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    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 8th Sep 17, 1:09 PM
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    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 2
    • caronoel
    • By caronoel 9th Sep 17, 9:54 AM
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    caronoel
    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!
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    Fully agree. I remember viewing a flat years ago, where the vendor had mood lighting, coffee brewing, and a Corrs CD warbling away. It really put me off, and made me think she was hiding something.
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 9th Sep 17, 9:58 AM
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    robatwork
    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.
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    This ^^^^

    Get into the garden after giving them a very brief tour. That way they can spend time in the important rooms (kitchen, living) discussing without feeling awkward or hurried.

    I viewed a house where the whole family were lined up watching TV, whilst being shown round by the EA. I didn't feel at all comfortable in the living room and that place was ruled out before I stepped out the front door.

    Just make sure everything is clutter free and clean of course. Don't make coffee.
    • kinger101
    • By kinger101 9th Sep 17, 11:11 AM
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    kinger101
    I just showed them around first, then let them wander on their own and told them to come back to me with any questions they had on the property or village.

    When I was buying, I always preferred the vendor showing me around.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 9th Sep 17, 11:45 AM
    • 59,969 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    Be mindful to lock away valuables of course .... and anything small at all. In fact ... lock away/put away all ornaments, anything smaller than your head, valuables, paperwork ... because these days you also have to think about ID fraud ... and, if they've children, random pocketing of shiny items.

    If you've anything of a sentimental nature, too, lock that away ... in case it's fiddled with, knocked over, etc.

    I know somebody who was showing a woman round her house and her children randomly "grabbed" her belongings and started playing with expensive sheep ornaments!! No warning!
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 9th Sep 17, 1:29 PM
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    Natbag
    Thank you all, some amazing tips there - some I'm already doing and some other good ones I'm not so will definitely take those on board for the next one.
    With the dog, I make it so that anyone who steps through the door does not know we have one. We have an amazing new hoover so all hairs are gone from floors and furniture, all traces of the dog (food bowl, toys, etc) are hidden and I clean and mop just beforehand so the house smells lovely and not of our pet.
    My husband jokes about how neurotic I am preparing for viewings, over the tiniest things, but as you say you're trying to sell a lifestyle. I put a little tea tray on the coffee table for effect and he started laughing. Men!
    I did have one viewing last night, a lady and her five-year-old daughter. They walked straight in without knocking and literally just whirlwinded through the place, lead by the little girl. They were lovely but it was so rushed by them and I could barely get a word in edgeways to find out more about them to highlight relevant aspects of the property and area. I don't think they were serious buyers, she hadn't brought her husband with her and had more viewings lined up next week that she wanted to carry out first.
    Oh well, onwards and upwards.
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 9th Sep 17, 1:31 PM
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    • 652 Thanks
    Natbag
    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.
    Originally posted by DaftyDuck
    Thank you so much. It must have taken you ages to type all that out but it is really really valuable so I appreciate it very much
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 10th Sep 17, 12:15 AM
    • 9,530 Posts
    • 12,017 Thanks
    hazyjo
    ...and a Corrs CD warbling away.
    Originally posted by caronoel
    Jesus, that alone is enough to put anyone off

    I don't think they were serious buyers, she hadn't brought her husband with her and had more viewings lined up next week that she wanted to carry out first.
    Originally posted by Natbag
    You know what 'assume' did

    My buyer came on her own. Husband and son left behind. They'd viewed next-door-but-one which is pretty much the same although a bit scruffier and a semi, not terraced like mine, so I presumed she was viewing out of curiosity. Could have knocked me down with a feather when she offered. It was me saying to my EA I thought the husband should view too (was convinced they'd pull out). Her hubby was so laid back and said he totally trusted and went with whatever she chose. Lovely family - couldn't wish for nicer buyers. Shook my hand and said a deal's a deal, said they'd not hassle us or rush us to find somewhere, would go into rented, absolutely perfect buyers (really hope I don't eat my words lol).

    Good luck!
    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
    • HB58
    • By HB58 10th Sep 17, 1:08 AM
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    • 1,622 Thanks
    HB58
    We did our own viewings for the house we sold earlier in the year. Our buyers said it was far better than anything they had done with an EA who was clearly bored and itching to get on!

    IIRC, I/we showed them round and then let them wander. I found it was far easier with my hubby out of the way - he had a habit of presenting any/all information from the most negative angle possible.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Sep 17, 8:08 AM
    • 23,138 Posts
    • 88,498 Thanks
    Davesnave

    I know somebody who was showing a woman round her house and her children randomly "grabbed" her belongings and started playing with expensive sheep ornaments!! No warning!
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    That's familiar.

