Selling your house can be a daunting task, especially if you have never taken the plunge into the property market before. Terminology such as EPC, gazumping and accompanied viewings will be familiar to anyone who has dealt with a house sale, but, if you’re a first-timer, it can be really tough to know exactly what you are supposed to be doing.
When you’re looking to appoint an estate agent, one question that will come up more that once is: ‘Do you want to carry out your own viewings?’ With the rise of online agents (a lower priced way of selling, but with more involvement from yourself) the idea of showing potential buyers around your property has become more and more popular. Most sellers still prefer to have the agent do this but, is the agent in a better position to showcase your home than you? Whilst they may know what will and won’t be a selling point, can anyone know your home better than you?
There’s no right answer here – some online agents would argue that you are best placed to carry out viewings, as nobody knows the property quite like you. They may also say that estate agents don’t always have the ability to deliver viewings at any time of the day. If you manage your own viewings, you can see people at a time that suits you, even at 9pm on a Friday!
A traditional local estate agent could argue that they are the experts and homebuyers are impulsive and unpredictable. Local agents may feel that they are better placed to carry out a viewing at a moment’s notice or when you are unavailable, making the most of every possible sales opportunity and achieving the best price for your home. Accompanied viewings can also take the stress out of showing strangers around your home, with viewings taking place even if you are at work.
There’s one more important thing to consider – prospective buyers can often be hypercritical and negative about the properties they are looking at and this can be quite difficult to hear if you are managing the viewing yourself. On the flipside, a lot of buyers won’t feel comfortable being honest to the owner’s if they don’t like their property.
Would you happily walk into someone else’s house, and tell them to their face that you aren’t a fan? Agents give you a middleman to elicit honest feedback and a real idea of whether or not a buyer is interested.
It’s worth pointing out that even with a traditional estate agent, there may be a time you need to conduct a viewing to make sure a buyer can see your property. Equally, a number of online agents offer viewing services so make sure you look at exactly what is on offer.
Before you pick an agent, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you available at a moment’s notice?
- How confident are you with strangers?
- Will you try to oversell the property?
- Will you give out too much information about your home – good and bad?
- How will you deal with negativity?
- How strong are you when it comes to dealing with on the spot negotiations that you could regret later?
If you are confident that you can keep a cool head and be objective, then carrying out your own viewings could make an online estate agent a viable option and greatly reduce your fees. But keep in mind that if you aren’t confident, you run the risk of under or overselling your property, and turning off buyers and not achieving the best price for your property.