House viewings are an essential part of the sales process and while you may not find them great fun, there are ways to make them more manageable. This starts by taking the right approach for your situation. Here is a quick guide to help.
The fact that most home buyers start their search online has done a lot to make life easier for sellers and buyers alike, but even now people are still failing to take advantage of everything this approach can offer.
It’s great that prospective buyers can now see floor plans and photos, but it’s even better if they can see video.
Even if you can’t put video in the listing, you can put a link (or at least a reference) to a YouTube channel on which you can put a video tour of your home. This can be filmed on a decent smartphone and there’s plenty of easy-to-use, free video-editing software to tidy it up to an acceptable standard.
Open houses are when you invite prospective buyers to visit your house together at a specific time. On the one hand, this is a bit of gamble (buyers might not be able or willing to make it), on the other hand, it can help to create a sense of competition between buyers.
It also means that you only have to stage your home once, rather than having to keep it in “show-home” condition over an extended period.
Guided viewings are when prospective buyers get an individual guided tour of your home. They may be offered after an open house (for the most serious buyers) or instead of an open house.
Offering several guided viewings takes much more time and effort than offering an open house, but it also provides an opportunity to get to know the different buyers and to highlight the features of the property which would be of particular interest to them specifically.
This can encourage them to put in a higher offer.
DIY versus estate agent
Whatever type of viewing you choose, you have the choice between conducting it yourself and having an estate agent conduct it for you. Video viewings tend to be conducted by the homeowner (except for the highest-value properties), but it’s generally best to have open houses and guided viewings supervised by an estate agent.
At the end of the day, they are basically sales exercises and most sellers don’t just want but need to get the best price for their home to help them with their move to their new home.
What’s more, a lot of the work in property sales actually goes on “behind the scenes”. For example, a good estate agent will pre-qualify buyers to ensure that your home is only shown to people who have a serious chance of being able to buy it.
They will then guide a transaction from offer to completion, sorting out any obstacles along the way. In many cases, this is where the real value of a good estate agent becomes most obvious.