If your home is for sale, weekends can often be a whirlwind of tidying, vacuuming and sending the kids out to walk the dog, so that your home looks at its very best for viewings. But when Monday comes around, it’s the same old story – your viewers say it’s not for them. It’s disappointing and frustrating.
A lovely gentleman from Coniston called the office recently to ask for our advice. He had had a record 30 viewings on his house over the last year, but not only had no one offered on the house, not a single viewer had booked a second viewing. He wanted to know what he could do to improve the situation.
Statistically, we know that a house sells on average after around 12-15 viewings. During this time there should be at least two or three second viewings, and usually a low offer or two. So after 30 viewings, this gentleman should have had say, five second viewings and three offers, of which the last should have been high enough for him to accept.
To help this gentleman understand why he was getting lots of viewings but no offers, we looked at all the factors that could be affecting the saleability of his Lake District home:
- Marketing – perhaps the wrong aspects of the house are being promoted, such as a photograph of the back of the house used as the main photograph in the advertising. Estate agent photographers often like to use very wide-angled lenses, which can make small rooms look vast, and therefore be misleading. Perhaps the house is next to a school or has no garden, but this has not been mentioned in the description at all. Your marketing materials (brochure, online advert, photography) should all be flattering, but not misrepresentative.
- Estate agent – if your estate agent is being pushy in an effort to persuade everyone to view your property, whether suitable or not, you can find you have lots of viewers who can’t afford your house, or for whom your home just wouldn’t work. Have a chat with your agent, and ask them to be selective. If they ask the right questions of your potential viewers they can then discern whether a viewing would be a waste of everyone’s time, or if it could be worthwhile.
- Viewing feedback – make sure that your agent is seeking full and frank feedback from your viewers. A comment of “not for us” is not helpful to either of you. Impress the importance of being aware of any concerns, particularly those that you can do something about, like an unpopular carpet choice, or a maintenance issue. The sooner you know why they didn’t want to buy your home, the quicker you can improve your chances for the next viewer.
- Presentation – if you’re succeeding in getting potential buyers across the door, but they don’t want to make an offer, then it stands to reason that they don’t like what they find on the viewing. If it’s a presentation issue, hiring a professional property stylist can really help. Their objective viewpoint can often identify areas that are easy and inexpensive to rectify. A beautifully-presented home that has been styled especially for photography and viewings will set you head and shoulders above the competition.
In some ways, having lots of viewings but no offers is a much easier problem to deal with than no viewings, and is a positive measure of how many buyers are looking for a property of your type, location and price range. Now all you need to do is attract that one viewer who actually wants to buy your house. If you are in this situation too, we’d love to share with you some thoughts on why you might not have had a successful offer so far. We’ve helped thousands of homeowners over the last thirteen years to sell sometimes very difficult homes, and maybe we can help you too.
Sam and Phil