When you show viewers around a property do you really know what they’re looking at? Do you know what they are impressed with and what they’re put off by? Other than a few nods of approval and smiles of admiration when entering a room, agents are essentially guessing when it comes to really knowing how viewers perceive a property.
Thanks to new eye-tracking technology, much of the guesswork into what makes viewers beam and what makes them grimace, can be removed.
A study was carried for Anglian Home Improvements, involving homebuyers viewing property wearing glasses that tracked their eye movements. The research found that the viewers spent 27% of the time looking at furnishings. The eye-movement tracking spectacles also found that 24% of viewing time was focused on looking at clutter and the personal items in a home.
Somewhat surprisingly, just 4% of viewing time was devoted to looking at the layout of rooms. A similar amount of time was spent regarding the structural features of a property and repairs that may be required.
The research demonstrates just how important prospective buyers consider furnishings and personal clutter in property, significantly more so than the likes of structural features and layouts.
Perhaps less surprising, the research also revealed some discrepancies between male and female property viewers. Men tended to spend more time looking at structural issues, whilst women were more inclined to focus on furnishings, decoration and personal items.
Nonetheless, the study confirms the importance of getting a property into a ‘viewable’ state when it’s on the market.
As Kevin Shaw, national sales director at property specialists Leaders, said:
“It is clear that sellers must prioritise the aesthetic appeal of their home in order to impress buyers. We all know first impressions count for a lot when marketing a property, but these findings show presenting attractive living spaces throughout a house is a must.
“From furnishings to photos, there are plenty of belongings that catch the eye of viewers and go a long way towards forming a positive opinion.”