There is simply no hiding that selling your house can be a nerve-wracking experience. Welcoming potential buyers into your property and watching them glide from one room to the next as they carefully examine your décor and design can spur a few internal deliberations. Do they like the living areas? What about the location? The truth is that, during a viewing, it can sometimes be tricky to tell whether somebody is truly interested in your home or not.
That said, there are some tell-tale signs that can reveal a great deal about homebuyers’ thoughts on your property. What clues should you be looking for? Here, we explore some of the hints that suggest a house showing was successful, and that you are one step closer to agreeing a successful offer and starting the all-important conveyancing process.
Spends time touring
If you glance at your clock and realise that the viewing has been going on for a fair while, your property may have struck home. In fact, if a viewer takes their time to tour your house, pausing to evaluate every corner, they probably consider it an appealing contender. Conversely, if someone is in and out of your house in the space of five minutes, there is a chance that the property did not pique their interest.
Tzana Webster, Director of Property Sales at Watermans, confirms that the length of a house showing can be a telling indicator. “If a buyer lingers inside your property for an extended period of time, they probably like what they see,” she says. “Bear in mind that most people will have been on several viewings already and will have developed a specific idea of what works for them and what doesn’t. They won’t prolong their visit if the house doesn’t tick the right boxes.
“The average time for a promising viewing on a one- or two-bedroom flat can be around 15 to 20 minutes. If they are at the property longer, even better! As for a house, a successful viewing will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the property and on its outdoor space.
“Next time you open your doors to potential homebuyers, observe their behaviour. Are they roaming around the house at a very calm pace? Do they keep going back into the same room multiple times? If so, they are likely to be tempted by what’s on offer.”
Asks questions and focuses on the little things
Serious and well-intentioned buyers will ask plenty of questions, from utility costs to various features around the house. After all, purchasing a property is both a significant investment and life-changing decision, and home-seekers will be looking for all the information they can get. They may also want to know more about your neighbours, local amenities, transport links, and – if they have kids – nearby schools. What’s more, they may ask you whether you have other offers, which is always a positive tell-tale sign.
A careful focus on details should be taken as a promising indicator too. Interested buyers may start pointing out little items and aspects around the property, such as old lighting or small cracks on the wall. Slight criticisms, at first, may sound detrimental. But the reality is that people would not comment on them at all if they were not interested in the property. Instead, they would ignore the little things and move straight on to the next house on their list.
Positive body language
Often, silence is worth a thousand words. Indeed, 93% of communication is non-verbal, which includes body language and tones of voice.
If a buyer is serious about picking your property, they will probably give off subtle, positive body signals. What non-verbal clues should you pay attention to? Behaviours such as rubbing their hands together or getting close to you when you are talking can point towards a buying intent. Moreover, if house-hunters nod their head or touch their chin, there is a possibility they are carefully pondering over what you are showing them.
If a couple is touring your house, it is likely they will have discussed their visit in advance and will have already established what they are searching for. If they smile, their facial expressions appear to be positive, and they are standing close to each other, they may be excited about what they have just seen.
Talks about timing and renovations
Another encouraging tell-tale sign that a viewer likes your house is when they start contemplating move-in dates. Do they want to relocate before their children go back to school? Or would they like to deal with their house move after the Christmas holidays? If you catch them talking about timing their move, your house could be in the running to become the chosen one. In fact, it is likely that when the right property comes about, homebuyers will start reflecting on their plans almost from the outset.
Additionally, during the house showing, listen out for mentions of possible renovations. Did the buyer say that their painting would look stunning in your living room? Did they remark that a kitchen island would suit your cooking area just right? These are all promising signs that the house hunter is mentally making your property their home. If they are already planning on how to put their own stamp on the place, they could be thinking about making an offer in the near future.
Placing your house on the market comes with an array of challenges. One of the most arduous ones is to make sure it is appealing to potential buyers. While it is not always easy to understand whether viewers are keen on your property or not, there are several tell-tale signs that can give you an important clue.
From lengthy tours and positive body language to continuous questions and renovation plans, you may be able to forecast who your purchasers will be.