Five minutes for UK buyers to decide if a home is for them

Posted 11 July 2016 by Helen Christie

Nearly half of UK house buyers decide whether a house is, or isn’t for them, within the first five minutes of viewing it...

WhatHouse? has previously looked at how to create the perfect first impression when it comes to selling your home, and now Harron Homes has looked at the behaviour of house buyers to understand what are the factors that put people off purchasing a property.

Harron Homes conducted two surveys, one on 1000 house buyers, and one surveying 1000 house sellers. This meant that they could compare the two surveys to find out what the bigger turn-offs are for potential buyers, and where house sellers might be going wrong. Louise Jackson, marketing coordinator at Harron Homes comments: “Listening to purchasers feedback on their 'wish list for a new home' is very important to us.  We like to keep our homes on trend with fresh, modern interiors and traditional but contemporary exteriors.  We can help purchasers personalise their home, which is why we offer a fantastic range of options, but essentially it is a blank canvas allowing them to put their personal touches on and make it their own.”

43.1% of potential buyers decide whether a house is, or isn’t for them, within the first five minutes of viewing it. This means a house seller only has a few minutes to really sell their house. Research shows however that they may be making a few mistakes that could easily be avoided.

The virtual tour

When looking to buy a house online, the biggest turn-off for UK house buyers is if the listing does not have any pictures available to look at (58%), and yet 6.8% of UK house sellers admit to not including photos on their property listing. 15.3% of house sellers said they have uploaded poor quality photos onto their online listing, but nearly half of house buyers (47.4%) said that low quality photos are a big turn-off when looking to buy a house online.

46.2% of house buyers in the UK said no floor plan included within the online advertisement was a big turn-off, and yet the survey shows that 14.4% of UK house sellers admit to leaving this out. 43.2% of house buyers said that a big turn-off when looking to buy a house online is when every room in the house isn't shown, however over a fifth of UK house sellers (20.9%) confessed to doing this.

Viewing outside the property

When potential house buyers arrive outside a house to view, the research reveals that the biggest turn-off would be if the property has no parking (50.4%), but 15.6% of UK house sellers said that they do not have this to offer.

Over a third of UK house buyers said that a shared garden would put them off, however 8.20% of UK house sellers only have shared gardens. Over a fifth of UK house buyers said pebble dash walls on the property’s exterior would put them off (22.7%), however nearly one in ten (9.6%) of UK house sellers admit that they have this.

Viewing inside the property

The table below shows the top 10 turn-offs for UK house buyers, against the percentage of UK house sellers where these options/features apply to their house:

At a house viewing, nearly half of UK house buyers (48.5%) said the main thing that house sellers need to avoid doing is cover things up/act dishonest about issues within the property. However shockingly, over a tenth (11.4%) of UK house sellers admit to doing this. 12.5% of UK house sellers admit to hiding a crack in the wall at a house viewing, and 15.5% of UK house sellers admit to covering up a hole at a house viewing.

34.2% of UK house buyers said home owners should avoid following people around everywhere they go at viewings, but 16.5% admit to doing this. 26.67% of UK house buyers have seen dirty bathrooms when looking round a potential property to buy, and nearly a quarter have seen dirty dishes.

24.74% of UK house buyers said they’ve seen unmade beds when viewing a property for sale, and over one in ten (11.24%) said they’ve even seen adult material left out. When showing potential buyers around their property, 11.3% of UK house sellers said that they failed to point out leaks within the property, and just over a tenth (13.3%) of UK house sellers admit to hiding mould/damp when showing potential buyers round their property.




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