Whether you are buying or selling your home, first impressions are critical. The house viewing needs to go as smoothly as possible.

So what are the biggest faux pas buyers and sellers need to avoid?

If you’re a seller:

Leave the viewing to the professionals – Many sellers naturally assume that they will provide helpful assistance during a viewing. However it has been proven that a home owner hanging around during a viewing actually puts off the buyers. Buyers can feel that they can’t look at the property throughly if they are being watched. Buyers also might want to ask questions regarding the property that need a unbiased professional answer. A professional estate agent can also pick-up as to whether the viewer merely likes or loves your home, essentially helping them during the negotiation stages and ultimately achieving a higher price for you. Avoid any estate agent who encourages you to do the viewings; they’re lazy, unprofessional and obviously don’t care about you getting the best price for your home.

Not everyone likes surprises – Although this should be a given, the number of sellers who leave the property in a mess is surprising. No one wants to buy a property which is a tip; ensure the property is left clean and tidy before any viewings.

Time wasters – If you are looking for a particular type of buyer, for example if you have to move quickly and are looking for a cash buyer or a buyer without a chain, tell your estate agent in advance so that they can give the viewers realistic expectations.

Hide pet paraphernalia – Buyers will decide for themselves if the house is pet-friendly. For those who have no interest or perhaps even a dislike for certain pets, don’t put them off with beds, litter trays and toys. Over time, we can get used to the smells associated with our pets. Ask your agent honestly whether there are pet odours. It’s all very well having the house clean and tidy, but if it smells then you’re sure to leave a very poor impression.

Bake – As previously mentioned, smell is a powerful sense and, as research shows, one of the most memorable. Before a viewing, dust off that old bread-maker and give it a whirl! The smell is welcoming, pleasant and makes your buyers feel at home right from the start. Sold!

If you’re a buyer:

Respect the property – It’s important to show the sellers home the same level of respect you would expect someone to give your home. It is a common misconception that the buyer holds the power when it comes to house sales however it is key to remember the seller ultimately makes the decision as to who they want to sell their home to. Leave a good impression with the agent and they’re more likely to do their best for you.

Be honest – The best thing about the agent doing the viewings is that you’re not going to offend anyone. The owners will be away and believe it or not, they welcome negative feedback! Let the agent know what you do and don’t like and they’ll communicate this with the owner appropriately. More importantly, the agent can get a better idea of what you’re looking for and recommend something more suitable.

Do not negotiate during the viewing – A house viewing is not the place to start negotiating the asking price. Instead, wait until you’ve left the property and have a good think. Sleep on it! If offers are urgent then the agent will let you know. Otherwise take your time and give it due deliberation. Don’t rush and ensure your offers are realistic and at a level you’re comfortable with.

Property professionals will offer the best guidance to both buyers and sellers throughout the sale process. Mount & Minster offers free professional valuations and advice, for more information click here.