Q.        We want to put our house up for sale but is there any way we can vet who comes to look around it?

A.        I’m interested in the reason you ask. Are you worried about having a load of complete strangers traipsing through your house or are you perhaps more concerned about trying to control the sort of person who might want to buy it?

Of course, no one wants time-wasters and it is a key part of your agent’s job to weed them out – although the truth is that some people really do buy on impulse. However, let’s assume that the real time-wasters - those with neither the real desire to buy your house nor the wherewithal to do so - have been weeded out. So, you’re still left with a load of strangers that want to view your house, which is by its very nature perfectly normal.

If it’s the security aspect you’re worried about, most good agents these days prefer to accompany viewings – particularly those at the homes of vulnerable or elderly owners. And they also like the owners to be out so that they can get on with their job of selling the property. Fact is, more often than not in recent times, a great number of sales happen without seller and buyer ever meeting face to face at all. So, as far as viewings are concerned, all you really need to do is make sure that all small, easily portable items of any value are safely tucked away out of sight, and then leave things to the professionals.

Trying to influence the sort of person who buys your property is a different thing altogether. Of course, you are perfectly entitled to sell your property to whoever you like. However, as in most aspects of life, discrimination by race, colour, creed, gender, or sexual orientation has no place in an estate agency. Indeed, it would be against the law, and no reputable agent would have anything to do with it.

At the end of the day, of course, it’s your house, and subject to those laws you have a perfect right to choose who you allow into it, and who you decide to sell it to. As a general rule though, if you are really serious about selling then it doesn’t make much sense to try and restrict the number of potential buyers. Indeed, the more the merrier!