Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 8th Sep 17, 1:09 PM
    • 1,162Posts
    • 802Thanks
    Natbag
    Showing Potential Buyers Around
    • #1
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:09 PM
    Showing Potential Buyers Around 8th Sep 17 at 1:09 PM
    Hi MSE'ers!
    My property is for sale and I've been tasked with showing around some potential buyers.
    I tend to blurb too much and end up sounding negative or apologetic. I prepared, did well and sold the property on the first viewing before, but that sale fell through and I didn't do too great on the last viewing. I'm scared I'll sound desperate, as we are at risk of losing the new house we want if we don't line up new buyers soon.
    It has been suggested that I could ask the viewers if they'd prefer showing round (in which case I would simply guide them round but stand back and not say too much, just wait for comments and questions) or if they'd rather wander round by themselves and I'll be on hand to answer any questions after.
    Any advice please, from experienced sellers & buyers?
Page 1
    • catshark88
    • By catshark88 8th Sep 17, 1:15 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 6,239 Thanks
    catshark88
    • #2
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:15 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:15 PM
    Get an estate agent to show people round. It is much easier to look at a house thoroughly and consider things properly, when you're not trying to be polite to the owner and compliment their (possibly horrible) interior design!
    "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 8th Sep 17, 1:28 PM
    • 1,162 Posts
    • 802 Thanks
    Natbag
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:28 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:28 PM
    We've agreed to share the viewings, and this one is down to me as the agent can't work with the viewer's availability. I think I will ask them to do the next one though if this person doesn't buy, and see what happens then.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th Sep 17, 1:34 PM
    • 9,798 Posts
    • 12,420 Thanks
    hazyjo
    • #4
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:34 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:34 PM
    My OH is the same. Every time said he'd keep quiet and EVERY TIME started going on about something negative (me with my mouth on the floor, or desperately trying to change the conversation or flip the negative to a positive). Honestly, we nearly had a row after every viewing lol.


    Get someone else to do it if the EA can't - or just busy yourself with something and ask them to shout if they need to know everything. I don't suppose people really need to have every room pointed out (stating the obvious) although it might be a bit weird to just let them in and get them to show themselves around... Maybe just take them for a quick scoot round then leave them to have a proper look on their own.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • AndyTails
    • By AndyTails 8th Sep 17, 1:40 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    AndyTails
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:40 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:40 PM
    Get an estate agent to show people round. It is much easier to look at a house thoroughly and consider things properly, when you're not trying to be polite to the owner and compliment their (possibly horrible) interior design!
    Originally posted by catshark88
    Having viewed plenty of houses, I disagree. I am happy to be shown around a house by the agent. I am happy to be shown around a house by the vendor. I abhor being shown around the house by an agent when the vendor is there - that is awkward! In that situation the vendor is trying to avoid interacting with you, but you want to look at the room that they're in.


    OP - The best way to do a viewing is to walk them round the rooms, point out anything you feel needs pointing out (e.g. "We bought this house because the 3rd bedroom was the biggest one we saw"), and then tell them "Feel free to wander about a bit yourselves, I'll be waiting in the lounge when you're done, or if you have any questions."


    I feel giving the buyers some space is important. As a buyer I want to be able to discuss various aspects with my partner, and I might not be comfortable doing that in front of the vendor, or even the agent. This is important if, once I've told my partner about something I spotted, they want to go and see it themselves.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Sep 17, 1:48 PM
    • 60,686 Posts
    • 354,752 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #6
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:48 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:48 PM
    The first thing I always did was ask them what they wanted the house for.... people move and buy houses for a gazillion reasons. No point you whittering on about "great schools" if they've no intention of having kids and want that house to do hobbies, or start a small cottage industry business of cake baking.

    When they saw your house details they had something in mind, some reason it'd be good for their situation/what they wanted.... so you can keep the chat "relevant" to them.
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 8th Sep 17, 1:49 PM
    • 1,162 Posts
    • 802 Thanks
    Natbag
    • #7
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:49 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:49 PM
    Thanks both. My husband will be taking the kids and dog out, so it will just me me which is much calmer!
    I like the approach of casually guiding them around, not stating anything really obvious but bringing the room to life with a quick comment about why we enjoy it. Then I'll give them some time to look around on their own while I pop downstairs to make coffee and they can ask questions after. Does that sound ok?
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 8th Sep 17, 1:50 PM
    • 1,162 Posts
    • 802 Thanks
    Natbag
    • #8
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:50 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:50 PM
    The first thing I always did was ask them what they wanted the house for.... people move and buy houses for a gazillion reasons. No point you whittering on about "great schools" if they've no intention of having kids and want that house to do hobbies, or start a small cottage industry business of cake baking.

