Conducting House Viewings: The Do's and Don'ts
Learn the best way to conduct your viewings. From cleaning and tidying properly to answering questions in a detailed way, we'll cover it all here.
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Today, house viewings are an integral part of the house renting process. From meeting prospective tenants to negotiating rental agreements, house viewings play a crucial role in getting the house rented. As someone who is about to conduct house viewings for the first time, there may be some things you don't know about this critical step in the house renting process. In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to do and not do during a house viewing so that your experience as a landlord goes smoothly.Be Prepared to Answer Any Questions in Advance
Some house viewings feel more like an interrogation than anything. It's your job as the landlord to be prepared for any questions a prospective tenant might have. And make sure you have answers, so you don't get stuck in awkward silence with them! Here are some examples of questions: How is parking? What does the yard look like? Is there gas in the house, or will I need to pay extra as part of my rent? Do pets come with this house, or do they cost extra? Being on top of these questions beforehand can save both parties time.
Also, it could save you money and energy later on when it comes time to negotiate a rental agreement.Make Sure Your Home is clean and Tidy before a ViewingIt's natural to want your house to look nice for a house viewing, but it also needs to be clean and tidy. Dirty dishes in the sink or an overflowing trash can turn off potential tenants on their first visit!
A huge way that you can keep your house looking good while house-sitting is by keeping up with a cleaning routine. Even if it means doing so every day before prospective tenants show up. This includes dusting furniture, mopping floors and wiping down countertops. It seems like no one likes coming into someone else's home when they're immediately hit with dirt and grime all over everything!
If you have pets in the house, then make sure that you vacuum any pet hair or brushed it out of the house. If you have carpets in your home, make sure it's cleaned or at least brushed off with a broom before people come in as well!
Be careful not to put your house up for sale when doing house viewings. Because prospective tenants may think that you are trying to sell them the home. And offer less rent than they would have otherwise. Or even flat out refuse to view altogether if it means going through an inspection process. Lastly, don't forget to include all of these things on your list of house rules. So future renters know what they're walking into beforehand!
Give Potential Buyers Space to Wander Around the House
A house viewing is not a house tour. Meaning that it's your job as the landlord to let potential tenants do their exploring. You can offer them specific areas of the house to visit. But you shouldn't follow in tow and be looking over every inch of their shoulder.
Give prospective tenants space to wander around on their terms. Without feeling like you are watching them. And explore any area they want without feeling like you're watching from behind. This way, they won't have an intrusive experience with someone following them around every second. While they look at your home. This could lead these people away from renting altogether. Or just get aggravated enough to leave before even signing anything! This will only make them feel uncomfortable! Being too hands-on during house viewings also sends the message that you're a pushy person. It's also not fair to house-sit for someone and then follow them around their house while they try to look at it!
Don't Forget that You Are an Expert on Your Property
The house and property you've worked hard to maintain is your baby. You should be confident about what you say and how the house looks. And know everything there is to know about it before any prospective tenant can ask a question!
Your house is your property and you should know everything about it. Think of yourself as the house's spokesperson. Be confident, knowledgeable and helpful to prospective tenants at all times! If you aren't proud of your house then why would anyone else want to live there? The more prepared you can look during a house viewing. The better chance that a potential tenant will walk away feeling like they have found their perfect home. Making them more likely to rent from you in the future.
Remember, It's Not Just About Selling the Property
While house viewings might seem like a stressful way to sell your property. It's the best way to find someone who will enjoy living there as much you have. It's also about finding the right buyer who will love living there as much as you do. It can be an enjoyable experience, and if not, then at least a new house is in the works!
You don't want prospective tenants walking around viewing houses that they know are too expensive for them. Or out of their price range. Just because they're trying to keep up with what other people see on sites such as Zoopla or Rightmove. If they know how much rent prices start at for specific areas or neighbourhoods. Then chances are better that these renters could actually afford to rent something. This would make everyone involved happy!
