Should we inform the house owners to de-clutter and tidy up the place before a viewing?

The answer is definitely YES! Not to the extent of staging but tidying up the place and make sure the house or apartment unit is easy on the eyes for buyers and tenants alike. No one likes to view a messy, stinky and cluttered space where they would call ‘home’ eventually.

messy-house-1

It is fair to say that some of these owners are first time ‘offenders’ as they are not familiar with the selling and tenancy do & don’ts. Since it is their first time, these are probably the things that they may overlook. Not that it is a must to do so, but imagine yourself, as a tenant or buyer, viewing the house for the first time. A good impression is always the lasting image for these prospects. More often than not, you were greeted with a disorganized place where dirty clothes are scattered across the hall and bathrooms, books and glasses are everywhere, coffee stains and out of place sofa etc. to name a few. Would you even want to view on? Can you even begin to visualize that this is going to be your next home? I doubt it.

When I first started the real estate business, I wasn’t too concerned about such trivial request. Well, not that I practiced, informing my clients to begin with. To me, it is understood that they would try to get their units as presentable as possible to impress the potential tenants or buyers. I would. But it happened one time that me and my tenant ended up in messy, unkempt and musty house that the tenant, after less than 2 minutes of viewing, had to apologized to the owner and leave. She couldn’t take the stench and the state of the unit any longer. Embarrass I was.

After awhile, I tend to missed getting some landlords or house-owners to prepare the place for viewing. And a week ago, it happened. I was out the whole day bringing one of my prospect buyer looking for a house around Bangsar. I’ve arranged a few units and unfortunately, there was one that made the whole episode unpleasant.

I’ve never did a preview of the house before that and from the pictures that were sent to me by the owner, looked pretty decent. But when we got there.. oh, what horror! The moment we entered the house, the stench of cigarette smell is all over the place. It smelt like a pub than a house. Since the place is not exactly airy, made it worse. There were newspapers everywhere and also dirty mugs with coffee stains lying around the house. Dirty clothes are on the floor of the master bathroom. Can’t recall if there were underwear too. Sigh. Though there were not much he can do to some of those broken wooden doors, but at least clean it up a little to make it look more decent. Although the owner is a chatty and friendly chap, the impression of the house wasn’t that pleasing anymore. True enough, my tenant hurriedly viewed the house and we left without mentioning about it for the whole time.

But how do we do it? Would it offend the owners/landlords?

Well, if we are tactful and professional enough in our request, they are more than welcome to our suggestion about getting the place spruce up. Just inform them when is the viewing, a little background of the tenant/buyer, what are they expecting from the place and some guidelines form us agents about getting the place ready. Usually, if the place is frequently well managed, there isn’t much to do. However, most would need to clear the air of bad odors, de-clutter books, papers, boxes, electronic items and utensils, tidy up dirty linens, make the bed, and re-arrange the  furniture so that it looked neat. All these are to help the tenant/buyer to be able to visualize the place better and make them feel at home.

Explain to these landlords/owners that you would do the same to all your clients just to make sure you are able to position the property better and able to help them dispose the unit in the shortest time possible. Who wouldn’t agree to that eh?

So, the next time you arrange for viewings, do remember to give the landlord/owner a call 2 days earlier to prepare the place. The result of such simple gesture, sometimes, do make a lot of difference! Cheers!

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