Viewings – some basic information

If you’re going to do your own viewings then there are a few rules to bear in mind. Assuming the house is spotless and looks and smells fantastic then you should turn your attention to other matters.

What are you going to wear? Clearly being in pyjamas is not acceptable. Having your hair in curlers is probably also a no-no!

What about the rest of the family. Get them out of the house. Send them to the shop for a paper or to the park. Get the dog out of the house too. Some people don’t like dogs and almost no one enjoys having a dog jump up at them or barking.

Having someone asleep in bed is a huge problem – if someone works nights then they will have to have disturbed sleep if you have a viewing lined up. Try to arrange viewings for when they will be awake anyway.

Don’t have anyone using the shower or loo either. I’ve read horror stories about people being in the bath during viewings.

Greet your viewers with a smile too! Even if they are late you should greet them with a smile. Should you offer them a drink? I’ve only ever been offered a drink once when I’ve been viewing houses, and to be honest it was a bit weird.

Lock up your valuables – make sure your handbag isn’t where anyone could rifle through it. Don’t leave money out anywhere and don’t leave them alone in rooms for any length of time.

Ignore any comments about your decoration that they come out with. Pretend you didn’t hear them slating your lovely wallpaper or choice of paint for the lounge door. If they want to pay the asking price then they can be as rude as they want.

Show them round and then ask if they want to look at any rooms again. You can let them wander round on their own if you like and in most houses they won’t get lost. If you have a huge house then you might want to give them the guided tour. But in a normal size house this can be a bit repetitive pointing out the obvious function of each room.

Answer their questions – perhaps have copies of utility bills out – or have totals for the last winter’s bill – as this is something that people are interested in. Write down when the boiler was last serviced and by whom. If you have chimneys then write down when they were last swept as well. If you have cavity wall insulation then tell them!

If you’re not sure of an answer say you don’t know – but offer to research the information for them and pass it on via the estate agent.

Always ensure viewings are booked through the estate agent and consider keeping someone else in the house with you.

Ask them questions – are they ready to move, are they new to the area, what other properties have they looked at in the area?

Some people will be tyre kickers – that is, people who like viewing houses. Some people will be first time buyers and may have little experience of viewing a house. Some will be professional landlords looking to extend their portfolio. All these people need dealing with in a polite, professional manner. You may be able to tell whether someone is a landlord by the lack of questions they ask. First time buyers might ask many questions.

They may ask if you have found somewhere else to buy yet. If you haven’t then be honest – and they ask if you would consider moving into rented if they want to buy quickly, then be honest – and that might mean saying you don’t know!

After your viewing you should expect your estate agent to contact them with feedback about the viewing and whether they liked it. This feedback can be useful for you to know about as it can help future viewings.

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