Don’t look now! When house viewing, getting distracted by clutter could cost you thousands

First-time buyers spend just two minutes reviewing structural features on buildings before placing an offer
Buyers spend more than half their time looking at clutter, decor and personal items

Buyers are distracted by clutter and personal items when viewing homes and could be missing problems that would cost thousands of pounds to fix, new research suggests.

The innovative study, conducted by Anglian Home Improvements, used eye tracking technology to monitor potential buyers as they viewed a property and revealed how little time is spent looking at the building structure itself.

The findings show potential buyers spend more than half their time looking at clutter and mess - accounting for 24% of all time - or decor and personal items (27%), all of which are easily updated once the new owner moves in. Photographs proved particularly distracting, with the results showing viewers often make eye contact with the people in the photos.

However, building and structural features accounted for only 4% of the attention of those viewing the property, despite structural issues often proving time-consuming and costly to fix. Poorly fitted light switches and plug sockets attracted the most attention of all structural features from buyers.

With research carried out by Which?* showing that the average first time buyer spends 53 minutes viewing a property, this means just two minutes would be spent reviewing the building and the structure before an offer is placed.

The study also showed that male buyers spend more time than women on the building features and external features, with 32% of time compared to 22%. While women spent more time looking at clutter and mess than men, at 28% compared to 20%.

Matt Carey, Head of Digital Marketing at Anglian Home Improvements, said: “It’s easy to get distracted by clutter, decoration and personal touches when viewing a house, but buyers need to be hard headed when looking around a property and take time to really consider if it meets their needs.

“Although home buyers surveys are designed to pick up on structural issues, by the point in time they’re commissioned, a buyer may have already lost out on money and other properties they were interested in.

“Some issues - like failed double glazing or damp patches - can be spotted if you know what you’re looking for, so buyers should take the time to research and make a checklist of things to look for during their viewings.”

To see the full results from the study visit the Anglian Home Improvements website:

For more information on how to spot failed double glazing visit:


September 5, 2017

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