If potential house renters ask to see all of the rooms, you should be happy to oblige. Give them one even if they don't buy anything so they can see how spacious. Or large each room is and so that they won't come back later saying something was missing. Yet again, a house viewing is not a house tour.
Allowing prospective tenants space and time on their terms will make them feel more comfortable with house viewings. Because they know that someone isn't following behind every second looking over their shoulder! This way, they won't have an intrusive experience with someone watching from behind. At the same time, they look at your home. It could lead these people away from renting altogether. Or just get aggravated enough before even signing anything! You don't want house-sitters house-sitting for someone and then be following them around their house. Especially while they try to look at it!Be confident about what you say and how the house looks. And know everything there is to know about it before any prospective tenant can ask a question.
Potential house renters must see that someone they'd like to live with knows their stuff. It'll only make them feel more comfortable when renting from you in the future. Or if they choose not to rent now because of something small. Answering questions without stuttering will also send a message: this might be my first time doing house viewings, but I'm sure competent enough for it.
Don't Let Pets Roam Free in the House
You know your house best, but don't let the pets roam free during house viewings. If there are any animals in the house, keep them inside or outside of rooms where people will be looking around. Or at least on a leash! It might not seem like much to some landlords who have had their homes rented before. And never ran into this problem! But it is an important detail that can make all the difference between someone renting your house for years. Or just walking away.
Do Be on Time for All Appointments While Conducting Viewings
If you're unable to be present for house viewings because of work commitments. Then at least have someone else show the house. You should also make sure that whoever is showing your home has all the necessary information about it. And if they don't know anything about potential house-related questions. Then they need to have a list prepared ahead of time with their answers!
As the housing market heats up and you find yourself in need of a new place to live. It is important that potential buyers are cautious when going on property viewings. Or allowing others into their home. Here we have answered some frequently asked questions with advice from the government guidance for your reassurance during this time period.
What is the government's advice on house viewings during COVID?
If you're considering buying a home during the ongoing pandemic. Please make sure to schedule appointments in advance. And avoid going through homes with multiple people at the same time. When touring properties in person, it's important that you try not to touch anything. While being as vigilant about your hand hygiene as possible. If small children are accompanying you then this becomes even more of an issue. Because they will contact surfaces without reservation if their hands aren't kept clean!
After the recent coronavirus scare, it is important to take your own safety into account first and foremost. If you are self-isolating or showing symptoms of this virus then postponing any physical appointments should be a priority. Find out more about self-isolating.
Should I prefer virtual house viewings over physical viewings?
You can still find your potential house during the lockdown. To find the best home, you should work with a real estate agent to make virtual walkthroughs of potential houses. This is because physical viewings are usually only necessary when someone feels very strongly about purchasing property and wants to be sure before they buy it. There are two options when it comes to virtual viewings. They can be pre-recorded or a live tour with the owner. If you do have access, then go slow and ask lots of questions about cupboards, fuses boards and boilers as well. You'll want to take a good look at window frames for their condition too - but Google Street View is there if things aren't clear enough in person!
Is open house viewings permitted?
Due to the ongoing outbreak of a worldwide disease that has been spreading with alarming speed and severity. The UK government has advised the citizens not to attend any events. Such as conducting house viewings with the intention of meeting prospective homebuyers at private residences. Where they would be likely exposed. Even briefly - without protection from infection themselves.
House viewings are a big responsibility for landlords. It's not just about being at the house viewing to answer questions and show off your property. You also need to do some research beforehand. Including learning how to prepare an effective showing checklist that will help you navigate any potential challenges during the visit. This can be overwhelming when you're new in this business. But as long as you know what goes into making a good showing list and have all of those items covered beforehand. Then there should be no surprises come time for the tenant inspection! If you're looking for more information. Or have specific questions related to conducting successful home inspections with tenants.
For more advice, you can check out our article on Conducting House Viewings During COVID.
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