Written by Alex MItchell | 22nd January 2019

MG Living Dream Home

Buying or selling a home? Dos and don’ts of property viewings

If your home is on the market, every viewing comes packed with the possibility that the prospective buyer will walk in through the front door, fall in love with your home and offer the asking price. We want every viewing to go as smoothly as possible and there are ways to maximise the possibility of a good outcome. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked here at Michael Graham.

  1. How many times can I view a property before putting in an offer? Our buyers will usually view a property a maximum of three times before making an offer.
  2. How many people can I bring along? Ideally on a first viewing only take your partner or a friend. For a second viewing, try to limit it to four.
  3. Is it rude to take a tape measure to a first viewing? It’s unnecessary more than anything - at Michael Graham our property details include floor plans showing the dimensions of each room. Measure up for sofas and beds once you’ve had an offer accepted.
  4. Can I take photographs? If your partner can’t be there and you want to show them something that doesn’t appear on the details then yes, but do ask the vendor or the estate agent showing you around first.
  5. Can making a low offer cause offence? In some cases it will, so justify the shortfall by outlining the money you would need to spend on the property if you were to buy.
  6. Is there anything you shouldn’t say in front of a vendor? The cardinal sin is to criticise the property. A home owner will not warm to you if you flippantly mention knocking down walls or removing what could be their favourite feature. Some vendors will only sell to a prospective buyer they warm to, so keep future building plans to yourself. If you end up putting in an offer, you’ll want to have a good rapport with the seller.
  7. Can I mention the asking price during the viewing? Enthusiasm for putting an offer on the table is great but do this via your estate agent after the viewing. Our job is to negotiate on your behalf.
  8. Should I speak to the neighbours before making an offer? The landlord of the local pub is usually a good source of information but leave chatting to the neighbours until your offer has been accepted.
  9. Is it acceptable to move curtains to look for cracks in the walls, or pull up rugs to check the floorboards? Definitely not in front of the vendor, but if your estate agent is conducting the viewing then a limited amount of inspection is understandable. In any case, it’s a surveyor’s job to complete all those checks once you’ve had an offer accepted.
  10. Can I take my children to viewings? Young children will of course need supervising which may not be conducive to a very relaxed viewing, so if you can take advantage of childcare options it’s probably a good idea.
  11. If I’m the vendor and I’m at home for the viewing, how should I act? If conducting the viewing yourself, be welcoming and available to answer any questions but avoid shadowing the buyer’s every move. If your estate agent is there, keep a low profile.

At Michael Graham we have over 50 years’ experience of facilitating viewings and selling houses. Our 14 offices cover 8 counties and central London so if you’re looking to buy, to sell or to rent this year, contact your local Michael Graham office. We’d love to help you successfully move in 2019.

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