to ensure that everything is neat and tidy, the washing up done and everything in its place before you open your door to visitors. And when you do open the door, give them a big smile!
When selling your home, the management of viewings might seem one of the inevitable chores. With a little forethought, preparation and attention to the details, however, the care that you take in opening up your home to visitors is sooner or later likely to result in a successful sale.
Finally, selling the home in which you live, or own as a landlord, might be as stressful as a breakdown in your personal relationship, a divorce or even taking up a new job, according to a report in the Express newspaper (April 2015). Hopefully these tips on how to handle viewings may help take away some of that stress.