    We have a Staffordshire dog.....singular!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • phoebe1989seb
    • By phoebe1989seb 10th Sep 17, 10:49 AM
    • 3,087 Posts
    • 6,338 Thanks
    phoebe1989seb
    Jesus, that alone is enough to put anyone off



    You know what 'assume' did

    My buyer came on her own. Husband and son left behind. They'd viewed next-door-but-one which is pretty much the same although a bit scruffier and a semi, not terraced like mine, so I presumed she was viewing out of curiosity. Could have knocked me down with a feather when she offered. It was me saying to my EA I thought the husband should view too (was convinced they'd pull out). Her hubby was so laid back and said he totally trusted and went with whatever she chose. Lovely family - couldn't wish for nicer buyers. Shook my hand and said a deal's a deal, said they'd not hassle us or rush us to find somewhere, would go into rented, absolutely perfect buyers (really hope I don't eat my words lol).

    Good luck!
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    Same here with our last sale in 2014. Our EA - who was unable to do that particular viewing - warned us in advance that this viewer was potentially a bit flaky, having already had an offer accepted on another of their properties days before.

    When she arrived - with her mum but minus husband and their three kids (aged approx from 8 - 15, so not little ones) - we were all set for a time waster. Within moments she was in tears of joy, which tbh added to our fears, and having spent well in excess of an hour viewing she made us a face-to-face asking price offer before departing.

    Within an hour of leaving, our EA called us to confirm that she'd withdrawn the offer on the other house and was offering AP on ours. He told us not to take it too seriously as her DH hadn't seen the place yet, but made the appointment for them to come back en famille on the weekend (five days later). We spent the next few days on tenterhooks, especially as we had a couple of other - slightly under AP - offers on the table.

    Saturday came and so did the whole family who were won over by the hot tub loved it as much as she had and the sale went through in a few weeks
    Paid off mortgage early - mortgage-free since age 40 (2007)

    Over £40,000 mis-sold PPI reclaimed
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 10th Sep 17, 11:30 AM
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    • 652 Thanks
    Natbag
    Thanks everyone. Feeling a bit down about it all today so it was nice to log in and see some positive stories.
    Sadly the viewer (who visited without her husband) has come back and said it's lovely but too small, which is the same as what the first viewers said. Sigh. We sold it on the first viewing the first time, they loved it and offered full asking price 20 minutes after leaving, so we had really high hopes of another quick sale, but this time barely anyone is interested and the two who've viewed haven't liked it.
    I just really don't want to lose the house we've had our offer accepted on but at this rate I think we may have to hope for the best but prepare for the worst
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Sep 17, 11:43 AM
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    Davesnave
    If it's any consolation, our last buyers (at a very difficult time to sell) said nowt and didn't look very interested, despite the fact that I vaguely knew one of them through work. They weren't even on the market.

    Nevertheless, their house was advertised with our agent within days, but we knew nothing for a long time, as no connection had been made. They probably said nothing to the agent either. They weren't demonstrative or outgoing.

    Months later, when neither of us had sold, the couple put it to the agent that they'd take a hit on their price to get sold if we'd agree to do similarly with our house. We did, and the deal was done, exactly 6 months after they'd walked around, looking bored!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • toc25
    • By toc25 10th Sep 17, 3:48 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    toc25
    I actually prefer being shown round by an estate agent. I just feel really awkward when it's the vendor showing me round.

    We only viewed 2 houses this time and both were vendors showing us around. I didn't feel like I could look round properly and also felt that the vendors were talking too much and rushing me round. All my concentration was on the vendor and not the house.

    With our house my husband did a couple of viewings but the estate agent did the rest. It ended up being one of the ones my husband did that bought the house so he must have done something right.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 10th Sep 17, 5:03 PM
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    • 430 Thanks
    phillw
    Fully agree. I remember viewing a flat years ago, where the vendor had mood lighting, coffee brewing, and a Corrs CD warbling away. It really put me off, and made me think she was hiding something.
    Originally posted by caronoel
    I'd find the same thing if the seller was being really positive and telling me why they loved each room.

    In the case of a husband who kept saying negative things, I'd ask the wife to leave me with the husband so I could find out the truth. Better that then find out later and then have zero trust of the seller, which would make me pull out.

    I always wish the sellers luck selling the house, even if I'm planning on putting an offer in. In retrospect it sounds a bit rude, but I do wish them luck.
    Last edited by phillw; 10-09-2017 at 5:06 PM.
    • Crashy Time
    • By Crashy Time 10th Sep 17, 11:32 PM
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    Crashy Time
    Drop the price, and the house will more or less sell itself.
    • caronoel
    • By caronoel 11th Sep 17, 7:09 AM
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    • 931 Thanks
    caronoel
    Drop the price, and the house will more or less sell itself.
    Originally posted by Crashy Time
    This financial advice comes from a man in his fifties, who sold up to rent in the late nineties.

    Warren Buffet, he is not.
    • Crashy Time
    • By Crashy Time 11th Sep 17, 2:59 PM
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    Crashy Time
    This financial advice comes from a man in his fifties, who sold up to rent in the late nineties.

    Warren Buffet, he is not.
    Originally posted by caronoel

    How would you sell the house?
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