New research appears to confirm what many agents have thought for a long time – many prospective buyers take only five minutes during a viewing before deciding to put in an offer and try to purchase the property.

Research involving a survey of 1,000 buyers conducted for the developer Harron Homes found that some 43.1 per cent decide whether a house is or isn’t for them within the first five minutes of a viewing.

The research also lists what turns buyers on – or off – to a property at three different stages – looking online, seeing the property in person from outside, and then viewing the inside.

In terms of online surfing the research says:

– the biggest turn-off is if a listing does not have any pictures or has only low quality photos;

– 46.2 per cent said it was a problem if there was no floor plan online;

– 43.2 per cent said they wanted to see images of every room.

At external viewing stage:

– the research indicates realising upon arrival that there is no parking is a major issue for just over half of respondents;

– sharing of a driveway or garden is another deterrent for over 30 per cent;

– old-fashioned exterior walls such as pebbledash are also a turn off for over a fifth of would-be buyers.

The interior viewing:

– over 50 per cent reported that seeing or smelling damp is the most off-putting problem at this stage;

– the smell of pets can be similarly off-putting

– outdated interior features such as artex ceilings are unappealing;

– noise, a lack of storage, clutter and outdated fittings are also a turn-off to many.

Other complaints about problems during viewings include being pursued too closely around the house, seeing unprepared rooms or gardens which have not been tidied, or anything that could be described as dirty.

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