Wayne & Silver Estate Agents  _  Hampstead Estate Agents

9 things you didn’t know buyers look for

Published: 01/06/2023

New eye-tracking experiment reveals what buyers are really looking for when viewing a property

A new experiment has revealed what prospective buyers are really looking at when viewing a property – and there are a few surprises in the list. 

Three different properties were viewed by buyers using eye-tracking hardware to capture the parts of the home that caught their attention, from radiators and water pressure, to garden access and a clean and working oven.
'UK house prices are currently on the up and with the stamp duty holiday prompting more buyers to get on the property market, it’s a competitive time for homeowners looking to sell their home,' says Mark Gordon, head of mortgages at comparethemarket.com. 'We conducted this experiment to determine the areas of the home buyers look at most to help sellers maximise their chances of a sale. 

'Some sellers may not have considered these factors when preparing their homes for viewings, so we hope our insight will help them focus on the areas they should check and freshen up.' 
Based on the Comparethemarket's findings, here's what sellers should focus on to prepare a property for viewings.
1. Radiators 
With temperatures falling during autumn and winter, we're likely to start turning our heating on and buyers want to know that the radiators work. The experiment found that buyers went straight for radiators when looking around a property to check that they were in working order.

2. Garden access
The eye-tracking experiment showed that buyers looked out into the garden as soon as they entered a room that backs onto it, and then checked the patio doors to see if they could access the garden. Not being able to do so can be off-putting for buyers as they want to be able to see every aspect of the home. And, due to the pandemic, a lot of people are looking for a home that will give extra space, so having a garden or outdoor area is high on the priority list.

3. Water pressure 
During the experiment, one of the first things potential buyers did in the kitchen and bathroom was check the taps to see what the water pressure was like. It's important to check your water pressure is of normal standards before hosting viewings. As buyers will be observing taps, ensure they're clear of limescale and give them a quick wipe using baby oil for extra shine.

4. Cupboard doors
When walking around the kitchen, one of the first things buyers did was check the cupboards to see if they were well built and in good condition. It’s therefore worth seeing if the quality and durability of all your cupboards is up to scratch before viewings. Do they open and close well? Can they hold the correct amount of produce? Buyers were also seen looking inside cupboards during the experiment, so make sure they're kept tidy, larders and pantries included.

5. Bed comfort 
When buyers walk into a bedroom, the first thing they spot is the bed. Although you may take your bed with you once you move out of your property, buyers were seen to feel or sit on the bed when observing the room during the experiment. Before a viewing, ensure your bed is well made.

6. Oven
Whilst in the kitchen, the first thing potential buyers looked at was the oven, which they also turned on to see if it works. Make sure your oven is in good working order and is kept clean before a house viewing.
7. Scents
While a scent isn’t something you can physically see, during the eye-tracking experiment, diffusers and candles were one of the first things potential buyers spotted throughout the home, and they were picking them up to smell them too. It’s a good idea to purchase a couple of diffusers or candles and scatter them around your home before a house viewing. 

8. Lighting
Buyers were also checking if the light switches work, so make sure they do. If rooms are dim, consider leaving the lights on to add brightness so viewers can properly inspect the room. Many buyers also looked at ceiling lights, so consider purchasing a new lampshade to make your room look more appealing.

9. Accessories
Buyers want to visualise themselves living in a property, and whilst their interior preference may differ, they still want to look at a room and think 'wow, I could live here'. The more a buyer can picture themselves living in a home, the better it is for a seller. 

Accessories such as blankets, throws, and scatter cushions on sofas and beds, were one of the first things potential buyers looked at while in the bedroom and living room especially.
Source House Beautiful