You’ve picked your estate agent, you’re chuffed with your photos and description, and your home is priced to precision. Now all that’s left is your viewings – what can go wrong?
Well, quite a lot! There are plenty of pitfalls to avoid when your viewers arrive, and some of the most common include
- Getting your welcome wrong and making your buyers uncomfortable.
- Underselling your rooms by not showing off their purpose and potential
- Leaving old stains exposed to cast doubt about hidden nasty surprises.
- Hiding the best points of your home under cover of darkness and disorder.
- Ignoring unsavoury smells and hoping your viewers won’t notice.
As your estate agent, it’s our job to strip away the potential for negative comments about your home, leaving only positive vibes that buyers can’t resist. So this week’s blog has all you need to avoid the biggest viewing mistakes before anyone comes to visit.
THE WRONG WELCOME
Although you know your home better than anyone else, you’re probably not the best person to sell it. But it’s got nothing to do with you personally.
Buyers are too polite to tell you what they truly think about your home, but they will tell us. And their honest reactions are priceless in giving you constructive feedback and tweaking your selling strategy.
- The best option is to go out so your home is completely calm when viewers arrive, giving them freedom to roam and comment without tiptoeing around you.
- If going out isn’t an option, open the front door with a warm welcome, then leave your agent to conduct the tour so you’re not tempted to hover or waffle.
- When you are at home for a viewing, keep the TV off, play some light background music, and find something to do, from preparing food to helping the kids with their homework. Whatever it is, try to keep the activity to one room.
Launch days and evenings can be a really convenient way to get out of the house for multiple viewings, so talk to your agent about whether they’re right for your home.
ROOMS WITHOUT A ROLE
Spare rooms can so easily end up as glorified cupboards and dumping grounds, piled high with suitcases, unused furniture and picnic stuff. That’s fine if you’re staying put, but not if you’re selling.
- Even with the benefit of floor plans, nothing beats giving a room a clear purpose. What was your dream when you first moved in – can you stage it that way now?
- Awkwardly arranged or too much furniture can block sightlines, shrink rooms and make it difficult to walk around – think effortless flow rather than obstacle course.
- Changing the layout of your rooms from your photographs can disorient buyers if your home looks different to the one they booked to view – show them what they expect to see.
Still trying to figure out what to do with an underused space? There are some great ideas online around purposeful styling, including 29 spare room ideas from House & Garden and small spare room ideas from IKEA, which are both full of valuable tips.
Of all the questions you want viewers to ask, “What’s that stain?” isn’t one of them. Yellow watermarks and black spots cast doubt and suggest nasty surprises, which can delay sales and give buyers second thoughts.
In short, they’re bad news, so take a good look around your home to see if anything needs attention.
- Peer up at ceilings and under windows for signs of leaks. Fix the source, then make good the decor with an oil-based stain blocker before touching up the paintwork.
- Check for small pools of water or traces of limescale or rust under sinks, baths, the boiler, hot water tank and radiators.
- Inspect grouting and sealant for mould, particularly behind bottles and dispensers where water can gather.
- Look at the bottom halves of ground and lower floor walls for signs of damp, like blistering paint and black spots.
To make doubly sure you’ve caught everything, ask a beady-eyed friend over to tell you what they notice – by getting everything straight before calling estate agents, you’ll set the stage for a higher valuation and selling price.
DARKNESS AND DISORDER
A major block to a home being sold is expecting buyers to see past any chaos that greets them on their viewing. While some have vision, many don’t, and you could lose time and money over things that can be sorted quickly and cheaply.
- Overstuffed cupboards in kitchens, hallways and bedrooms make homes look ready to burst – store or remove anything that doesn’t fit and that you don’t need right now.
- Mucky windows and closed curtains block out the light, so fling open your drapes and polish your panes to let the sunshine in.
- Grubby flooring, grimy bathrooms, and greasy light switches and door frames can make perfectly good fittings look old and worn out, but a deep clean can revive them all.
- Outside, take any garden junk to the tip, and treat overgrown lawns and beds to a weekend of weeding, pruning and mowing.
If you’re still feeling stuck around clearing your clutter, check out programs like Tidying Up by Mari Kondo and Get Organised with The Home Edit, both on Netflix, for lots of ideas and inspiration.
Every home has an aroma, which often adds an extra cosy touch. But some smells can send buyers running, so let’s look at those nasty niffs and how to send them packing.
- If smoking is allowed in your home, ban it from now until you move out. Unless the smell is deeply ingrained, you can usually eradicate it by venting your home for a few weeks.
- Do you have pets? Food bowls, litter trays, cages and fish tanks can all kick up a stink, so clean them often.
- Avoid musty bedrooms and humid bathrooms by leaving windows securely ajar, and keeping all internal doors open before you head out for work.
- Kitchen bins, rotten fruit, and dying flowers can all smell bad, so keep an eye – and nose! – on things to avoid unpleasant odours.
- Do you love to cook? Curry, fish, deep-fried treats – save them for a Saturday or Sunday night to give the air time to clear for your next viewings.
- Too many fragrances can also be overpowering, so avoid an olfactory overload by keeping any scented candles or reed diffusers to one or two complementing aromas.
Got a lingering whiff? Try white vinegar. It cuts through odours naturally, from wiping down furniture, washable walls and floors to waving around a drenched cloth for a few minutes. And don’t worry – the vinegar smell soon clears, along with the air.
Are you getting ready to sell?
Then let’s talk about setting your home up for successful viewings from the very start.
Call us on 01384 958811 or email@example.com for a chat with our experienced and friendly team, and let’s get your move underway!