There are often so many things you need to remember when putting your house up for sale; getting all the documents together, finalising your moving on plans, waiting for the next owners to move out if you’re a part of a chain and everything else you need to think of. It can be hard, selling your own property, which is why a lot of people opt for getting an estate agent to sell their home on their behalf. Again, while this can offset some of the stress of organising viewings and documentation, some estate agents can bring hefty fees with them, so it depends on what you are prepared to sacrifice when selling your property.
The viewings – this is a crucial part of the whole process. Often people make their mind up after viewing a property and if they’re interested it is normally quite obvious. People may come back for a second or even third viewing if they are very interested, so preparing your property properly for a viewing is incredibly important.
Take a look at our five top tips for making sure your property is in tip top shape for a property viewing.
Remember – First Impressions Count
They do mean a lot! It can be unfortunate but first impressions can stick in your mind for a while afterwards, so it is important to do it right. If you have a front garden or driveway, make sure to clear any weeds or big bags of rubbish in order to make it look presentable. Large objects that have been sitting in the front garden for ‘a while’ also need to go as they never leave a good first impression. The same concept counts for skips and offensive ornaments. While the ornaments may be comical or endearing, you must remember that these are strangers about to enter your home, and they could be put off. It is all about being professional
Clear out Unnecessary Clutter
Ornaments, books and magazines lying around, shoes, all of it needs to be cleared up. Clean your property, but don’t make it look ‘sparse’. It is important that it is homely, but your potential buyers don’t need 50 reminders that you are a fan of porcelain cats if they cover every spare inch of furniture. Make it so that they can easily move around and explore the space without having to worry about knocking something over every few steps. Create a welcoming atmosphere.
‘Spritz’ it Up
A bad smell can stick with you for a long time. People tend to associate bad smells with bad experiences and good smells with good experiences. Make sure your property smells nice, but not too overbearing, when you are arranging visits. Scented candles or a nice de-odoriser should do the trick although cleaning up will help as well. If you go too overboard on the scents, your visitors might think that you have something to hide, so make it pleasant but not too obvious.
As friendly as Fido or Fifi can be, ultimately having pets can be a real distraction from house viewings and can even hinder your progress. People who are supposed to be viewing your property may get caught up playing with the cat or admiring the dog’s unique markings, or they may be completely allergic and hostile throughout the entire viewing. It is better off that they are kept hidden away from visitors during the viewings, or kept at a friend or relatives house. Plus it can also sometimes be a stressful experience for the pets themselves; a weird, previously unknown stranger wandering around their house? You’d feel a little uncomfortable too!
Prepare an FAQ
This is more of a suggestion than a tip, as it depends on how you feel about selling your property. You may be required to answer a few questions about the property; how it is with traffic, noise etc. If you prepare these questions and answers in advance, you won’t be caught out by random questions when you do conduct the viewings. Pressure can sometimes make people say stupid (and sometimes damning) things so it is better to have prepared some sort of answer beforehand, just in case.
Of course, your property viewings may differ slightly if you’re showing people round yourself in comparison to getting an estate agent to conduct viewings for you, it all depends on how you want to go about doing it. You will save some money on estate agents fees by selling the property yourself, but then you will have to handle and arrange all house viewings. It can be stressful. You can also provide a more accurate opinion on how the property works, what is good about the space, the location etc.
You can sell it better than any estate agent can.
It is important to consider both the positive and the negative aspects of selling the property yourself versus outsourcing an estate agent, as some people prefer to get things done themselves, whereas others prefer to reduce their own stress by outsourcing the task. It is up to you.
SSJ Surveyors – an independent firm of Chartered Building Surveyors and Chartered Valuation Surveyors based in Shrewsbury and covering the majority of the Midlands.