How Long Does It Take To Decide If A Home Is Right?

How Long Does It Take To Decide If A Home Is Right?

Online estate agency Tepilo analyses how long it takes the average buyer to decide whether or not they want to purchase a property.

As a property seller, you'll be keen to understand the mindset of would-be buyers, to know what makes them tick. You may also want to know just how long it really takes, on average, for buyers to decide whether they want to buy a home or not.


Recent research has suggested that those viewing homes take an average of 27 minutes to work out whether or not the property is right for them.


Of course, in reality, no home buying decision is made that quickly – in nearly all cases, it will follow a much longer process of research, trawling through property websites, speaking to estate agents, working out a budget and viewing a number of different homes before finding the right one.


As Linda Jeffcoat of Stacks Property Search puts it, buyers are likely to have put in more than 80 hours of work to find their ideal home. “While (27 minutes) may be accurate, this is a misleading figure,” she argues. “The time that has been invested in order to make that decision is considerable.”


To put themselves in a strong position when it comes to buying a home, with all bases covered and all things taken into consideration, buyers will need more than 80 hours to build up the necessary knowledge and expertise, according to Stacks Property Search.


This is broken down into approximately 10 hours conducting comprehensive online research, 3 hours speaking to an agent, 40 hours viewing a minimum of 20 homes, 16 hours of sleepless nights (an inevitability, unfortunately, when it comes to house hunting!) and some 15 hours driving around the country for various property viewings, ‘spending time in good and bad pubs, viewing the neighbours and the neighbourhood’ and generally getting to grips with the place they may soon call home.


For some buyers, the process may take even longer. One reason why it may take certain buyers longer to come to a decision is too much dilly-dallying on the internet, browsing too many properties on the portals. This leads to buyers spending too long on their computer and not enough time out on the road, actually viewing properties. While pictures, floor plans, videos and virtual reality tours can all give a feel for a home, nothing can replicate viewing it in person and the thoughts, feelings and instinctive reactions this generates.


“Property simply isn’t a ‘virtual’ commodity,” Linda Jeffcoat explains. “The impression you get from pictures and descriptions may vary dramatically from the real thing.” While she very much encourages buyers to start their search on the internet, she also advises them to get out there and see as much property as they possibly can before making a final decision.


While property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla will have the majority of available stock, a few properties won't find their way onto these websites at all, while some buyers will choose to bypass them completely and go elsewhere for their research and intelligence.


However, you will need to have a visible presence on the portals if you want to improve your chances of selling your home. Good, crisp, well-taken photos, a snappy description and clear floor plans will also help your cause, as will an estate agent that responds to any correspondence as quickly as possible.


In many cases the property portals will inform buyers how long your property has been on the market and will give them information on things like pricing, trends and the local market your home resides in. These are things you can build on when it comes to viewings, pointing out to would-be buyers the main advantages of your local town, village or city, the best local amenities and any nearby green space.   


Every buyer is different, and each will take a different approach to purchasing a home, so there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selling a property. What you can do, however, is make your home look its absolute best, arrange and carry out viewings in a calm, engaging and professional manner and ensure your home gets as much exposure as possible online. All this – plus a bit of luck and favourable market conditions – should help you to sell your home for its asking price or above.