Introduction:

The seller's property has been cleaned, staged and listed. Fantastic! The hard work must be done... right? Well, not quite. Now you need to focus on selling the property in person during house viewings, which is where this House Viewing Checklist comes in.

If done correctly, the viewing itself can add to the already boosted sale price from cleaning and staging. In fact, properties have been known to go almost 20% higher in price during open house viewings.

By following these easy steps, you'll be running smooth and successful open house and private viewings left, right and center!

We also have articles on the best real estate apps and several other free real estate checklists for you to check out.

Let's get started.

Preparation:

Record basic details

First off in the house viewing checklist, you need to make sure that you have the basic details of (and surrounding) the property noted down. Fill in the form fields below in order to record everything you need to know in one easy-to-access place.

Property owner details

Listing agent details

Property details

Confirm the type of viewing

Next, you need to speak to the seller and discuss whether to hold an open house or private viewings. Record their choice below.

Consider hosting open house viewings to drum up interest (the relaxed nature of open house draws in a wider range of prospective buyers) and then arranging private viewings if the viewer is interested after seeing the property.

By doing this, you can attract a wide range of buyers, then proceed to slim the pool down to those most interested in purchasing, saving all parties time by not diving straight into private inspections.

Record prospective buyer details

Schedule a viewing date

Next, a viewing date and time needs to be arranged and cleared with the seller. Note, this should not fall on a public holiday, nor when a major sporting or local civic event is occurring.

Record the arranged time using the form field below.

The window for open house viewings is usually on a Sunday, between noon and 2 pm, and the chosen time for open houses must be entered into the Multiple Listing Service database. If sorting a time for a private viewing, you must contact the viewer in question and stamp out a time that also works for them.

Clear the house of occupants for that time

During the viewing, the occupants need to be out of the property, and so you must clear this with the seller. This encourages buyers to imagine themselves living there, whereas occupant presence re-affirms the home in their mind to belong to someone else.

Prepare the property

The next step in the house viewing checklist is to prepare the property for the viewing.

This includes cleaning and staging the home, for which we would highly recommend that you take a look at our checklists on these topics; both are too lengthy to go into detail within this house viewing checklist.

Remember to air out the property (leaving enough time for it to heat up again if cold) and to request the seller put away any valuables. This is especially important for open house viewings, as the very nature of the appointment means that you will be unable to monitor all parties at the same time; valuables should not be left where they can be pocketed.

Invite neighbours

It is a good idea to contact neighbours to the property and invite them to the open house viewing. By encouraging them to extend the invitation to anyone they know who is looking to buy a house you can easily extend the pool of viewers.

Pre-screen the viewers

It is extremely useful to research the viewers before they come to see the property. Doing this allows some predictions to be made of their questions and possibly even what information would be better to focus on during the viewing.

If you wish to organize the viewer information into a spreadsheet, record a link to that sheet in the form field below for easy access.

Obviously, their names will be known. However, if you can, find out the following sub-checklist of items.

  • 1
    Where they are moving from
  • 2
    Their search criteria
  • 3
    What they have already seen
  • 4
    What they like about this particular property
  • 5
    Their buying position
  • 6
    Who will be at the viewing
  • 7
    Who the property is for

Collect vital property information

Now that you are somewhat familiar with the viewers, the vital information of the property needs to be succinctly collected. This will form the base of the information you can relay during the viewing and allow any questions to be confidently answered.

At the very least you need to collect the property's:

  • 1
    Sale history
  • 2
    Time since entering the market
  • 3
    Property tax band
  • 4
    Average utility bills
  • 5
    Energy rating
  • 6
    Local facilities (primary and secondary schools, colleges, shops, bus routes, etc.)

You also need to confirm with the seller everything that will be included in the sale. For example, will the furniture stay? Or are even the carpets and last few buckets of paint being removed? 

Also, note (in general terms) why the property is being sold. If the result of a divorce settlement, ask if the sellers are willing to present a united front. Some buyers can be quickly turned off by the thought of a forced seller who is difficult to negotiate with. Do not hide this information if asked (for example, do not hide that the sellers are getting a divorce), however, ensure that this is not presented in a negative way.

Create fliers

You will need fliers to give out at an open house viewing, and so you must now create and print them. Upload a copy of your flier to the form field below for safe keeping.

These should contain clear photos of the property and all of the basic features and information. Finally, ensure that a contact telephone number or email address (preferably both) is provided.

