To be at home or not at home? That is the question.


Should homeowners who have instructed a selling agent to sell their property, be at home, when a prospective buyer comes to view their home? Will the owners ‘help or hinder’ the sale to a potential buyer? Should the showing of a property be left to the professionals?

Buyers can know within minutes

Potential buyers often know within minutes of entering a property if it is suitable and conversely within minutes if it is not. With the owners being at home it is more times than not, discourteous not to carry on with a timed guided tour and inspection of the property, but if it is just the selling agent, some people can be more direct and blunt by saying it is unsuitable and cut short a viewing saving everyone time.

Sellers can provide vital information

If the owners are at home when a viewing takes place, they can often be helpful and informative, but there have been times when the owners could be better named as sales prevention people.

Honesty is important but not to the detriment of everything

One such property viewing we have experienced involved a property that was situated in a West Sussex village where there had been widespread recent flooding and it was obvious that the property had suffered extensive water damage. The owner was only too pleased to point out the water mark in the cellar, approximately six feet high where the water had penetrated and flooded the cellar.

The owner said ‘it took the fire brigade more than two days to pump the cellar dry’ and when asked he went on to say ‘there was every possibility it would flood again!’

Whilst honesty is vitally important when selling a property, this fact alone has serious consequences for a potential buyer; property insurance as well as the consequential state of the property’s structure and foundations being two fairly significant points.

So, is the vender being helpful by being home during a viewing and on-hand with his honesty or could this be interpreted as being sales prevention? I think it very much depends on the vendor, so, be honest with yourself and go out if you think you might be more of a hindrance than a help!

For any information or help in finding or securing your home please contact us by email on or telephone us on + 44 (0)1962 793100.

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