Should I do the viewings on my property or my estate agent?
Reading time: 7 minutes | Posted: 30th Jan 2021
Property viewings are one of the most important parts of selling your home and have the power to make or break a sale. If you are thinking of selling up, you may have wondered whether you should get your estate agent to do your viewings or whether you should do them yourself. After all, who knows the property better than you?
Conducting your own viewings gives you complete control and avoids the inconvenience of having to make yourself scarce. However, it’s almost always better to leave your viewings to a professional. Here are just a few reasons why.
As you are in your home every day, it may have fantastic features that you barely even notice anymore or things you may not realise are powerful selling points. It could even go the other way, with you feeling reluctant to mention the positives of the property for fear of sounding too ‘salesy’ or like you are bragging. Estate agents can instantly spot the most appealing aspects of your home, and even plan the order of a viewing to maximise the impact of the best rooms of the property.
When you do your own viewings, there is often the temptation to talk about aspects of the property that may not be relevant to the potential buyers. For instance, you may be very pleased with your decorating job in the spare bedroom, but for all you know they may be looking to immediately paint over it and turn it into an office. Good estate agents will stick to the most important features, giving enough information to sell the space while not overwhelming people with too many unnecessary details.
If you went round to someone’s house and thought their living room was too small, would you be comfortable telling them? Chances are, you wouldn’t dream of even mentioning it. When a property owner conducts viewings, potential buyers will be far less willing to give their honest feedback for fear of insulting them. That’s probably just as well, as no one wants to hear negative things about their home!
On the other hand, people will generally have no problem sharing their opinions with an estate agent, as they know they have no personal ties to the property. This gives the estate agent a chance to offer solutions or to point out other key features that may make up for what they think the property lacks. By doing your own viewings, you are potentially closing down leads from the very first meeting that an estate agent may have been able to turn around.
It’s worth remembering that while you may be perfectly comfortable showing people around on your own, potential buyers may not feel the same way. Having the owners there can make people feel awkward and may mean that they don’t feel able to take a proper look around. They will likely also feel some pressure to keep a conversation going and put less focus on actually viewing the home. Even if you have the best intentions, being particularly friendly with potential buyers can even give the impression that you are desperate to sell, which isn’t great for negotiations.
While some potential buyers may simply ask for a second viewing with an agent, some may simply say the property wasn’t for them and move on to the next. It might sound extreme, but a large part of the buying process is about how a property makes you feel, and if someone has a bad experience at a viewing it can be enough to put them off. Having an estate agent do the viewings avoids any of those awkward situations and can increase your chances of a sale.
Ultimately, estate agents are salespeople, and to be a good salesperson you need to have a particular set of skills that are perfected over time. Estate agents have a knack for knowing what selling points are the most attractive for different kinds of people. They know how to build a rapport with others and how to pick up on cues about how the viewing is going. Estate agents will often think on their feet, taking notice of a room the potential buyer is most impressed by and finishing the viewing in that same room.
You may well have sales skills from your own job, but with a purchase as important as a house it’s best to have experience on your side. Most estate agents will have been doing their job for years and will have great insight into a buyer’s psychology, knowing just how much to say and how much time to give them. They will also have sold many different kinds of homes and know how to highlight the best of any space.
It costs a lot of money to sell your home, so you should get as much out of your agent as you can. Conducting viewings accounts for part of their fee, so why not let them do the job they are being paid for? Though there will be some exceptions, estate agents are unlikely to offer you a discount if you do your own viewings and they will almost always try to convince you not to (if they don’t, that should be a cause for concern!).
Even if you are tempted to carry out viewings yourself, consider how much money will be going straight to the estate agent. It doesn’t make much sense to do it yourself when someone else is being paid for their time. There may be agents offering lower commissions who don’t do viewings as standard, but you should think carefully before opting for this type of contract. You may save some money in fees, but you need to feel confident that your estate agent will put in the work to get your home sold. If it ends up sitting on the market for a long stretch of time, then you may find that the saving isn’t really worth it.
Having an estate agent do the viewing is always the best option, but there are some rare occasions when you may have to take it on yourself. If an estate agent is too overbooked to do a viewing but the potential buyer really can’t do any other time, then you are better off doing it yourself rather than risking a potential sale.
If you find yourself in this situation, the best approach is to first show them around each room, letting them through the door first and providing only key information (take a look at your listing to see what key features the agent has pointed out). Then, invite them to take another look around on their own. If you want some advice beforehand, be sure to ask your agent who will be able to give you some personalised tips.
Avoid talking about finances, as it is your agent’s job to negotiate the sale and get you the best possible deal. Similarly, don’t be tempted to ask for feedback as this could make potential buyers feel on the spot, and most people need a bit of breathing room before they can form a proper opinion. Instead, after you thank them for coming, remind them that if they have any more questions or need anything else to contact your estate agent directly.
While it may be tempting to do your own viewings, there are plenty of compelling reasons why they are best left to the professionals. Not only do estate agents have specific experience and skills for the job, but it’s one less thing for you to worry about when you decide to sell your home. When it’s time for a viewing, simply take the dog for a walk, go to your favourite coffee shop or pop round to a neighbour’s house for a chat. Before you know it, the viewing will be over, and hopefully there will be some eager potential buyers gearing up to put in an offer.
As long as you choose your estate agent wisely, you can feel confident that they are doing their very best to sell the property at each and every viewing. For extra peace of mind that your potential estate agent is going to put in 100%, take a look at their reviews on Estate Agent Finder or search for your area so you can compare different companies. If others have been pleased with their service then you can rest assured that your viewings will be left in capable hands.Share this: