Comment: Why vendor-hosted viewings are a huge no-no

Hosting your own property viewings has been labelled a major property turn-off - with good reason

Hosting your own property viewings has been labelled a major property turn-off - with good reason - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

How do you say you’re not keen without causing offence?

Property turn-offs are on the agenda this week as Elliot Castle looks at the six things sure to deter a potential buyer.

From excess clutter to coloured bathrooms, we’d be hard-pressed to disagree with any of them, but it’s the issue of a vendor-hosted viewing that really got me nodding my head in agreement.

Say what you like about estate agents, I’d always take a viewing with them over a vendor-led tour. However lovely things may look in the pictures, the cold hard reality of a property is often very different, and it’s easier all round to quickly say you’re not keen then have to labour through the motions of fake enthusiasm.

Personally, my heart sinks when the vendor answers the door, particularly if it’s a property that’s been on the market for a while. I can’t cope with knowing I’m going to crush their dreams if I don’t make an offer – and it’s usually clear pretty quickly whether that will be the case.

One time we were encouraged to view a property we weren’t particularly interested in by an agent who obviously needed to show his vendors that he was making an effort. We hated it instantly, but had to go through the motions of following the elderly owner through room after room, knowing we were wasting her time.

It’s hard to know what to say when you know the place isn’t for you but you don’t want to hurt the owner’s feelings. ‘This is a good size’ was our go-to phrase in those trying times.

If the vendor’s free for the second viewing then that’s brilliant – when I know I’m interested in making an offer I’d love an opportunity to ask what the neighbours are like and whether the parking’s an issue. But on the first viewing, it’s a no. Please, no.