UK house hunters decide within five minutes whether to buy or not

By Isabelle Grange

July 18, 2016



Within the first five minutes of viewing a property, almost half of buyers have already made up their mind whether to purchase or not…


It’s well known that when trying to sell your home, creating that perfect first impression is essential. Now, Harron Homes have carried out two studies that further underline just how important those first few minutes are in whether your home sells or not…

Harron Homes focused on what deterred potential homebuyers from putting in a bid for a property. Their two studies, one which involved a 1,000 sellers and another 1,000 homebuyers, were designed to see how sellers could avoid making mistakes that meant their home remained unsold.

Marketing coordinator at Harron Homes, Louise Jackson explains: “We found that 43.1% of potential home buyers had decided within the first five minutes whether a property was for them or not. From the other perspective, it means someone selling a home only has a few vital minutes in which to sell their home. Our study shows that by avoiding simple mistakes, they could possibly sell their home a lot quicker.


House selling errors online

The biggest mistake a seller can make when selling their property online is not including photos. The study showed that 58% of homebuyers were likely to lose interest if a listing didn’t have any photos attached. Nevertheless, 6.8% of sellers still made this fundamental mistake. Similarly, poor quality photos were uploaded by 15.3% of house sellers even though 47.4% of potential buyers said they would be put off a property if they came across this.

Something else which deterred 46.2% of buyers was no floor plan being included in an online listing, and 43.2% of home buyers weren’t impressed when not every room in a property was shown in photos. 20.9% of home sellers said they had done this.
First impressions count

When house-hunters first view a property from the outside, seeing no available parking is an immediate deterrent for 50.4%. Pebble dash walls were not an attractive feature for 22.7% of buyers and put them off making a bid. A shared garden was a turn-off for over a third of buyers.


The top ten turn-offs for UK house buyers were:

  • Evidence of damp (52.2%)
  • A smell of smoke (47.5%)
  • Animal smells (40.4%)
  • Uncleanliness (38%)
  • Excessive noise (34.1%)
  • Lack of storage (32.1%)
  • A cluttered property (28.7%)
  • Outdated fixtures and fittings (27%)
  • Smell of grease (26.1%)
  • No double glazing (25%)


When asked what sellers needed to avoid doing at a viewing, 48.5% of house buyers said they should avoid being dishonest about property issues. Nevertheless, 11.4% of sellers admitted doing this, including 11.3% of sellers who had failed to point out leaks and 13.3% admitting to hiding damp. Other deterrents for buyers included seeing dirty bathrooms, dirty dishes and unmade beds.

It’s clear the difference between selling and not selling a home can lie in the small details. The more these are taken care of, the more likely you’ll be able to sell your home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *