I hate sales pitches at the best of times. I detest being sold the dream by people, and it makes me internally vomit when I know somebody is trying to pull the wool over my eyes. So, I make sure I do my research before potentially buying anything of substantial value. Based on this, if you are hosting your own property viewings you need to be prepared for finicky people like me.
Tidy Up Time!
With a couple of whipper-snappers of my own, this phrase has quickly become a daily motto of mine (followed by a tantrum or two). It’s the time of day when I gradually start to realise that my house does have carpeted floors, and it wasn’t merely built upon a foundation of Peppa Pig and Shaun the Sheep memorabilia.
Make sure your home is in good order before showing anybody around it. Do the washing up, put your laundry away, whisk the hoover around, wipe down the kitchen side, put the toilet seat down, tidy up your kids’ toys. Try to make the property feel uncluttered. You’ll be amazed how some people don’t have the vision to realise what a property could look like without the clutter!
Ensure a Warm Welcome
Regardless of whether you’ve had a barney with your partner, your dog ate your winning lottery ticket, or your new-born baby did a poo in the bath, you should always greet property viewers with a smile on your face. Showing people around your home needs to be a positive experience from start to finish. So, ensure you get off on the right foot with a smile and a handshake.
Create A Nice Ambience
People that view your property don’t want to see your kids hanging off the lampshades, the dog chewing on the door and dad rocking out to his Status Quo album. They want a calming atmosphere, so they can consider your property with maximum concentration.
Smells contribute to ambience too. If your home smells of wet dog, or you’re a heavy indoor chain smoker, or you’ve recently rid your body of last night’s Madras, you should consider opening the windows to let fresh air circulate the property. Air fresheners (avoid 1990’s potpourri) will also help to improve the ambience of your home.
Have the Answers Ready
If I’m buying a car I don’t just want to know that it has 4 wheels; I want to know how much the road tax is, how many miles per gallon it produces, whether it has satellite navigation, air conditioning and more. Similarly, if I’m buying a house I’d want to know the council tax band, the energy efficiency rating (let’s assume I’ve not read the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)), how much electric/gas/water bills approximately cost, whether the boiler has been serviced recently, the type of boiler, any included fixtures and fittings and more.
You don’t have to memorise all the details – it’s not an exam you’re studying for after all. But you should note them all down. Or better still, if you have access to a printer you may even want to print it out and issue it to the interested party. At least you’ll look prepared and the person viewing your property will be impressed by your attention to detail.
Don’t Suffocate Viewers
Obviously, I don’t mean with a plastic bag – you want to sell your home to them after all! But you need to consider how much space you give property viewers when showing them around your home. On one hand you don’t want to give them free rein of your home, but on the other hand you don’t want to smother them with a watchful eye!
To put yourself at ease I’d recommend that you take items of value off display; your sparkling Seiko timepiece on the bedside table, your portable Bose speaker on the kitchen side, your spare set of house keys…. put them all in a safe place.
Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions! For example, ask the viewer why they are looking to move home. It could be due to a school catchment area, or the fact they currently live in a concrete jungle and want more greenery, or perhaps they want somewhere with good commuter routes? In any case, you want to be able to recommend why your home is the ideal place for them to live:
“Well, the school up the road has just received an excellent report from Ofsted…”
“There’s a beautiful park around the corner – perfect for the kids and picnicking in the summer…”
“A mile up the road is the junction for the M56 – within 10 minutes you can be on the M6! There are trains to London from the local train station, and Manchester Airport is 10 minutes up the road!”
I’ve seen other professionals advising people to “show your bedrooms from smallest to largest” and “don’t show your garden at the end”, but don’t really subscribe to this nonsense. For me, if I was showing you around my home and took you upstairs to the furthest door (smallest bedroom), the nearest door (medium bedroom) and the middle door (largest bedroom) it would appear a bit disjointed, a tad manufactured and, in some cases, might even look like I’m trying to hide something.
In my opinion you should show your home in the most flowing route possible. Nobody wants to feel that they’re chasing Richard O’Brien around the Crystal Maze, do they?