Recently Trading Places’ own Gary Butler was interviewed by the Guild of Professional Estate Agents on the subject of “open house” viewings to sell your property.
Is “open house” always the right approach?
An open house viewing day/event strategy is only beneficial in certain circumstances. Firstly, the market, or at least the property in question, should warrant an open day e.g. there should be sufficient buyer demand.
Timeslots or just turn up?
We have found that by allocating specific viewing time slots, you allow prospective buyers their own time to take everything in. Even if those time slots are just 10-15 mins long, the prospective buyer is able to focus on the viewing, instead of bumping into others. In our experience, and based on client feedback, house hunters really do appreciate this one-on-one time and they feel more comfortable asking questions.
We would usually start with a 2 hour viewing window and have the event take place 7-14 days after the property goes onto the market. When the viewings are being booked you will usually find that the initial viewing window will increase, dependant on the level of interest coming in.
How should viewers be handled?
We believe it’s important to be clear with those viewing the property as to exactly what would happen should they wish to make an offer. Each prospective buyer is given a set of property details along with an Offer Form. The form requests information to assess a buyers’ circumstances and buying credentials, for example ‘what is the offer you wish to make?’, ‘do you require a mortgage?’ and ‘what level of deposit do you have?’, and so on.
The Offer Form explains how to submit an offer and the timeframe. For example, since these events are often conducted on a Saturday, offers are to be received by midday on the following Monday or Tuesday.
What should the seller do on the day?
We strongly advise the seller to go out for the day, and leave everything to the agent. That being said, when sellers spend a few pounds on some sandwiches, crisps, cold drinks, even a few bottles of wine, the prospective buyers really appreciate the gesture. Bringing children to a viewing can be demanding for them, so a few light refreshments go down very well. Of course, this kind of scenario may not suit every situation, but it has never failed to impress and is not a big expense for the seller.
What about selling a rented property?
Getting any tenant on side can save issues. Whilst the seller is motivated to find a buyer, it often pays to work with the tenant; a day’s free rent in return for making the property as clean, tidy and uncluttered as possible, as well as going out for the day, could well be worth it.
What to do next
Now you know our secrets of open house selling success, why not contact us to arrange for your property to marketed through Trading Places?