real estate agent

6 Ways to Ease the Tension of House Viewings

by Guest Author on October 4, 2012

House viewings can be a nervous affair for all parties. The real estate agent is trying to make a sale. The home buyer is walking into someone else’s house and if the current owner is present, they may feel like they have to heap praise on their choice of decor. For the home seller, you have to talk up a property that you are choosing to leave and in general, you don’t really know what to do while strangers walk around your house. It’s silly because everyone has to go through it and feel as awkward and pressured as each other. So below, we will look at a few ways to try and dissipate the tension whether you’re hosting a viewing or viewing a property yourself:

1. Be Prompt!

Simple, but something which can get you off to a good start: be on time! If you keep the owner waiting when they’ve taken time out of their day, taken the day off work etc., then to turn up late is a bit of a slap in the face. You only have once to make a good first impression and that begins before even arriving in some ways. Always look up the location beforehand on Google Maps or a GPS, and keep your real estate agent’s telephone number handy. Better yet, arrange to visit with your real estate agent in their car.

2. Pre-Arrange Viewings

If you’re selling, make it clear that you want your real estate agent present for viewings (if that is a service requirement you are looking for), or ensure a lock-box is in place so that the potential homebuyer has access with their agent. In most cases, your real estate agent will have already pre-arranged the viewing in advance so you know when a potential homebuyer will be coming.  If your real estate agent can’t be present for all viewings, make sure there are tools in place to portray the benefits of your home.  This is something you can pre-arrange with your listing agent.

3. If You Are At Home

Home sellers should try and be busy with their own things to do when viewers go through the property, in case they are at home. If not, it can feel like you’re at a loose end, waiting for home buyer to arrive and then crowding them, when all they really want to do is view the property and imagine what it would look like to live there themselves. If you crowd them they can react negatively and be put off, leaving quickly with questions and may not bother to come back/find somewhere else. Comfort is very important, and if the potential home buyer doesn’t feel so for 20-mins, it’s tough for them to imagine what it would be like to live in the home. The best option is not to be present at all and work with your real estate agent to pre-arrange viewings.

4. Self-Depreciation

Ease the tension with some self-deprecation. The property should be tidy and void of anything that would put a guest off like dirty dishes, odours or any objects on show that might be embarrassing or offensive. However, if you’re on edge then they will be too as guests. If you can come across like real people, the viewer will relate to you as just someone on the location-chain who wants to move somewhere like they do.

5. Leave Some Treats

If you have an open house or several viewings in one short space of time on a given day, leave a plate of cookies or some treat for them to help themselves to. It’s a nice sentiment that doesn’t go so far as to seem suspicious or like you have an alternative motive. The smell of home baking is very pleasurable to the senses and very homey, so consider the atmosphere you wish to create.

6. Be Respectful

If you’re viewing a property, be respectful to the homeowners if they’re present. It is important not to go too over-the-top with compliments of their home. The homeowner doesn’t expect it and it will seem a bit false after a while as well. After all, you could be negotiating with this person soon and it’s important to keep your questions related to the property. Stick to questions about things you can’t see which they, or their real estate agent, can answer.  And, don’t be difficult with your questions. Give the representing agent (or the homeowner) a chance to answer, but don’t dwell on the response.  It may be something you use later in your negotiations.

About the Author:Paul is in the middle of selling his own flat with his family. His qualifications in psychology are currently coming in very useful working alongside an East London lettings company who rent and sell property in London and across the UK.

Sundaybell is an online service allowing homebuyers and home sellers the opportunity of learning more about real estate and meeting and interviewing real estate agents in their area while remaining anonymous.

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