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Viewings - estate agent or owner?

(51 Posts)
FourForYouGlenCoco Tue 16-Feb-16 22:37:00

Just as the title says really. If you were buying a house, would you rather be shown round by an estate agent or by the homeowner? Ours is on the market, DH says estate agent more professional and I agree. But I would LOVE to do viewings myself, plus it's a bit of a hassle for me and DD (3yo) to be out every time we have a viewing. Just wondering on other people's opinions!

SquidgeyMidgey Tue 16-Feb-16 22:41:07

First choice EA but I wouldn't mind it being the owner as long as they gave me space, didn't share memories or ask my opinion as I was going round. I wouldn't want to be made to feel I was in their space.

Blondie1984 Tue 16-Feb-16 22:42:14

Estate agent - i don't want to have to say in front of you where i think works needs doing or to point out potential bad points

lalalonglegs Tue 16-Feb-16 22:42:51

I really dislike being shown around by owners - it's only happened a couple of times but it's been total cringe.

Salmiak Tue 16-Feb-16 22:47:16

Estate agent.

magimedi Tue 16-Feb-16 22:49:20

I have, over many years, bought 7 houses (not all owned at once!) & I far prefer the owner to show me round.

Useless EA's have not known if a place is on mains gas or not, not known if a septic tank or not etc etc

And I have always liked to meet the owner - gives on an idea of how the sale will proceed!

Flaky man in Salisbury who had a fake call half way through our viewing saying that there was an offer on the table ..... walked away from that one.

Ideal situation is owner, no pets, no children, just one adult who can show me the house without any personal details (apart from why they are moving) & can answer any questions I have about boilers, internet speed, drains etc etc.

VocationalGoat Tue 16-Feb-16 22:52:57

Estate agent

We met the owners as well when we bought our house and that was a bonus.

TheCrowFromBelow Tue 16-Feb-16 22:53:05

Competent, informed EA first viewing, owner for second viewings.
Owners can be a bit overpowering for first viewings.

ConceptOfBiscuits Tue 16-Feb-16 22:59:20

Estate agent, so when I knock over your vase it isn't so embarrassing grin
Seriously thought I want to be able to say, you could knock that down/add this/oh god look at that crack etc, you can't do that with the owner there.

Imstickingwiththisone Tue 16-Feb-16 23:04:55

If you were viewing a property with someone you would want to be able to discuss it without holding back which you would inevitably do if the owner was present.

Why do you want to show people around so much?

EssentialHummus Tue 16-Feb-16 23:14:35

In theory owner would be better, but in practice I've only had bad experiences with owners doing viewings - wittering away about wine racks / Jesus (two separate viewings, tbf) or showing me a stack of printouts from rightmove "proving" that their house was good value.

On the plus side, if you can get through all that, you might have less competition and get in with a lower offer.

OP, can you pretend to be an agent? grin I don't even think I'm joking.

emwithme Tue 16-Feb-16 23:22:38

First viewing - agent. That way if it's totally the wrong place, I don't feel obliged to view it "properly" when I know within the first room or 2 it wouldn't be somewhere for me.
Second viewing - homeowner. I can then ask the questions I thought of during the first visit but that the agent wouldn't be able to answer (things like would you be agreeable to leaving curtain rails/when was the boiler last serviced/when was the kitchen/bathroom fitted/what are the neighbours like).

FourForYouGlenCoco Tue 16-Feb-16 23:29:51

All good points, thank you everyone, and largely tallying with what DH and I were thinking. Will stick with what we're currently doing.

sticking no real reason to want to do them myself, I'm just incredibly nosy, love meeting people, love a bit of property-related chat. I'm almost unbearably curious about the people who think our house would suit them (or just want to come for a look round, which is fine!).
Hummus the idea has occurred to me but sadly I don't own a suit and I don't think I've ever seen an EA not in one! I'd be the most unprofessional looking EA ever. Also the child hanging around might give me away grin

mmmuffins Tue 16-Feb-16 23:34:42

I have only had owners show me around. I don't mind as owners know all the answers to my nitty gritty questions, and also seem to point out faults in the house! Haha

However some owners hold you hostage, and just won't stop talking to you, even when it's clear you really want to leave...they want to tell you lots of stories about the house. And quite a few continually banged on about things I didn't care about; the number of cars that could be parked was a very tedious reoccuring topic...

