Clients often ask who is best to carry out their viewings, is it the agent or are they better doing it themselves?
The answer to this question, as with much in life, just isn’t straightforward. As a professional, the estate agent is often in the best position to carry out a viewing. Prospective buyers can often feel more comfortable and relaxed viewing a property when the owner isn’t around. They tend to look more thoroughly and tend to be more open and honest with feedback. We have a sales background and training and should know how to get the most from a viewing appointment.
However, the most enthusiastic and professional agent is no match for a confident, knowledgeable and enthusiastic vendor. The owner knows what they love most about their home, what improvements have been carried out and consequently can be the best ambassador for their property.
People buy from people and I often consider house buying as almost matchmaking. Potential buyers may share your interests and priorities and the reasons that attracted you to buying your home may also be the very reasons prospective viewers will want to buy your property now. So if you feel happy and comfortable carrying out viewings, then maybe you are the best person to do this.
Problems arise when sellers feel nervous, shy or simply uncomfortable in carrying out viewings. If my clients have any such doubts then I recommend the agent will undoubtably be the best option, certainly for first viewings. Nerves cause funny reactions and behaviour in some people. Sometimes sellers feel obliged to point out problems and issues and sometimes awkward and uncomfortable feelings rub off onto viewers who just want to get out of there. Also, reasons for selling might be difficult and very personal and it is understandable that sellers feel reticent in talking to prospective buyers about their own situation. In these circumstances I recommend agent accompanied viewings.
Serious viewers will often want to come back for a second look and may shortlist a couple of possible buys. A good compromise can be for the agent to carry out first viewings and then for sellers to meet prospective buyers at a second viewing. At least this way clients are not wasting quite so much of their own time but still get the opportunity to sell their property with their own personal input.
I will always give my clients tips and advice on how to carry out viewings. I strongly believe that no one can make someone want to buy a property at an actual viewing. The desire has to come from the viewer themselves. However, prospective buyers can be put off by thoughtless and negative impressions during a viewing. The important thing is to follow up on viewings and to make sure that the right type of buyer is encouraged to view a property. It is not the quantity of viewings that count, it is the quality.
A good estate agent should give good and relevant advice to the clients as to who they feel is best carrying out viewing appointments. Whatever you decide, make sure it is either - or, as the worst scenario is when both agents and sellers are present, stepping on each others toes.