…..or the importance of showing your house to potential buyers in the best way.
Last week I visited some vendors who are selling a house in a particularly attractive village in Lot et Garonne. I was there to discuss their marketing and as part of this we talked about the route THROUGH the house and the route TO the house estate agents had used when showing it to buyers. The owners thought the estate agents were doing it wrong and I agreed with them.
The house has two front doors – one opens into a courtyard garden which you then walk through to gain access to the house, the other front door opens directly onto a street at the other side of the house. At first glance you would assume that the best way to show the house is to use the door into the garden rather than walk straight in off the street – and this is what all of the estate agents had been doing.
The approach to a house is vital in setting the scene and if you enter the house via the garden front door you have to walk down a road on the edge of the beautiful old part of the village and you pass garages and recently build houses – all fine, but not what the village is known for.
If you enter the house via the street front door you walk through the beautiful central part of the village. A buyer would park their car in the village square bounded by a boulangerie, café and butcher (all very good) and a 12th century church renowned for its frescos. You then walk perhaps 200metres down a quiet road lined with very attractive old houses and the ancient covered market-place to reach your destination. This links the property psychologically with the old and beautiful part of the village rather than the more functional and more recent section at other side of the house. You can even see the boulangerie if you turn round and look back down the road once you reach the front door, which is great for selling the idea of a short walk to get your daily croissant.
You then conduct your viewing of the house. People usually leave a property by the door they initially came in through. This means that if you came in by the garden front door you exit that way using the garden (which is a small but very attractive paved courtyard) as a passage to and from the house, failing to capitalise on its own value. On the other hand, if you entered the house via the street front door you finish your viewing in the courtyard garden. If it is a warm day this is the ideal moment to sit down in the courtyard with your buyers. They then have the opportunity to imagine living in a house where you are only 2 minutes from the heart of a very pretty village yet you also have a private and well-designed courtyard garden to relax in.
As they leave the house again (via the street front door) you can point out the handy boulangerie which they can see at the end of the attractive road.
Carefully planning how you present your house is essential but it is amazing how few people – even estate agents as in this case – don’t think it through sufficiently. It can make all the difference between sale and no sale and helps a buyer because they are able to imagine the house as they would want to use it.
Incidentally – the house in question is definitely worth a look if you want a village house which is ready to move in to. It is in the really lovely riverside village of Allemans du Dropt. This is not far from Eymet and is convenient for Bergerac airport. You can read more about this well presented and well priced property here:
Here is a photographs of the River Dropt as it passes under the iconic bridge leading into the village: