Getting ready for your first viewing, the “Dos & Don’ts” – from a buyer’s perspective.

If, like may homeowners, you’ve never sold a house let alone conducted a viewing, you may struggle to put your head into the minds of prospective buyers as they walk through your door.

Fortunately, that’s where we come in, with years of experience in knowing what creates the right impression – and what’s a real turn-off.

First Impressions Count

A lot of buyers decide within the first 30 seconds that a house isn’t for them so don’t fall at the first hurdle. Make sure the front garden is tidy, the door is freshly painted and an inviting pot or two of colourful flowers welcomes them in and signals that this is a home that you have cared for. Lose them here and you may never get them back.

People DO look in cupboards

Storage is an important factor in many houses – especially in smaller apartments and family homes – so before you open your doors to the public, try not to cram every wardrobe and under stairs space to the rafters. Even if a cupboard is full, at least make it look neat and organised rather than state “I won’t open the doors because it’s a mess.” This will only highlight to buyers that you might struggle for storage space on day-to-day basis and had a last minute panic to hide any usual clutter.

You can be TOO minimal

De-clutter by all means, but don’t eliminate all furniture from a room in order to make the area look more spacious – this can often have the opposite effect if four walls are left to a less than creative imagination. If your viewers can’t imagine that empty room when in use, it may give the illusion you don’t have enough square footage to properly utilise the space. Ensure that bedrooms and dining rooms especially look as though they are functioning as they should with appropriate-sized furniture.

Avoid awkward moments

Often people prefer to be shown round a home by the estate agent for the simple reason that they feel more open to giving honest feedback and to avoid any awkward moments if it’s not love at first sight. If you do take a viewing though, play on the advantage that you know the property inside, as well as the location and neighbours. But don’t bombard them – choose one or two interesting factors about each room and avoid stating the obvious. For example, point out any luxury fittings, a particularly special view of the local area or examples of different uses for the space, then leave people for a few minutes to take everything in and ask questions later.

Go easy on the fragrance

Take a common sense approach to masking any smells such as cigarettes or pets. Not everybody’s tastes are the same but you can’t go wrong with a luxury candle burning in the kitchen. Try to avoid over-doing it as it’s rarely effective and can be distracting. Nobody enjoys the smell of strong bleach either, so do your cleaning the night before!

Know your audience

As well as selling a lifestyle in terms of staging (e.g displaying fresh cut flowers, having the fire burning in winter and the patio doors open in summer), if you do show people around, tailor your conversation to each buyer. Take note of their interests and their reason for the move. For instance, growing families will obviously be interested in the nearest schools and amenities such as parks and playgroups. If a couple is new to the area, don’t be afraid to point out your favourite local restaurants and bars, or countryside walks and interesting places to visit that they may not know are on their doorstep. Above all, stay relaxed and give them time and space to look around and feel at ease.

Follow these simple tips and you will make sure that buyers get the best impression of your home from the moment they step over the threshold to when the leave. And don’t forget that we are here to help with a unique free Home Staging Consultation from a local House Doctor and Interior Designer for every new client designed to give you lots of expert tips and advice.