Dos and don’ts when viewing houses for sale

If you’ve ever tried to sell a house, then you’ve probably had some issues with the potential buyers who came to view the house. Even in a buyers' market, there are several lines which shouldn't be crossed by people viewing a property for sale. 

Owners might have had experiences where potential buyers had dirt and debris brought in from outside, dirtying carpets and floors. Owners might have also experienced potential buyers who freely open doors and cupboards without asking, or worst still, leaving them open when they are ready. There is also that rare experience of owners finding things missing after people came over to view the house. 

Potential buyers must remember that they are entering a private home, and there must be some kind of etiquette for this. The first thing that a potential buyer must do is be on time for the viewing. People do not like to wait, and it gives a negative impression if a buyer arrives late. 

Ideally, a buyer should turn up just with a partner or a friend for a first viewing. For a second viewing it is acceptable to bring perhaps somebody else, but one must avoid having a lot of people for the viewings. In Malta young couples tend to take the whole family on tour, which is fine, but at least after they would have short-listed a few properties after first viewings. 

A potential buyer should tell the owner what is good and likeable about the house, and be thankful for the time. The very worst thing you can do is say things about how the house does not look nice; the vendor is probably very proud of their property the way it is. 

It might be rude for a buyer to take a tape measure and a camera to a first viewing. Once an offer has been made and accepted, then one can start measuring to see if the furniture fits; in fact, this proves to the vendor that the buyer is serious. 

Ideally, a buyer should turn up just with a partner or a friend for a first viewing Aidan Xuereb

Other thing a buyer must be cautious about is when making very low offers - these can be offensive, unless handled in the right way. One must always back up a low offer by saying that it's the top of the budget, but a buyer must be prepared to enter into psychological warfare. 

Some good advice to a potential buyer is not to look scruffy when viewing houses, but equally, if one looks too smart, the vendor might assume the buyer has loads of money. Leaving the children and babies at home is a good idea for the first viewing, as they can turn the house into a playground. Furthermore if a viewer must use the bathroom, it’s imperative to flush when ready. 

Finally, one must look interested, as if a buyer must go for a second viewing; it’s very probable that there would be a much cooler reception from the vendor. 

More in Property