So, someone has responded to your ad, and is coming to see the horse. What should you do? How should you prepare?
There are a few simple things you should do in preparation of the potential buyers arrival.
Yes, tidy up your place. That means in general, your house should be clean and tidy (if you end up having coffee to discuss the horse, especially if it’s rather cold or hot out, it would be nice to be prepared with a clean and tidy kitchen). If the front of your property is generally clean, orderly and tidy, this will make a much better impression on the buyer. Why should this matter, you ask? Well, it’s the same principle as Real Estate. A person comes to look at a house for sale. If the house is messy, full of junk, and disorderly, no one is going to buy the house. At least not at the listed price! Impression is everything. So if you’re looking to actually find a good buyer for your horse, and are asking more than a few hundred dollars, you should be trying to make that all important good first impression.
Of course, this principle should carry on down to the paddock and barn.
I’m a firm believer in a barn and any area a horse is in being clean and orderly. If there is junk and garbage in the paddock, you are just asking for injury and vet bills. If there’s an emergency, and each horses’ halter, bridle and tack is in its’ spot, you don’t have to run around looking for the halter while the emergency is ongoing.
If these practices are followed generally, you won’t have much in the way of tidying up for the prospective buyer will you?
Groom the Horse
Before the buyer is to arrive, ensure the horse is clean, groomed, and happy. Have the halter on already – unless your horse is perfect about being caught and haltered everytime.
There is almost nothing worse than a buyer standing around while you take twenty minutes just to catch the horse! BUT, if your horse generally takes twenty minutes to catch, be honest about that. Why have the buyer get home with the horse, release it into a nice big pasture, and never be able to catch it? If you’re honest up front about issues your horse has, the buyer can be better prepared when they get home with the horse, and (for example) put the horse in a smaller pen for a while – until they get used to each other.
Be sure the horses’ feet are clean and picked (and recently trimmed!), and the horse is generally looking its’ best. After all, you are trying to sell someone something! Presenting something at its’ best is a good practice; lying about what you’re selling is not.
(If the horse is being sold as “broken” and ridable.)
Be prepared to ride the horse in front of the buyer. Show the buyer everything your horse can do. Of course if you’re selling the horse as “bomb proof” that might be hard to demonstrate, but a bomb proof horse is generally a fairly tame horse and the buyer should be able to recognize this. If you’re selling a jumper, you should have jumps set up to demonstrate that the horse can jump. Basically, everything in your ad should be able to be proven.
Often times someone coming to purchase a horse may actually want to ride the horse themselves. It can be a good thing to have a waiver ready, that releases you from responsibility if the buyer gets hurt while riding your horse. It’s an excellent thing to only allow the buyer to ride if they are wearing proper footwear and a helmet.