So, you’ve decided to sell your house.
Well, congratulations! It’s a big step in life.
If you’ve decided to sell, that means you’ve decided you want someone else to buy it. That means - usually - that you’re going to have to show it off to people who may be interested in purchasing the property in a type of property viewing.
You can go ahead and arrange these types of viewings yourself.
So, where to start?
Well, luckily, we’re here to help! This house viewing checklist will provide you with a DIY Guide to organising your very own property viewing.
Arrange the property viewing
The first thing to do in the property viewing process is to start by deciding on a date for the viewing. Try to pick on a date on a weekend - preferably on a Saturday - giving you a lot of time to maximize the amount of people that can actually come by to look at the property.
Then, start to list and publicize your property viewing. Use as many different online and physical resources as you can to drum up publicity for the viewing, and be sure to use social networks and word-of-mouth with friends to start getting the word out there about your viewing.
Make the house look good (home staging)
As with job interviews or many, many other things in life, this article from the Independent has some interesting stats to sink your teeth into:
- A third of ALL of the potential buyers will make their decisions based purely on the home’s exterior
- One in six house hunters say they take only 10 seconds to decide whether they like property from the outside
Oh, and that’s just for the exterior!
So, it’s absolutely essential that if you have an open house you go through and make sure that the home is in tip-top shape, inside and outside.
Tips for making sure your home is in the best shape possible:
- Declutter the place. Don’t make the home feel like it’s too lived-in. Make sure it’s just the essentials that are hanging around within the house. Anything excessive? Go ahead and put them aside. This tactic will allow the potential buyer to visualise all of the possibilities that could go along with having the home.
- Depersonalise the place. Don’t forget, you’re trying to sell this place to a whole group of strangers. It’s not going to be yours anymore. That means - as sad as it sounds - you have to make sure that you take your personality out of the place. Family pictures, little personal knick-knacks, anything that you’ve specifically customised for the house … that’s got to go. You want the people that walk through the house to visualise living there for the rest of their lives. That means, you want them to fill their heads with images of what could be. They can’t do that if pictures of your family is hanging around!
- Clean, clean, clean. This is an obvious one, but it can’t be understated. Go through the house with the finest of tooth combs. Take out all the trash and recycling. Make sure windows are cleaned, bushes are trimmed and attractive, the lawn mowed, the floors swept and the rugs and carpet vacuumed or power-washed. Make sure children’s toys are put away, too - you don’t want anyone stepping on them!
Bathrooms and kitchens are especially key in the cleaning process. It’s essential that those two rooms - which are usually the messiest - be cleaned, and thoroughly. Few things can go ahead and torpedo a property viewing like a dingy kitchen or an ugly bathroom. Think about it - would you want to live in a place with either? We didn’t think so.
- Fill in empty rooms. Are you not using one room, or are you repurposing a living room as an office or something similar? That’s a no-no in the property viewing process. Instead, be sure to put some furniture in those empty rooms to give them a sense of life, and make sure you rearrange those repurposed rooms to make them look like the spaces they were intended to be.
- Let the light in. A bright, welcoming atmosphere is key to leaving a good impression on buyers. Make sure that your home is well-lit and extremely presentable. Good, attractive lighting leaves the best possible feeling in the souls of the potential buyers who may stop by the house.
- Add something extra for visitors. If you’ve ever been to one of those home viewings, you know what these are. You can always add some little touches that might make things special for the visitors. You could leave out some drinks or a few snacks for them to enjoy as they walk around, or bring in some flowers to decorate the counter or table tops in the household.
Checklist of questions to be prepared for
When the viewers come to look at your home, they’re going to come prepared with questions. That means you should come prepared with answers! Think from the perspective of a potential home buyer. What would they be asking about your home?
Common questions that you may get asked:
- What are the local schools like? How far away are they? What things are there to do for kids around here?
- How is the commuting? Where are the closest motorways / major roads / etc.? Is there mass transportation nearby?
- What amenities are nearby? Including essential shopping / necessity stores (grocers, petrol stations, etc.).
- What is the neighbourhood like? What are the local crime rates? What are the neighbours like?
- What's the construction like? Is it constructed out of any special materials that may or may affect future repairs or maintenance?
- Are there any quirks that might come along with the house? Drafty rooms? Rooms that get too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter? Does it use oil or gas heating? Has there been any large damage to the house in recent years?
- How long has the house been on the market? How has the interest been? How long have you lived there? Are there any special government or land regulations the property has?
- How much are the local taxes, on average?
- Exactly what is included in the sale? Where does the property extend to?
That’s only a small sample viewing checklist of questions you might have.
Just think like a buyer when you’re thinking about the process, and try to predict any questions that might come up. Remember: Don’t be pushy, rude or annoying in this process. Don’t spam them or go crazy with communication. Stay calm, controlled and focused.
Follow up with viewers
Once the viewing is over, they'll hopefully contact the estate agent to let them know what they thought. They may ask the estate agent follow-up question - which the agent will then contact you for answers to. If you're lucky, the buyer may submit an offer, and you can then conduct negotiations via the estate agent. Hopefully, that perfect offer (or at least one that's acceptable) comes in, and you can start the next phase - which is the conveyancing.
Yes, unfortunately even after a price has been agreed, there's a long way left to go! Read more about the Conveyancing Process here.
Seem like a lot waiting and hard work?
If it does, there may be a better option. If you're interested in selling your house quickly, we can buy it (follow the link to learn more). It's a simple, straight-forward sale arranged to suit your timeframes. No getting the house ready for viewings, no waiting for viewings, no strangers traipsing through the home, no time-wasters, and no haggling over offers. We can make you a guaranteed offer in as little as 2-3 days, and complete the sale in as little as 2-3 weeks (or in a timeframe to suit you).
Follow that last link to learn more. Alternatively, if you go with the traditional route - where you'll almost certainly end up with the best price - we hope this article's been helpful in talking you through the next steps.
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