On the 12th July the leading BBC One Show at 7pm featured three sets of buyers shown around a property firstly by the homeowner and then by an estate agent. At the end of the experiment each buyer was asked to choose their preferred method. Four out of the five buyers championed the online agent. One buyer commented: "The lady owner impressed us with her personal knowledge."
SO HERE'S HOW TO GET IT RIGHT WHEN SHOWING YOUR OVERSEAS HOME TO PROSPECTIVE BUYERS
Just five minutes after stepping out of the car can be enough to fall in love with a wonderful overseas home and know you want to buy it!
....that said, some preparation and planning is required to make the very best impression to prospective buyers that come to view your property. Firstly, don't presume that the viewing will be a quick affair. As an indication, for an independent house with gardens, be prepared that the visit could take at least an hour and often longer.
Whether you are showing your property yourself or if the appointed agent is showing the property, the drill needs to be the same:-
The preparation, we've all heard the tricks of baking bread or brewing coffee so a nice aroma floods through the house, not bad ideas. In addition, open all those windows (even if the weather is a little fresh), pin back all those shutters and let the breeze spread through the house.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the viewing starts at the actual property. The approach road, the views to either side, say a lot about the property so this bit you need to get right too. If there are two approach routes, one prettier than the other, or if the road is somewhat tricky (steep, unpaved etc) it could be worth meeting the prospective buyer in the nearby village and escorting them to the property, either following you or better still they come in the car so they can appreciate the surroundings, not having to concentrate on driving.
Arrival At The Property
On arrival, park up or, if driving separately, encourage the buyer to park up, in the very best spot so when they step out of the car they get the best impact of the exterior of the property and/or the view.
Hold that position! Make some small talk, make those introductions, linger and let them take it all in!
Entering The House
Enter the house by the doorway which leads into the most impressive room, this may not be the front door but seeing as first impressions last make sure you enter a room/hallway which gives a sense a warmth/grandeur/authenticity.
- No need to point out minor problems. A first viewing is to get a sense of the property as a whole. That small damp patch or broken door can be shown on a second viewing or will come up in the survey.
- Don't linger in smaller rooms or corridors
- Don’t have too many personal photos and trinkets. It is good to allow the prospective buyer to imagine their family in the house.
- White linen on the beds
- Open all the windows
- Open all the shutters
- AND, turn on all the lights
- Fruit bowls and vases of flowers on dining and terrace tables
- Position chairs and benches to best appreciate the views and surroundings, creating an ambiance of relaxation
- Linger in the best spots - just happen to break into conversation under that fig tree from where the view is so beautiful!
- Point out things that could be added to the property. Even buyers intent on buying a fully completed property become enthused by the idea of being able to personalise a little or indeed add further value.
- Be prepared, if it happens to be love at first sight you may be asked numerous questions – running costs, planning consents, annual taxes, distances to services (such as hospitals, golf clubs etc), potential rental income per annum. Have it all to hand.
Give the prospective buyer a brochure to take away so they can flick through the photos to reflect later on. Include some floor plans and a land map.
Let them leave feeling the same enthusiasm you have for the property. Share those special secrets with them as to why you bought the property and your favourite moments and times of year at the property.
With just a little preparation and a few strategic ‘lingers’ there is no one better to show your property than yourself - no one knows your home better than you, so why should anyone show your home but you.