Mon 21 Feb 2022
Nobody knows your home better than you, but does that make you the best person to show buyers around?
There's a whole lot more that goes into viewings than simply taking people from room to room - what happens before and afterwards can have a dramatic effect on the offers you get and how quickly you sell.
Aside from the obvious savings to your time, using an agent who accompanies every potential buyer has multiple benefits. So this week's blog includes all you need to know about how we bring the right people to your home, and how you can be sure that your viewings are in good hands.
TEST YOUR AGENT'S SKILLS
There's no better way to have faith in your agent's abilities to show people around your home than to put them to the test. So, when you first invite agents into your home, pay attention to how naturally personable they are and how much interest they take.
Do they ask about:
- any improvements you've made or guarantees for works
- your favourite parts of your home and why
- manufacturers & suppliers, including floors, tiles, paint and wallpaper
- your life in the neighbourhood and what you enjoy the most
- how you get to work - perhaps you've found a secret route
- whether you do a school run, where to, and whether you're happy with the school
- where the sun hits at breakfast, lunch and sunset, both inside and out
To be entirely sure you're making the right choice, ask the agents to demonstrate their viewing technique. How would they show people around your home? Where would they start and why? What do they think are the most saleable qualities?
Seeing them in action will tell you all you need to know about putting your move in their hands.
THE HIDDEN WORK
Most of the work involved with a viewing doesn't happen on the viewing. It's in the run-up to the appointment, straight after leaving and over the following days.
It all starts with our very first conversation to build rapport and discover what someone is really looking for. Reading between the lines provides clues to their lifestyle, while separating their wants from their needs helps us build a picture of their perfect home. Very often, it's a passing comment on the way to a viewing that provides a lightbulb moment.
The end of a viewing is the ideal opportunity for a casual chat outside. As well as gauging the initial response of your viewer, it's a chance to:
- talk more about the neighbourhood and what's nearby
- recommend a stop at a great local café or pub on their way back home
- invite them to return for a second viewing at a different time of day.
A period of reflection often provides a more certain response, and 24-48 hours after a viewing is when those first impressions will have properly sunk in. Even if someone doesn't want to come back for a second look, their feedback is always useful to keep up the momentum in finding you a buyer.
THE FIRST VIEWING
Successful viewings depend on a detailed knowledge of a property, a flexible showing order, and a comfortable environment for every viewer. As a general rule of thumb, your agent should:
- open all interior doors for light and a sense of flow
- start and end on a high point
- have something to say about each room beyond "this is the kitchen"
- point out any less-than-obvious features
- mention previous improvements and future potential
- allow enough time for viewers to look at rooms more than once
- invite people to sit down and savour your home
- be helpful, positive and polite
All of this needs to be combined with linking aspects of your home to the lives of your viewers to encourage honest comments – something buyers rarely do in front of the owner for fear of causing offence.
THE SECOND VIEWING
It's always exciting when someone wants to come back and view your home for a second time, or bring their partner who hasn't seen it yet. (In those cases, it's wise to remember that it won't be a second viewing for everyone.)
Here's where it becomes a delicate balance of being available without hovering, and possibly time for us to take a back seat. If someone has a room they want to revisit first, we'll let them lead the way if they prefer. It's all about creating a comfortable space where they can see themselves living in your home with their things.
Second viewings are often more focused on answering questions, and there are times when it's helpful to have you around. Typical questions include:
- what do you think about your children's school;
- how friendly are the neighbours;
- is there much noise at evenings or weekends;
- was it easy getting planning permission for that extension you never built?
Hearing it from the horse's mouth can provide the extra comfort a buyer needs to make an offer, but not everyone necessarily wants to meet the owner. Don't take this to heart – it has no bearing on whether or not they're interested.
TURNING VIEWINGS INTO SALES
There is some truth that a buyer who's already met you is less likely to start with a low offer. But really, their first offer doesn't matter; only their final one.
When your agent personally shows someone around your home, they witness every reaction first-hand, which gives them extra tools to negotiate a higher price. By noticing and storing those valuable buying signals, your agent can:
- remind your buyer what they loved
- talk about the moments their face lit up
- reconfirm how your home fits their lifestyle
- revisit conversations about their wants and needs
- recall viewings of less suitable homes
- remove the desire to keep looking for property
If your agent isn't physically present at viewings, it can hamper their ability to get you the very best offer.
What's next for you?
If you're thinking of making a move and wondering how to choose an estate agent in Surbiton, Long Ditton or nearby, why not get in touch? We'd love to show you exactly how we can sell your home for the very best price.
Give us a call on 020 8399 1888 or email us at email@example.com for a friendly chat – tell us about your plans, and we'll help you make them happen.