How to minimise shocks during property viewings

Posted on 3 Sep, 2019

Physical viewings obviously bring the real condition of a property into sharp focus. While an agent’s job is to try and get a buyer inside the property - they will have instructed occupants to declutter for the photos, taken time over camera angles to ensure they capture the best bits and uploaded an edited selection of images to property portals - what a viewer sees in person may be radically different from what they’ve browsed online.

As well as a carefully curated set of photos, agents can obfuscate the state of a property by using classics like ‘in need of modernisation’ and ‘requires cosmetic updating’. It’s an industry standard to gloss over the finer details of décor and condition so as not put people off, but a new survey has revealed many viewers are deterred by what they see on arrival.

A study by sellhousefast.co.uk asked 1,266 adults who had each been to several property viewings in the past 12 months what would deter them most when viewing houses on the market:-

- 76% - extensive cracks, marks and stains on walls, ceilings and floors

- 71% - fixtures and fittings that do not function property - such as toilets and taps

- 66% - exposed wires

- 63% - broken or damaged floors

- 54% - heavily damaged or worn out kitchen cabinets

- 49% - mould

- 18% - damaged or stained carpets

- 15% - missing or broken door or cupboard handles

In August 2019, we completed our 70,000th Viewber viewing so we have experienced every type of reaction during property visits and seen thousands of properties in varying states of repair. Each gives us a fresh perspective on the art of property marketing and we’re happy to share some of our viewing insights with you. Here are three pieces of advice to minimise viewing shocks and manage expectations:-

Ensure you visit the property regularly – this is especially important if you’re still marketing a property some time after it was first listed or you are re-using old photographs from a previous sale of the same property. Homes can quickly deteriorate in terms of presentation after the initial clear up for marketing photographs and you’ll want to ensure standards are being maintained - it could also be a new season so new photos vital!

Be honest with viewers before they arrive – we appreciate that listing all the faults of a property in the write up is marketing suicide but you can manage viewer expectations by telling them what to expect in terms of decoration and condition. Being forewarned is definitely being forearmed and the viewer will increasingly appreciate your frankness.

Price realistically – one of the biggest shocks is when a property priced at the top end of its market fails to deliver. Not only will it disillusion viewers initially, you may leave your seller open to an intense and often disappointing negotiation period, and create a reputation for your agency as one that overvalues.

If you’d like any additional viewing advice and access to thousands of Viewbers who can accompany viewings on your behalf, contact us today.

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