Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

With the rise in popularity of online platforms, many homeowners nowadays are choosing to personally conduct viewings for prospective buyers, rather than arranging for an agent to do accompanied home viewings on their behalf. If you’re comfortable showing people around your property, especially if you’ve done it previously, you should absolutely give it a go.

However, there is a knack to doing home viewings, so here are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

Acting Tense

An unnatural demeanour is one of the biggest issues reported by prospective buyers who view properties with homeowners. This is understandable because it can be a little unnerving when showing strangers around your home for the first time, so just try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and think about what you like and respond to when you’re viewing properties.

An over-friendly, over-eager sales approach doesn’t go down well because it can come across as inauthentic, so try to avoid being too enthusiastic. On the other hand, a lacklustre and disinterested approach is unlikely to inspire viewers or make your home seem very appealing.

The key is to strike the right balance between excessively keen and completely dispassionate. Plan what you’re going to say, what you want to show them, and the property highlights you want to focus on. Relax, smile, be personable, and give them space to have a look around on their own after you’ve done the grand tour and you’ll do just fine!

Strong Odours

Research indicates that strange smells are another big issue during home viewings. This doesn’t necessarily refer to bad odours, just everyday smells that are complex and difficult for the nose to recognise. It could be from cooking, cleaning products, pets, certain types of flowers, decorating materials, etc—the types of smells that most homes have from time to time which become unnoticeable when you live in the property.

Scent has such a huge impact on the way viewers react to your home. When showing your property to prospective buyers, it’s best to air all of the rooms thoroughly before viewings, wash any pet beds you may have, freshly launder all of your bedroom and bathroom linens, avoid cooking before people come round, and scent your home with a pleasant but understated fragrance.

The best scents to use are simple and natural, such as citrus, vanilla, white tea, jasmine, and pine. Ideally, you should avoid using complex smells like chocolate and vanilla, patchouli, potpourri mixtures —they are all very nice smells, but a little too distracting.

Dark Interiors

Depending on the time of day, try to let in as much natural light as you can. This is very appealing for prospective buyers and can be a real selling point if your home gets a lot of sunlight. If you’re showing people around in the evening, create a warm, welcoming atmosphere with soft, subtle lighting—rather than harsh, bright overhead lights, which can make rooms feel a little ‘cold’ and uninviting.

It’s also rather pleasant to light a few candles during evening viewings. If you are showing your home during the dark winter months and you have a fire, put that on to make your house really cosy and homely. It’s a lovely feature to highlight, and it also shows buyers that the fire is in working order!


Decluttering – what a thought! But it’s better to get it out of the way before you start packing, and it can also really help viewers to see beyond your personal belongings and imagine themselves living in your home.

There’s no need to completely depersonalise, just reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ you have on show—like toiletries and everyday items in the bathroom and bedrooms; nicknacks and decorative accessories in the living room; shoes, jackets, bags and toys in the hallway, food and cooking equipment in the kitchen, etc.

By ensuring these visible areas are relatively clear of everyday items and clutter, you will be able to maximise the available space and really highlight your home’s best features, fixtures and fittings. Viewers will also be less distracted by your belongings and pay more attention to the actual space.

Dusty Decor

Homes that have been recently decorated before going on the market are generally much quicker to sell. This is particularly true of properties that are decorated in fresh, light, natural tones. There’s no need to spend a great deal of money or update your home with the latest interior trends—simply painting the walls and woodwork in simple neutral shades can work wonders on the appeal of your home. House hunters, especially first-time buyers, are much more likely to buy a property that is in move-in condition than one that requires upgrading or redecorating upon moving in.

As one of the West of Scotland’s longest-standing estate agents, we have had lots of experience managing the ups and downs of the housing market in recent times, so you can be confident you’ll be in safe hands when working with us. With an expert team by your side and a variety of properties on offer, including both property to let and homes for sale, Caledonia Bureau are confident that we can match you with the right home. Give our friendly team a call today, choosing from our offices in Clydebank, Helensburgh, Dumbarton and Paisley.

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