Rehearse

Imagine Estate Agent News with How to Approach the Viewing Process

Vital to any house viewing checklist (indeed, any house viewing full stop), you need to rehearse the viewing at least once thoroughly. This does not have to be in the house, although it would be ideal to perform on location and to clear the method with the seller; inclusion in the process will even strengthen their opinion of you.

This should cover the order of the rooms to show, any features to pick out and emphasize, what is included in the sale, etc.

Sam Ashdown suggests that buyers make up their mind within the first 14 seconds of viewing, so it is highly recommended that you start with the best room downstairs (good first impression). This will likely be the lounge or kitchen.

Order the garden to be shown before the upstairs, and show bedrooms in order of the smallest first. By doing this, the smallest bedroom will seem larger; starting with the master bedroom renders the smallest minuscule in comparison. Finally, end in the best room downstairs once again.

The viewing:

Confirm date and time with prospective buyer

Confirm the date and time so you don't waste your time attending a viewing with no viewer!

Use the email template below to send the prospective buyer an email requesting confirmation.

Scheduled viewing date: {{form.Viewing_date}}

Dress to impress

Although this is no comment on your personal style, ensure that you are wearing appropriate clothes to conduct the viewing. This does not mean to go all-out on penguins and pearls - smart casual will suffice.

Check that your shoes are clean and polished (if needs be); ladies should have heels of a moderate height. It goes without saying, but for the sake of completion remember to be clean yourself and have a neat appearance; styled or at least trimmed hair, shaved or shaped beard, etc.

Make sure your phone is available

In the interest of safety, ensure that your phone is charged up and available to you at all times during the viewing. Once again, this is merely a precaution, but safety must come first.

Get there early to prepare

On the morning of the viewing you need to get there early to prepare. For an open house, set up readable directions to the property on the way to the property and place an "Open House" sign in the garden.

You should be waiting for your viewers when they arrive, not the other way around. At an open house viewing the potential buyers could get restless, and for private viewings your first impression is that of rudeness.

Neither of these are positive for selling the property, so set your alarm and do a quick once-over of the location at least a half hour before the arranged viewing time. Check that all exit doors are unlocked in case of an emergency and set the sign-in book as close to the front door as possible.

Host the open house

Greet each viewer at the door and get them to sign the log book. Next give viewers the basic information fliers and allow them to make their own way around the house. If it is a slow day then feel free to escort visitors around the property (see Private Viewing below). Answer all questions the viewers may have.

Be friendly and welcoming, but not pushy or desperate; you could spend months in contact with this person, so be polite.

When it's time to wrap things up, make sure that viewers aware of what to do next. Ensure that they know:

  • who to talk to about arranging a private viewing
  • how to contact them
  • who to make offers to
  • where they should ask future questions

Finally, ask if any offers wish to be made and record these to pass on to the seller. Once viewers have left ensure that all windows and window coverings are closed. Turn off all lights and lock all doors before leaving, removing the "Open House" sign and directions.

Conduct the private viewing

Most buyers like to look around in peace, so don't overburden viewers with information, or introduce the room you're about to show off (this is self-explanatory). This also allows the buyers to feel that they have looked over the property in as much detail as they wished to; do not rush them.

Point out obvious defects. Whilst this may seem counter-productive, this will ensure that the buyer won't think you're trying to hide anything and it will put them at ease. Explain what the defects are in a positive manner, and whether or not they will be fixed by the current owners before moving out.

Remember to tell them what is included, preferably at the beginning of the tour. Answer questions as they view the home and highlight features which may be of interest. When answering questions do not intentionally mislead the buyer; as this will do no good in the long-term and legal ramifications are very likely.

After the viewing:

Follow up contact

After a pre-determined amount of time (usually within a few days) you need to contact the viewers who were present and ask if they wish to make an offer or want to attend another viewing. Record the viewers you have already contacted using the form field below.

Any and all offers must be relayed back to the seller, along with collective interest in further viewings.

Arrange future viewings

If your viewer wishes to attend a second session, you need to start this checklist again. It is a highly encouraging sign if they want a second viewing, so congratulations on getting further interest in the property!

If the first viewing was an open house, consider recommending a private viewing to give the potential buys a more in-depth look at the property. If the private viewing has already been held, simply give a quick tour to refresh their memory. Allow them to look around more under their own steam and answer any further questions.

You have now completed the House Viewing Checklist! You're one step closer to selling your property.

Sources:

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