Using an online estate agent but hosting your own viewings? How NOT to do it

Hiring an online estate agent and conducting your own viewings cuts out the expensive middleman and can make the whole process of selling your property cheaper and often more convenient. Some DIY online sellers also believe that the personal touch can help to secure a sale – after all, who knows your property and local area like you do?

But, just as traditional estate agents have tried-and-tested methods of closing a deal, so too should you be mindful of what attracts buyers, and what sends them running for the door.

Check out these property viewings no-nos to give yourself the best chance of receiving the offer that you want.

Lots of DIY sellers are happy to show buyers around themselves to save on fees

Don’t rely on viewers’ imaginations

Property buyers are repeatedly told to imagine themselves in a potential property, and to see past the current owner’s possessions and décor, but there’s only so far their imagination can take them. Help them to really envisage themselves in your property by paring back personal touches, getting rid of clutter, and if necessary, toning down any ‘out there’ interior design.

Don’t talk too much

Constant chit-chat can be tiring and off-putting, and it distracts potential buyers from fully immersing themselves in your property. If they can’t get a feel for it, they’re much less likely to put in an offer. Be polite and answer questions as necessary, but don’t feel the need to fill any periods of silence.

Don’t follow viewers around

An overbearing physical presence is just as bad as someone talking too much – constantly being in their line of vision will make them feel as if they’re intruding. Give your viewers space to look around freely.

Don’t use tired clichés

The freshly-baked bread / brewed coffee trick is old news. Potential buyers are savvier than ever when it comes to viewings and they’ll spot tired sales clichés a mile off – and wonder what you’re trying to hide.

Don’t get too personal

If there’s a sad story behind your property sale – keep it to yourself! Buyers don’t want to hear about your financial woes, impending divorce or recent bereavement. Sob stories will make them feel uncomfortable and pressured – and therefore less likely to make an offer. If they ask, keep your answer succinct and neutral.

Don’t criticise your own property

You might think honesty is the best policy when it comes to your property’s shortcomings. Perhaps it doesn’t get a lot of natural light, or the views from the main bedroom leave a lot to be desired – there’s no point disguising the obvious is there? But any criticism of a viewer’s potential new home will raise doubts in their mind. And besides, they might prefer a shady aesthetic – let them make up their own minds.

Don’t make assumptions about the viewer

It’s very easy for friendly chit-chat to stray into personal territory, and off-hand remarks such as ‘Are you a couple?’ or ‘This room would be perfect as a nursery’ can sometimes cause offence, no matter how well intended.

Don’t let your pets run around

No matter how clean your home, the presence of pets will have buyers wondering about the state of the carpets and whether you’re covering up any lingering smells. Plus, they can be a distraction, and in some cases even a source of fear, so try to make sure they’re elsewhere during viewings.

Don’t leave any red flags on show

Exposed light fittings, shonky shelves, unfinished tiling and half-completed flooring might not seem like a deal breaker to you – chances are you’ve lived with it for a while and know it can be rectified without too much bother. So rectify it! Obviously unfinished DIY jobs will have viewers wondering about the structural integrity of the property: What else needs doing? Are previous DIY jobs up to standard?

Don’t ignore the competition

Yours probably won’t be the only property your viewers see, so it pays to know what else is on the market in the same price band. If other properties have bigger gardens, consider some basic landscaping to give yours the wow factor. If they boast home offices, rearrange your furniture to show how a computer desk could be incorporated into your living space. Knowing what you’re up against means you can make changes or adjustments that give your property the edge.