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easyProperty hires psychology guru to look at Open House 'stress'

Online estate agency easyProperty has brought in a veteran psychology expert to look at the stress of buying a home - and has found that those seeking to purchase in London have 62 per cent more stress than the rest of the nation’s buyers.

A study of 1,000 UK adults, examining their moods and emotions during the process of finding a home, found that London residents are 20 per cent more likely to have to attend an open or group viewing - considered to be one the most stressful experiences in the home hunting process.

Some 60% per cent of London buyers have attended an open viewing and of those who did, 73 per cent said they found it stressful - and 16 per cent compared the stress of open viewings to that suffered during a minor medical procedure or a potentially-painful visit to a dentist, because of the competitive nature of the capital’s market.


Psychology professor Sir Cary Cooper, cited in a statement from easyProperty, says block viewings drive competitive behaviour in people, increasing the overall stress levels.

"Block viewings can add to the stress and even drive competitive behaviours. Competition for resources and territory in humans is natural and informs a lot of behaviour. But equally, tensions do arise when people are in cramped spaces. House viewings with multiple interested parties could be just as stressful due to these cramped conditions” he says.

The easyProperty survey also found that London buyers were the most likely to try to curry favour with an estate agent to improve their chances of securing the home they want. 

Overall, people looking for a home in London rated the process as 62 per cent more stressful than the national average.

More generally, 14 per cent of respondents said looking for a home was as stressful as being late for work - but only 11 per cent thought it as challenging as going on a date.

  • Trevor Mealham

    Could have something to do with parting with bigger than average funds to buy.

    Open days done right can be a very powerful tool to achieving best price from putting potential buyers next to one another

  • Terence Dicks

    Sorry Trevor, that is absolute rubbish. My wife and I own property in London from when I worked there, and the money is not an issue because we could afford it, just like anywhere else in the country. Open house is a lazy way of selling property and puts undue pressure on buyers. Buying a property is a huge undertaking, and people deserve at least 20 minutes with the agent in the property without other people being there. Of course it helps when they know that others are viewing the same property, but to have prospective buyers wandering around a property without being able to ask questions of the agent (who is supposed to have the answers) is unprofessional and is not helping to gain the best price for their client. I have recently tried to get a viewing on a property that was scheduled for an open house in Dorset for a proceedable buyer, and was told no-one would be allowed to see the property before that date. How is that doing the best for their vendor?? Refusing to contact the vendor and book the viewing is irresponsible and possibly illegal. Open house is morally questionable and unfair to all concerned, and leads me to ask whether agents who carry them out are even capable of selling property.

    Trevor Mealham

    Hi Terence, agents should answer your questions. I agree thats bad agency. But I know agents who don't rush viewers in day 1 and sstc day 2. Delaying viewings by say a week/10 days and getting many along on the day at one after the other fair intervals can create hype and drive offers in and up.

    I have just allocated a property to a main agent who will sub out.

    Weve stressed that viewings should only start when all sub agents have had chance to mail all mailing lists applicants to bring as many to the table.

    Weve offered a 2% main agent fee to split 50/50 with any sub agent who achieves best offer.

    If the client achieves £10-20k more. Then structuring the sale rather than selling it to first punters in 24 hours is worth a couple of weeks longer wait.

  • icon

    ''those seeking to purchase in London have 62 per cent more stress than the rest of the nation’s buyers''

    Whatever next! - just checked its no April 1st, this therefore, must be real. The things these people just to get a press release out.


  • Trevor Mealham

    One of our agents achieved £40k more on a sstc that is about to exch based on a identical property that sold 2 months prior.

    The open day and subbing achieved 30 viewers from a main and 5 sub agents.

    The vendor liked the marketing strategy and happily agreed to pay 1.5% rather than a budget or 1% fee.

    Done right and polite. Open days can be great. Also bringing more potential buyers to the table means a best buyer can be found, assuring the client sellers of LESS stress in finding most solid buyers.

  • Terence Dicks

    I am not doubting the vendor liked the strategy Trevor, and maybe that particular one went very well. What I am saying is that should a proceedable buyer wish to view the said property first, then it should be put to the owner immediately, especially if they wish to offer the the full market price. Also, I cannot fathom why any agent would be happy to give away 50% of their commission in the first place by subbing out. I am sure the negs concerned are delighted with that idea.


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