Coronavirus: sell or let your property safely with Open House Leicester and learn about how we're carrying out viewings and valuations. FIND OUT MORE
When it comes to property viewings, first impressions really do count. If you’re selling or letting your house, you’re likely to have two key opportunities to showcase your home: the online advert, and the viewing itself. So how do you compete in the unstoppable housing boom right now?
Over the past 12 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed not only many aspects of everyday life but also major industries and sectors – including the property market and its processes. While house viewings were previously a relatively simple process, we must now consider the safety aspect of allowing someone to view a property. Social distancing, mask wearing, and hand sanitation have become an absolute necessity for those embarking on physical viewings.
As one of the best estate agents in Leicester, we’ve got a wealth of experience under our belts when it comes to property viewings. We’ve worked throughout the pandemic, adapting our own processes to ensure they remain compliant with government guidelines while making sure that we can still offer the highest standards of property services that you would expect from a leading estate agents in Leicester. With this in mind, we’ve put together a helpful guide for preparing for property viewings during, and after, the pandemic. If you are looking to sell a house in Leicester, these are the best practices that we would recommend following!
Lots of things have become virtual over the past year, from awards nights to team building events, and property viewings are certainly no exception. Earlier this year, a virtual viewing was the only way that you could look at property and some people loved the convenience of it! If you’re someone that would prefer this, the team at Open House can make it work – that’s why we’re the best estate agents in leicester.
Even though this is a virtual viewing, and you have a degree of control over what people can see, it is essential that your property is clean and tidy. There should be no clutter or rubbish, so that it’s presented in the best possible light. A virtual viewing may be the only time someone sees your property before purchase, or it may be the thing that pushes them to ask for an in-person viewing; either way, if it isn’t clean and tidy, this will likely put people off from the outset. People want to purchase a place that they can picture themselves living in, and so it needs to meet (and hopefully exceed!) any expectations that they may have.
Having high quality photos of your property is important for your advert, but they become vital if this is the only reference that someone has for your property. Good photos will effectively showcase your property, which means that they should be taken at a google angle and with good lighting. There should also be enough photos to give people a good sense of the property, so make sure that you take pictures of all of the rooms in the building, and any stand-out features (things that make the property worth more!).
A video tour is one of the most effective ways of showing your property. It’s difficult to hide things on video, which means that it is a signal of trust and transparency. A great video should be: high definition, in-depth and accessible on all platforms. If it is a live video, using video conferencing software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you should be prepared to focus on specific areas of the property and answer any related questions. In our experience, people that want to buy a house in Leicester are keen to get as much information as possible. And on that note:
It is highly likely that you will receive more questions at a virtual property viewing. This is because people aren’t able to visit and discover the answers for themselves. They may also be concerned about not seeing the property in person, and asking questions to compensate for this. If you attend the virtual viewing, you will need to be able to answer the questions calmly and confidently to make people feel confident. Your estate agent will be able to help you with this; if you don’t want to attend the viewing, you should make sure that they have all of the information that they need.
While many things have become virtual, in-person property viewings aren’t off the table. In fact, as the best estate agents in Leicester, we can confirm that this style of viewing is going ahead now more than ever. The pandemic just means that it is even more important that your property is ready for viewing – in part, because this will limit the amount of people that you’re in close quarters with.
A thorough clean is essential when preparing your property for a viewing. This is because some people may want to get up close and personal with every crack and crevice of the building. Some commonly forgotten areas include: the oven, underneath appliances, bath fittings and any sealant / grouting. The cleaner the property, the more appealing it is – trust us, we’d know.
Having clear floors and surfaces can transform the overall appearance of your property. It also highlights the amount of space and light that potential buyers have to play with. This is actually our top tip for people that are interested in putting their property on the market, because you really don’t realise the amount of clutter you have, and the bad impression that it makes, until you get rid of it. If you’re not in the position to throw out, sell or move these kinds of things, renting a storage unit can be hugely beneficial.
There’s a reason that estate agents are typically associated with the smell of freshly baked cookies. While we’re the best estate agents in Leicester, we don’t typically go down this route. Instead we suggest opening all of your windows and airing the property out. You should also remove any rubbish, avoid smelly foods and remove any animals if possible. Finally, we would suggest investing in some nice candles or air fresheners – first impressions matter the most, and so your property needs to appeal to all of the senses.
Natural light is something that a lot of people look for in a property. So if you have plenty of windows, make the most of them! Make sure that any curtains and blinds are open, so that people can see the room in the best possible light. After all, daylight can make a room seem bigger and brighter, two things that will lead to instant market success.
When preparing your property for viewings, it’s easy to forget about the exterior. It’s important to make sure that the building, garden and driveway are all in tip-top condition, which means that you may have your work cut out for you. We would even recommend looking at the street outside of your property, and giving it some TLC. After all, if there’s rubbish or debris outside, it gives a pretty poor first impression of the neighbourhood!
While we’re no longer in lockdown, the pandemic isn’t over. This means that you should provide hand gel and masks for anyone that comes into the property. Luckily, this is something that your estate agents can likely help you out with.
Hopefully our handy guide has made you feel slightly more prepared about selling your house in Leicester. Following these simple tips will help your property to stand out – we’re confident that it will be swept off the market in no time. And if you’re buying a house in Leicester, these are all signs of a well-looked after property from a trustworthy buyer.
If you’re interested in hearing more from the best estate agents in Leicester, be sure to check out our previous blog post, “Renting Through An Estate Agent: The Benefits”.