Lockdown leaving a lasting impact on Liverpool's home buyers
39% of Liverpudlians would be willing to put an offer on a new home without setting foot in the front door thanks to virtual viewings.
Over two thirds of house buyers in Liverpool are happy to do virtual viewings
Purplebricks has partnered with interiors expert, Kate Watson-Smyth, to show people how to make their properties look appealing online when it comes to virtual viewings.
The pandemic has had a huge influence on the behaviour of the region’s home buyers. Research commissioned by Purplebricks, the UK’s largest estate agent, reveals around two in five home buyers across Liverpool now believe if a property ticks the boxes, they’d be willing to put in an offer without ever setting foot in the door.
As lockdown continues, 67% of home buyers across the Liverpool area are now happy to do virtual viewings as their first look inside a property. Over half (59%) stated they find virtual viewings to be more efficient, and 65% find them less awkward than face-to-face viewings. Half of those asked agreed that virtual viewings may become the norm when house hunting. The research also revealed that over two thirds (69%) of potential buyers in Liverpool have already done a virtual viewing in the last 12 months.
When it comes to virtual viewings 67% of potential buyers in Liverpool want to see every room in the house, and 64% want a virtual viewing to show them the size of the garden. A lack of photos or video content is likely to put off potential buyers.
Andrew McEvoy, Territory Operator for Liverpool at Purplebricks, said: “The current pandemic has thrown up many new challenges for buyers and sellers across Liverpool. But this has heralded a new era of virtual house hunting and homeowners are adopting this new way of buying and selling homes.
“The market around the city has remained exceptionally busy, and we are seeing an increase in people outside the area looking to move to Liverpool. This may be another impact of the pandemic as people’s priorities and circumstances have changed. The technology of virtual viewings enables us to reach them. Buyers can carry out their first viewings virtually and draw up a shortlist for when they are able to physically visit.”
43% of prospective buyers in Liverpool notice if a seller has made an effort when it comes to making rooms look light and airy. When it comes to virtual viewings, some of the biggest property turn offs are dark and small areas, overgrown gardens and dirty trainers left lying around. Not having a floorplan, rooms decorated in garish colours and having dirty clothes on show are other no-nos when selling a property. 38% of those asked in Liverpool said they would find a house more appealing if the mess is tidied away out of any images.
It’s all in the detail for nearly a third of Liverpool ’s potential buyers, who are happy when the sellers provide them with an extensive floor plan of the property. Creating an attractive exterior was also appealing to over 34%, who want to see a home looking smart from the outside as well as inside.
Purplebricks has worked with interiors expert Kate Watson-Smyth to provide tips on how to make your house look appealing online.
Kate said: “There are a number of practical things you can do to make a great first impression, but the hardest part of showing your home virtually is giving people that feeling or vibe you get when you step into a house. While you can’t delight them with the smell of freshly baked bread or coffee brewing as they walk in the door, there are some clever tricks you can do.”
“Place fresh flowers to brighten up a room, make sure all of the rooms are clean and tidy, show off any storage space, pull back the curtains to let in the light, and stage the rooms to encourage buyers to see themselves in the home with their family and friends.”
KATE WATSON-SMYTH’S VIRTUAL HOME VIEWING STYLING TOP TIPS
- First impressions still count: Online viewings start from your hallway, so make sure the tidiness sets the tone for your home -no piles of coats, bags and shoes spilling out.
- Social media savvy: Make sure there’s a full 360 pan of each room so they can see the corners and understand the space and know that you aren’t hiding a broken window or a pile of laundry.
- Acknowledge problem areas: If you have a small dark room then dress it to be cosy and inviting and show how you use it – e.g. as a kid’s TV room, a home office, or a guest room.
- Clean the windows: you want your home to appear light, bright and well-cared for. While this may not actually show on camera, it will add to a general sense of cleanliness and a cared for space.
- Tidy up the obvious things first: make sure the pictures are straight on the walls, the cushions are plumped and the curtains fully pulled back (this lets in more light).
- A bit of routine maintenance helps achieve a house sale: make sure all the handles are present and fixed on, touch up any scuffed skirting boards and paintwork.
- The Sitting Room: While virtual viewers may not be able to smell fresh flowers, they still look pretty. Make sure any big leaves are shiny and remove any brown or droopy leaves.
- The Kitchen: Storage is key in this room. Make sure at least one cupboard is tidy (and open it to show viewers). Declutter the worktops so keen cooks can see there is plenty of prep and storage space.
For more of Kate’s styling tips, go to @mad_about_the_house or visit @purplebricksuk.
As well as online photo galleries, Purplebricks has a number of virtual viewing options to help you sell your home, including virtual videos, 3D tours and live virtual viewings. With the Purplebricks app sellers can track their sale 24/7. They have control over the whole process from viewings and offers to direct messaging with buyers. Combined with the support and advice from a local property expert Purplebricks is committed to making the moving process easier.
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Notes to Editor:
*Perspectus Global study of over 1,000 UK adults across five UK cities January 2021
Purplebricks is the UK’s technology-led estate agent and offers customers a transparent and convenient way to buy, sell, or let. Purplebricks gives customers the combined support of Local Property Experts, an online platform and a central customer service team. More information can be found at www.purplebricks.co.uk.