How to stay safe when selling your property

With the winter months now well and truly upon us, including short days and miserable weather on a regular basis, most of us are happy to batten down the hatches and stay in the warm of an evening.

If you’re selling your home, however, early evening may be the only timeslot you have available to show prospective buyers around your home. As it gets darker much earlier, it is therefore important to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and successful viewing.

Displaying your property’s best features is a key part of the selling process but permitting strangers to enter your home without an appointment could be asking for trouble.

While a ‘For Sale’ board can be an effective marketing tool, having one outside your home could lead to someone turning up on the door and asking for a viewing right there and then.

As estate agents working across Enfield and all over London, we have used our expert knowledge to come up with a list of do’s and don’ts to make sure you stay safe and minimise hassle during the viewing stage of the sales process.

Surprise visit

Should someone turn up unannounced, without an appointment, expecting to view the property there and then, you are well within your rights to respectfully refer them to your estate agent to rearrange for another time that better suits you.

This means the agent can take their details, find out about their requirements and make sure they are a suitable prospective buyer to view your home.

It’s all in the detail

Following on from this, ensure that you have the right name and contact details for each viewer and ask them to confirm these details upon arrival. This isn’t an over-the-top measure; it’s just being sensible and careful.

Of course, your agent should have all these details and have already confirmed with the prospective buyer. Meanwhile, being vigilant for unusual details – such as names or phone numbers – is also wise.

Don’t give too much away

It’s important that you are kind, welcoming and courteous when conducting a viewing, as you’ll want to make a good impression and put across your home in the best possible light.

That said, it’s equally important that you don’t provide too much personal information. Be wary of any conversations that go down the path of your holiday or work plans, or questions about when the property is likely to be empty. It could be nothing, but it’s best to proceed with caution here.

If your agent is on-hand to do an accompanied viewing, allow them to do the majority of the talking and answer questions where appropriate.

Safety in numbers

If you are carrying out the viewing alone and don’t feel entirely comfortable with that thought, then don’t hesitate to ask a friend, family member or neighbour to accompany you.

It’s advisable, particularly in the winter, to ask your agent to carry out accompanied viewings. However, if that’s not possible, think about how you can ensure the viewing is a safe one with all the necessary precautions in place.

If your agent is able to carry out the viewing on your behalf, you should make sure they have a set of keys and that the house is ready for a viewing at any time of the day.

Most viewings pass by without a fuss, but it’s still important to be aware of the associated risks (however small these may be) to ensure you remain safe when trying to sell your property.

Value your estate agent’s advice

As estate agents, we carry out viewings every day and know how to make sure all the necessary precautions are in place. Using our experience, we can advise you on all the safety measures you need to think about when moving home.

If you do decide to go it alone and conduct the viewings yourself, it’s still a good idea to seek out your agent for expert advice on how to do it well.

For further advice on buying and selling your property, you can contact us on: 0800 043 6778. Meanwhile, you can find out how much your home could be worth by requesting a free and instant online valuation.

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