Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2020
England’s second lockdown – dubbed Lockdown 2 – appears not to have shaken the housing market, as buyers continue to search for their next home before the stamp duty holiday comes to an end in March 2021.
With such high demand and increased activity in the market, now is an ideal time for sellers to prepare their home for sale. While small fixes and repairs can do the trick, the effects of Covid have altered many buyers’ priorities.
An ‘eye-tracking’ experiment by comparethemarket has revealed what buyers notice first when viewing a home. Here at Keys & Lee, we look at the results to offer insight on what sellers should focus on when preparing their property for viewings.
During the experiment, buyers immediately looked out into the garden when they entered a room and then checked the patio doors to see if they could access it.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, many potential buyers are searching for a home with a garden. As a seller, you must make sure that viewers can access your garden if they so wish and consider tidying it up and making the most of the space.
As we’re approaching winter and temperatures start to cool, it’s common for buyers to ensure that radiators work. The experiment found that buyers went straight for radiators when viewing a property to check they worked.
Before each viewing, consider turning your heating on to bring warmth to your home. This will show that your heating system and radiators work and will help to create a cosy atmosphere.
During the experiment, buyers also checked the taps in the kitchen and bathroom to see what the water pressure was like. Therefore, it’s important to check your water pressure is of normal standards before hosting viewings.
This can be achieved by turning your main feed tap on and off a couple of times. Alternatively, you can rely on the expertise of a plumber.
When walking around the kitchen, buyers checked the cupboards to see if they were in good condition. Because of this, it’s worth seeing if the quality and durability of your cupboards is up to scratch before viewings.
This includes making sure they can open and close well, can hold the correct number of products and are kept tidy.
In the bedroom, buyers spotted the bed first. Although you may take your bed with you once you move out, buyers were seen to feel or sit on the bed in order to visualise themselves sleeping in the room.
You should make sure your bed is well made before each viewing. Consider purchasing new quilts and cushions to ensure they have a good warmth and weight ratio.
As well as the cupboards, buyers took interest in the oven when walking around the kitchen, which they turned on to see if it worked. When preparing your home for viewings, make sure the oven is well-maintained, the hobs and trays are washed, and avoid cooking anything too fragrant prior.
If you’re present during the viewing, it could be worth switching your oven on so buyers can see that it works, then switching it off once they’ve left.
While a scent isn’t something you can physically see, diffusers and candles were one of the first things potential buyers spotted throughout the home.
It’s a good idea to purchase a couple of diffusers or candles and scatter them around your home before a viewing. Buyers will pick up on the pleasant aroma, and you can banish any unpleasant smells such as pet odour.
Buyers were also keen to check if the light switches worked, so you’ll need to make sure they do. Unsurprisingly, lighting plays a major role in a viewing, as dark and dingy rooms can be off-putting to buyers. Consider leaving the lights on so viewers can properly inspect each room.
Many buyers also looked at ceiling lights as soon as they entered the room, so it’s worth purchasing a new lampshade to make your room look more appealing.
The experiment highlighted that while interior preferences may differ, many buyers appreciated homely accessories.
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. These accessories help to give a comforting finishing touch, so invest in some if you can.
During these challenging times, it’s crucial that you conduct viewings in a safe and Covid-compliant way, in line with government guidelines. For further advice on moving during the pandemic or the property selling process in general, please contact our professional team today.
Additionally, you can request a free and instant online valuation to find out how much your property could be worth on the current market.