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Graham Awards


The longer the viewing, the lower the sale price

An unusual but large-scale piece of research suggests that older buyers are more likely to take their time viewing a property - and that those who spent more time viewing were also more likely to pay less.

Which? has surveyed 1,990 members of the public about their experiences of buying and selling property. 

A remarkable five per cent of buyers across the UK bought without viewing, although this figure jumped to nine per cent of Scottish buyers. 


Most of course preferred a second or subsequent look before making their decision: 43 per cent said they visited the last home they bought twice while 21 per cent viewed it a third time. 

Younger and first-time buyers generally spent less time than older buyers viewing and undertaking checks for things like damp and cracks in the wall. 

Across all age groups, some 38 per cent said they spent more than an hour looking around the last home they bought. Over-65s preferred to take more time, spending an average of 74 minutes viewing the property, compared to just over 49 minutes for people aged between 18 and 34.



Some 52 per cent of buyers who spent under 10 minutes viewing their future home paid the full asking price or more. Fairly obviously, this appeared to happen in locations and at times where the local market was particularly competitive. 

However, 71 per cent of buyers who spent more than an hour-and-a-half in their future home paid below the asking price for it.

About 10 per cent of buyers from all categories did not commission a survey.

The most popular specialist checks commissioned by buyers in addition to general or mortgage valuation surveys were for damp or mould (70 per cent), the condition of the windows (69 per cent), and cracks in walls (68 per cent).

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Second time buyers - therefore older people, will take more time. That's because first time buyers will have come from rented accommodation, so their perspective on a good property will be relative to what they are in now. Rented houses are generally not to the same standard as private. And they have an urgency to move. To get on the ladder, to avoid paying rent etc.

    Second time buyers already have a nest and have created their own 'perfection'. So they will be more demanding and savvy. They will need something better than they have already, so there is a higher bar to pass. So the survey is really to be expected.

  • Sceptical As Always

    Just learn your lesson. Brief the buyers: "lads, in and out within 1 minute, like a trolley dash!" then stand outside with the gavel.

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    • 07 September 2015 11:42 AM

    So the ones who spend longer looking are more likely to be a hard bargainer, no surprises there!

    Still find it shocking that anyone could purchase a property without taking a look at it first though!

  • Tim Gorgulu

    It seems common sense really -if a buyer is inexperienced and really wants their first property, they are far more willing to pay top dollar than someone who is more confident on filtering through the property market!


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