    When they saw your house details they had something in mind, some reason it'd be good for their situation/what they wanted.... so you can keep the chat "relevant" to them.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Good plan. I didn't do this the last two times, I think I was trying to not be nosey but it would be good to tailor the house to the individual better. I shouldn't be afraid to ask some questions too, I guess?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 8th Sep 17, 1:51 PM
    • 6,084 Posts
    • 5,831 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #9
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:51 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Sep 17, 1:51 PM
    It is much easier to look at a house thoroughly and consider things properly, when you're not trying to be polite to the owner and compliment their (possibly horrible) interior design!
    Originally posted by catshark88
    Why would you even be commenting on their interior design?!
    OP - The best way to do a viewing is to walk them round the rooms, point out anything you feel needs pointing out (e.g. "We bought this house because the 3rd bedroom was the biggest one we saw"), and then tell them "Feel free to wander about a bit yourselves, I'll be waiting in the lounge when you're done, or if you have any questions."
    Originally posted by AndyTails
    Seconded. And I'd rather have the seller there than EA who knows next to nothing about the property/neighbours etc.
    Last edited by davidmcn; 08-09-2017 at 4:22 PM.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 8th Sep 17, 2:57 PM
    • 761 Posts
    • 1,127 Thanks
    parkrunner
    I'd ask the potential buyer if they wanted a guided tour or if they'd prefer to look around themselves and ask any questions afterwards.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th Sep 17, 3:42 PM
    • 9,798 Posts
    • 12,420 Thanks
    hazyjo
    Then I'll give them some time to look around on their own while I pop downstairs to make coffee and they can ask questions after. Does that sound ok?
    Originally posted by Natbag
    I wouldn't make them coffee. If I remember, I'll ask if they want a drink (one couple cycled over), but I'd hate them to want a hot drink. It is soooooo awkward standing there blowing on a hot drink, desperate to down it, making chit-chat with someone who might not even want to be in your house.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 8th Sep 17, 3:46 PM
    • 1,162 Posts
    • 802 Thanks
    Natbag
    The coffee would be for me and to make the kitchen smell nice lol. I'd offer them one, but wouldn't make them one without checking. If they want to look round by themselves I'll offer them a drink and either wa send myself off to the kitchen.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 8th Sep 17, 3:55 PM
    • 3,794 Posts
    • 7,665 Thanks
    DaftyDuck
    I've been in this predicament too many times before but, on average, have had more success getting a house sold than the lazy s0ds of agents who have been too busy to turn up.

    Wot I do....

    Have a couple of practice rounds of your own house, chatting insanely to yourself about the salient features. Have a copy of the details, couple of added comments here & there to prompt you. You can do a "crazy mind palace", and associate each comment with a single item in the room that's out of its normal place... silver bowl in the bedroom that's moved to a windowsill will stand out... "one of the things that caught our eye when we looked five years ago was the double windows overlooking the gardens... you can even see the XXX from here" (and I don't suggest "brothel" for XXX)

    Get a friend (an honest one, ideally who doesn't know your house backward), and ask them to come for a practice viewing. Do it for "real", with them arriving by car, not halfway through a cup of coffee. So they ring the doorbell, and you find out it's not working, really do it.... Go through the whole palaver to the end, and then get them to discuss what they liked/didn't about your house and your meandering waffle. Possibly get them to do one back to you, and see what you learn.

    I don't necessarily use the same route as the agent used... I'm not them, and don't have pointy shoes, vile deodorant, and a cheap nylon suit. I work out a smooth route, ending up leaving the viewer at the upstairs, in the best room if possible. With small rooms, wave them in, and stay out, so the room isn't shrunk. Stand in a large room, and wave them in, to accentuate the size. GIVE THEM TIME AND SPACE to appreciate all the good points... andlikewiserushpastthedamppatch.... I then head downstairs, having offered them a tea or coffee. If they didn't bring details, I will have offered them a copy. Whether they want or not, I leave a couple of copies on the dressing table/bed/chair where I've left them.

    I bu99er off out of the way (although I did once leave a dictaphone on to hear what was said... never again, never...) back to the best room downstairs, so they have to come to me. I sit down, and quietly get on with some work, comb a cat, whatever. Let them wander where they want. When they approach, I try to have some extra positive thing to show them, or talk about, and I ask them if they have any questions. Stay sitting at first, be relaxed, casual, comfortable as possible. This is their home, Seriously. Get that across, and you've sold.

    I have, on more than one occasion (that has resulted directly in a sale), had one of my lovely neighbours (they always are) sitting in for a cuppa. Nothing beats that - neighbour can be more believable than I as to how wonderful the area is. The neighbour can leave at the same time... and the buyer can have an honest chinwag with their new bestestist friend.... Just remember to use the nice, polite, kind, sweet elderly neighbour, not the bloke wot did time for dealing.

    Make sure they've somewhere to park. If busy on street, you and your kindly neighbour can both move cars a few minutes before their arrival.

    Do prepare the house ... You are potentially making tens of thousands. A bit of elbow grease, some polish, some flowers, clean loos and sinks, with fluffy (new) towels...

