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Think you've got an eye for property?

Monday 26 June 2017

Have you ever wondered what peaks a potential buyers interest and what puts them off when viewing a property? A new study has done just that, and revealed some interesting results.

Property improvement experts Anglian Home Improvements recently conducted a study to determine what potential house-buyers actually look at whilst viewing a property.

By using eye tracking technology, they were able to analyse viewers eye movements, taking note of what they looked at, what disrupted their natural eye movements, and what they lingered on - and this is what they found...

Mess is the worst

Almost a quarter of all eye movements (24 per cent) lingered on clutter and mess in the home, proving that if sellers haven’t tidied up, it won't go unnoticed! Throughout the entire study, when participants’ gaze panned a room, the eye-line was often disrupted by clutter.

Whilst potential buyers did not mention clutter or mess to agents in their post-viewing feedback, their eyes were repeatedly drawn to it when viewing a room.

In comparison, and probably one of the most interesting findings is that the layout of the house took up just four per cent of the participants focus during the viewing.

Repairs or structural features also made up just four per cent of participants’ viewing behaviours; this included checking door frames, sliding doors and light fittings in need of repair.

Who lives in a house like this?

The study found that participants’ eye movements were often drawn to personal features within the house, with photographs particularly common in disrupting a viewer’s eye path across all participants.

Female participants were found to spend more time looking at the personal touches in the home such as photographs and furnishings, while the male participants focussed on external features, the building itself and the outside space.

This suggests that females spend more time looking at how a house is made into a home and understanding what it would be like to actually live there, while males tend to focus more on the practical side of a house, its features, stability and value.

This perhaps favours the notion that potential viewers like to understand who currently lives in the house they’re considering purchasing.

Taking in the surroundings

Throughout the study, 17 per cent of all participants’ focus behaviour was spent looking through the windows. The findings revealed that during the viewings, participants often commented on the view, and how close the neighbours were to the house.

The garden and outside area were also a key focal point. 22 per cent of participants lingered their gaze on the outdoor space, often pausing here for a while, proving that viewing a property factors in much more than just the house itself.

Interior design

While any estate agent will tell a potential buyer to try and look past the décor of a property, sometimes it’s unavoidable. The study showed that 27 per cent of all behaviour was spent looking at furnishings and décor, perhaps suggesting that non-standard fixtures could pose more of a risk in terms of influencing a buyers decision.

However, this could potentially be seen as a positive, should the viewer be drawn to these fixtures because they have a similar taste to the current home owner.