Before the viewing
- Try to arrange viewings during daylight hours. It’s not only safer but it also means you’ll get a more accurate picture of the property’s condition.
- Try not to go to viewings alone. If you’re single or your partner’s unable to attend, ask a friend or family member to go along with you. A genuine seller shouldn’t have any objections.
- Make sure you’ve planned how to get to and from your viewing safely. If you are driving, try to park as close to the property as possible (and in good lighting). If you are using public transport be sure to book a licensed cab in advance (for both journeys) or have details on train or bus timetables before you leave.
- If you can’t get anyone to accompany you, let someone know the time of the viewing and the address of where you are going. Arrange to contact them at a designated time so that they know you are safe. Plan for what they should do if you fail to call at the appointed time.
- Trust your instincts. When you arrive at the property quickly assess the situation. If you don’t feel comfortable entering their home, make an excuse to leave. Think about what you could say in this situation in advance so you’re not left stumbling for something to say. For example you could say that you’ve been called away to deal with an urgent family issue but will contact them again to rearrange the appointment. Then leave confidently.
- As you enter, make a note of escape routes and how doors open so that you can leave in an emergency. Be careful not to allow exits to become blocked.
During the viewing
- Take a friendly but professional approach. Avoid getting too familiar in case it gives out the wrong message. Try to look confident and in control.
- Be alert and continually assess the situation. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, don’t be afraid to cut the viewing short and leave. Use a pre-planned excuse.
- If someone becomes aggressive towards you, try to remain calm and don’t meet aggression with aggression.
- Try to talk your way out of difficult situations and use an excuse to leave.
- If you can, carry a mobile phone and forewarn at least one person of a code word that you will use if you get into trouble. Make sure they know what to do next if you use it.
- Have a personal alarm to hand and know how to use it. Personal alarms should be used to shock and disorientate an attacker and shouldn’t be relied upon to get help.