How many homes does a house hunter view before making an offer?

How many homes does a house hunter view before making an offer?

With research showing that homebuyers view between four and eight properties before committing, Tepilo offers advice on how to push through a sale.

As ever, we like to keep sellers up to date with the latest home-buying news. After all, if you can understand the mindset, motivations and desires of prospective buyers, you can better tailor your sales strategy and therefore increase your chances of getting your home sold.

New research from housebuilder Strata has now suggested that house hunters in the UK view up to eight houses before putting an offer in on their dream home. This points to potential buyers taking more time to explore their options than before, with more hours spent viewing and researching before coming to a final decision.

On average, buyers need to view between four and eight homes before committing to the right property, although for some it can be more immediate and for others it can take much longer. For example, 31% of potential buyers will view up to three properties, insisting that they would have been happy to make an offer on one of the first houses they viewed.

By contrast, 10% of buyers are far less decisive and will view a total of 16 homes before coming to a decision.

Strata's survey also looked at people's attitudes to home buying and revealed the stark differences between the wish-lists of existing homeowners and first-time buyers. Existing homeowners, for instance, will view more houses than first-time buyers when it comes to searching for a new home.

Some 24% of existing homeowners, in fact, view between 9 and 15 properties. First-time buyers, on the other hand, are much more likely to act quickly and decisively – partly through an eagerness to finally get on the property ladder and partly through a fear that they will miss out if they dilly-dally for too long.

For current homeowners, the feel of the area was deemed the most important factor (86%), slightly more than for first-time buyers. Equally, the status of an area is seen as more important to existing homeowners (78%) than first-time buyers (61%).

As for decoration and interior design, this plays a part in the decision of 27% of current homeowners but is far less important to first-time buyers, with those taking their first steps on the ladder not viewing this as a deciding factor.

Existing homeowners are also twice as likely to be interested in the overall design of the house rather than the cost of living or the amenities on offer in the local area.

Intriguingly, the research also found that homeowners – both existing and first-time buyers – said that video content and real life stories of people moving home would be key considerations when purchasing a property, helping them to come to a final decision by making the whole process seem more human and real.

What's more, the research revealed the information that homebuyers feel they lack when buying a home, with 43% saying they wanted more information on part exchange and 27% eager for more information into the legal and buying process.

As always, each buyer is different and has individual needs, desires and motivations. Trying to appeal exclusively to one type of buyer, or one demographic, will do your chances of selling no favours. There are, however, certain things that are likely to have universal appeal – for example modern, gleaming kitchens, garden space, parking provision, contemporary bathrooms, and proximity to good transport links and local amenities.

If you live in a nice, quiet neighbourhood, this will have appeal to some and will be a turn-off to others. By the same token, if you live in a bustling, lively area full of nightlife, restaurants, bars, offices and leisure venues, this may prove off-putting to some and a dream for others.

Taking the all things to all people approach won't work well, but a clean, homely, tidy and well-maintained house will have the widest appeal. Make sure your home looks its absolute best when anyone comes to view it and be sure to highlight your property's best attributes and features. The main selling points of your home – whatever they may be – are likely to be the deal-clinchers.

While most will view between four and eight homes before making a decision, you may strike it lucky with someone who is won over immediately by your property and makes an offer there and then. In very rare cases, buyers will view a huge number of properties before choosing the right one for them. Even then, you may be lucky enough to be the 16th or 17th property they see and an instant connection is made and an offer subsequently lodged.

Don't try and second guess buyers, don't get downhearted if someone doesn't make an offer immediately after viewing your home, take a patient, level-headed approach to selling, and keep on top of all correspondence and communication from would-be buyers.

As we pointed out in a previous blog, it's in the interests of both parties in a property transaction for the process to go as smoothly as possible. A good, friendly relationship between you, your buyers and your estate agent will go a long way to making that the case.