Ask the expert: what's the most important thing to do on viewing day?

If you've got viewers coming to see your property, you'll want to make sure that both you and your home make a great first impression. Here are our top tips for preparing the house to welcome its potential new owners.

Declutter and depersonalise

It's important to remember that when people view a house, they're trying to picture themselves living there. This is much easier to do when the house is free from the bits and bobs that mark it as yours.

Tidy away personal possessions like photographs, holiday souvenirs and knick-knacks so that the buyers can visualise how they'd style their potential future home. But don't go too far – a bare, characterless room isn't very appealing, so add some neutral accessories such as candles or flowers. Decluttering beforehand also makes it easier to spring-clean the house from top to bottom before viewers arrive, paying particular attention to kitchens and bathrooms. 

Put out the welcome mat

Don't underestimate the importance of a warm welcome. By being friendly and hospitable to your viewers, you can associate the house with those feelings in their memory. Brew a pot of fresh coffee to offer your viewers when they arrive. Domestic scents – such as coffee or baking bread – create an instantly cosy atmosphere.

If you're selling your home in winter, then be sure to turn the heating on beforehand, as well as lights and lamps to brighten up the space. Making the extra effort to welcome viewers means they'll be more likely to ask any questions they have, and provide you with the opportunity to up-sell your home.

Build a rapport with buyers

Try to get to know your viewers while showing them around the house. This will allow you to highlight the best features depending on what each buyer is looking for. A young family, for example, could be particularly interested in the size of the garden for additional play space, while retired couples would be more concerned with the accessibility of the bathrooms.

Once you've identified your buyer type, you can talk up the neighbourhood, highlighting the best schools for children or discussing commuting links. Having built a rapport with your viewers and completed the tour, take a step back and invite them to go around the house again on their own.

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