Babymamamama Tue 16-Feb-16 23:39:00

Estate agent. Owner is so cringey. You can't look dispassionately as they hang around trying to suss you out. And you have to be polite about their decor.

ILoveACornishPasty Tue 16-Feb-16 23:39:09

We spent a week looking round house after house, shown round by the EA. the final one we saw I completely fell in love with-so perfect I cried and I could see my grandchildren running around it in my mind's eye (I'm 35!)....that viewing was done by the owner. It was lovely to had the history of the house and all the little family bits an EA wouldn't know-the dates of the village fireworks, gossip about the village school head etc ha ha. I think if the house is right, people will know. We also met a couple of EAs who were complete and total twonks.

ILoveACornishPasty Tue 16-Feb-16 23:40:04

Ps they also showed us around the house and then let us go back round alone while they went into the back garden and told us to 'go and slag it off in private'!

Savagebeauty Tue 16-Feb-16 23:41:59

Just put my house in market and first viewing agent all the way. However I will be in the house but tucked away in my office.
I'm making them work for the £17,000 fees sad

Temporaryanonymity Tue 16-Feb-16 23:46:06

I'm house hunting at the moment. The estate agents in my area are beyond useless; for the most part they can't be arsed to show me any properties. Last time I bought was in a market town in the midlands and I could ring up and view the next day. Now I'm lucky if they deign to return my phone calls.

I feel sorry for the vendors. I've looked around houses and no one has rung me for feedback.

I'm in an exceptionally good position. I'm ready to move and actively looking to buy and can move quickly.

I much prefer to be shown around my the owner.

Twistedheartache Tue 16-Feb-16 23:47:36

Estate Agent - but I don't necessarily think you need to go out as long as you are considerate & stay out of the way.
When I sold flat most viewings were after work & with a 2 year old close to bedtime there was no way we were going out. Made sure agent pre-warned viewer though.

Having said that we had a lot of interest and competing offers within 4 days, so maybe that makes a difference as agent made out it was no issue at all.
As someone else said you are there to answer questions that agent may not know too

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 17-Feb-16 02:11:29


We've had some less than perfect viewings with EAs although we did also once have an owner that insisted on getting out the magazine that her son's recent wedding was featured in........why? in particular one where we'd driven 150 miles to view the empty house only to be rushed around and locked out after only fifteen minutes. We complained to the boss and insisted we had a full hour when we returned for the second viewing (different sales person) a couple of weeks later. Didn't put us off too much as we're living in it now!

EAs rarely seem to know much about the property's quirks etc. There are things only an owner will know and despite their professed enthusiasm, I don't think they are capable of being that enthusiastic about every property as an owner would. There are exceptions of course!

Our EA was supposed to do the viewings when we sold our last house, but due to staffing issues we did three of the five we had before it went SSTC. The three we did resulted in three offers - one at asking price - whereas the EAs' viewings netted no offers wink

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 17-Feb-16 02:13:43

Meant to add - if the EA does the viewings I definitely think the home owner should be absent though as hanging around in a different part of the property/garden is awkward for all parties concerned imo.

wowfudge Wed 17-Feb-16 04:51:30

I agree Raphaella - very odd indeed.

JT05 Wed 17-Feb-16 06:49:38

We were supposed to have EA viewings on our recent house sale. Often they we're unavailable, so we did most of the viewings ourselves. The two offers were after viewings that we conducted.

I thought the EA would take the hassle out of showing people round. It didn't, one of us discreetly stayed in the house and would often be drawn into answering the buyers questions.

When viewing I really don't mind who shows me round.

kirinm Wed 17-Feb-16 07:32:30

We've much preferred viewings with owners but we've been dealing with open days where the EA knows nothing about the property and has clearly done zero work.

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