“Given the current market situation, my little house will practically sell itself”, thought Josef M. After advertising his property on an online portal, he very quickly received enquiries from interested parties numbering in the mid double figures. They all requested a viewing. Which of these enquiries were from people truly looking to buy? When and with whom should Josef M. arrange viewings?
Josef M. tried to solve the problem by selecting only a few enquiries he deemed to be from serious potential buyers, with whom he then got in touch. Yet even setting a viewing appointment proved difficult. Should he arrange an appointment for an open-house viewing, or individual appointments with each potential buyer? Because he was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on everyone at an open-house viewing – he was, after all, inviting perfect strangers into his home – he decided on individual appointments.
Because he and his wife Stefanie work, they only had time for viewings on weekday evenings or at the weekend. They arranged three viewings. A man turned up by himself for the first appointment. However, he seemed to be interested in unimportant details of the property, such as the windows and doors. He seemed barely interested in the actual rooms, the grounds or the new heating system. He didn’t impress Josef and Stefanie as a serious potential buyer. After the viewing, they wondered if he might even have been a burglar come to scout out his next target. The next viewing was with a couple who only spent a relatively short time looking at the property and hardly asked any questions. Afterwards, they stopped responding to any of Josef’s attempts to contact them. He got the feeling that they were probably ‘property tourists’ who had never had any serious intention to buy his house. The final viewing was with a couple travelled a long way because they were having to relocate due to a new job. They quickly became annoyed when they realised that the house didn’t actually look anything like the photos they’d seen.
So none of the three appointments yielded a buyer. On the contrary: Josef and Stefanie were now even more uncertain than before. Because Josef had removed the advert from the online portal after the initial flood of enquiries, he now had to re-advertise it. Fewer potential buyers responded this time around, and those that did started asking probing questions from the outset. They were sceptical because the property was being re-advertised, and wondered whether something was wrong with it. The selling process dragged on and became an ever-bigger source of stress.
Josef and Stefanie reached out to us. We took some engaging photos of the property and created 360-degree virtual tours that allowed us to conclude which of the potential buyers were truly interested in the property. We arranged viewings and conducted these while Stefanie and Josef were at work. We carried out credit checks on the potential buyers and, after six weeks, were able to present Stefanie and Josef with a signed purchase agreement. After the appointment with the notary, Stefanie M. said: “We really underestimated the importance of the viewings but also the photos and critical questions. We should have left it to the professionals from the get-go.”
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In this text, the generic masculine is used for better readability. Feminine and other gender identities are explicitly included to the extent necessary for the statement.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice in individual cases. Please consult a solicitor and/or accountant to clarify the circumstances of your specific case.
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