    Yes, you are selling the house, bricks and mortar. But, you are also selling a lifestyle, something they want to be part of. Get that right, and you'll do something few, if any, agent can do.

    Yes, I know I go over the top on this kind of thing... On a similar thread some time ago, one of the regular (ish) contributors suggested I must be a bored housewife with nothing better to do to bother with all that... I'm not, very much not, as one of the even-more-regular-contributors-who-knows pointed out.

    However, it works. It has, over the last thirty-one years made me a lot of "free" money for relatively little effort. Attend to every detail, manage to get it right, and you can sell houses.

    You can do it better than most of the agents can, too!

    Edit to add: where possible, I find out from the agents who the people are, and what they want the house for... I think it's PasturesNew above who asks them. I have been known to redress the fourth/fifth bedroom as an office/snug for an older couple, or stick some toys out on the bed if they've children... The agents have normally shown them another property and know a bit about them... and I also want to know any feedback on that property if I can get it. Agents will just gossip so...

    Edit further (see - overkill in action) OP: dogs stink! So do I, but there you go... if the dog is removed by OH, remove the dog bed, and try and get the smell down. Some buyers will reject a pet's (or smoker's) house.
    Last edited by DaftyDuck; 08-09-2017 at 4:01 PM.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th Sep 17, 3:56 PM
    • 9,798 Posts
    • 12,420 Thanks
    hazyjo
    Might as well bake bread and go the whole hog


    Oldest trick in the book. They'll probably think you're trying to hide the smell of damp or something.


    Anyway, I abhor coffee - would probably scarper even quicker if the house smelt of the stuff!
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th Sep 17, 4:00 PM
    • 9,798 Posts
    • 12,420 Thanks
    hazyjo
    Agree with the 'sell the lifestyle' thing. Even if drizzly or freezing, get the garden table all laid out, back doors open, we sat there looking chilled (literally) with flowers on the garden table, the lot.


    "Oh yes, we always live like this..."


    You don't want them to feel like they've interrupted, but that they would feel comfortable sitting down and joining you. ALWAYS have something on in the background - low tv, or music (we always opt for music).


    Sell the lifestyle! They need to want to be you!
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • ceh209
    • By ceh209 8th Sep 17, 4:03 PM
    • 695 Posts
    • 467 Thanks
    ceh209
    Let them go into rooms first, especially small rooms.


    I'm planning on doing my own viewings soon and this is the one key thing that an ex-estate agent friend recommended.
    Excuse any mis-spelt replies, there's probably a cat sat on the keyboard
    • starshapedbrick
    • By starshapedbrick 8th Sep 17, 4:10 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    starshapedbrick
    The only viewing we did ourselves was the one that sold the house (Sunday morning and the agent wasn't available) - I don't know whether that was us or them as they were VERY enthusiastic from the minute they walked in! We had some good viewings with vendors and some awful ones with estate agents when we were looking. The only thing I would say is pay attention to presentation - someone who can't get their house in order to sell it doesn't come across as someone who will be organised when you are waiting for them to fill in paperwork and answer enquiries!
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 8th Sep 17, 5:31 PM
    • 761 Posts
    • 1,127 Thanks
    parkrunner
    The coffee would be for me and to make the kitchen smell nice lol. I'd offer them one, but wouldn't make them one without checking. If they want to look round by themselves I'll offer them a drink and either wa send myself off to the kitchen.
    Originally posted by Natbag
    I hate the smell of coffee, now fried bacon.........
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 8th Sep 17, 5:43 PM
    • 2,581 Posts
    • 2,900 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    It's the house they are interested in, not you. Let them in, tell them any key info and perhaps spend 2 minutes doing a brief walk around the rooms in the best order, then get lost and leave them to it! Best to get out of the house completely and just sit in the garden if you can. I've viewed houses where the family were all sitting watching telly on the sofa... meaning I really couldn't have a close inspection of walls, floors and so on.
    • Pumpkim
    • By Pumpkim 8th Sep 17, 7:43 PM
    • 201 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    Pumpkim
    I did all our viewings, I mostly just let them wander around and told them to feel free to ask any questions they had. I made some small talk to figure out what they were looking for, how well they knew the area etc.

    I find it completely normal for the vendor to be doing viewings, we've moved three times now and the only time an EA has done the viewings was for empty properties, and I found that they had zero knowledge of the properties so none of my questions were answered.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,298Posts Today

8,946Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Sneaky NAKED photo... ...of the room where many political and regional TV interviews are done. This is before the? https://t.co/fDdeKQOQuU

  • The Premium Bond rate is being boosted from 1.15% to 1.4% should you pile in? My analysis... https://t.co/3Q7tjphAFO

  • RT @colinjdunn: First #Plevin cheque received this morning - £548.66 from Nationwide & with other claims still outstanding - so thanks @Mar?

  • Follow Martin