01 Apr 2021

Virtual viewings are on the rise, according to a new study by the UK's technology-led estate agent, Purplebricks

With social distancing and other restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, moving house is now a very different experience. Over a third of Brits expect virtual viewings will be the norm when house hunting and one in five believe you can get everything you need from viewing a property virtually
Virtual viewings are on the rise, according to a new study by the UK's technology-led estate agent, Purplebricks

VIRTUAL VIEWINGS ARE ON THE RISE, ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY BY THE UK’S TECHNOLOGY-LED ESTATE AGENT, PURPLEBRICKS

  • Over a third of Brits expect virtual viewings will be the norm when house hunting  
  • One in five believe you can get everything you need from viewing a property virtually
  • While one in six are even willing to make an offer without setting foot in the front door
  • The most important things buyers want to get from a virtual viewing are a detailed sense of the space, a clear view of any issues or repairs, brightness of the rooms and storage
  • Purplebricks has partnered with interiors expert, Kate Watson Smyth, to show people how to best style their virtual viewings

 

With social distancing and other restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, moving house is now a very different experience. Over a third of Brits expect virtual viewings will be the norm when house hunting and one in five believe you can get everything you need from viewing a property virtually. While one in six are even willing to make an offer without setting foot in the front door.

The survey of 2,000 adults revealed that during a virtual viewing, Brits would like to get a detailed walkthrough of the entire space, a sense of any issues or repairs, brightness of the rooms and storage space. The functionality of the space, a sense of ambience or a feeling about the house and the décor were also important considerations to encourage people to buy a house from a virtual viewing.

 

To help people navigate the new virtual housing market, Purplebricks has partnered with interiors expert and author of Mad About the House, Kate Watson Smyth. The collaboration aims to show people how they can make their homes more appealing on virtual viewings, without spending a fortune.

 

Kate Watson Smyth 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.”

 

Angela Wallace, Divisional Sales Director at Purplebricks added: “The current pandemic has thrown up many new challenges for buyers and sellers across the UK. But this has heralded a new era of virtual house hunting and accelerated the value of virtual viewings.  

 

“Buyers are enjoying the speed and ease of doing viewings from the comfort of their own sofa, and sellers have welcomed a new way to show off their property.

 

“We’re seeing an increasing number of sales from virtual viewings where buyers have never even set foot inside the house, so it’s more important than ever to make a great virtual first impression.”

 

The study revealed that the top things sellers can do to appeal to potential buyers are;

  • to make sure all rooms are well presented,
  • that the home feels light and airy,  
  • and that it’s sparkling clean.

 

The study also found that buyers are put off by;  

  • dark and cluttered areas,  
  • overgrown and disused gardens,  
  • clothes washing left on the floor,  
  • and garish colours used indoors.

Kate’s top tips for styling your virtual viewings include:

  1. First impressions still count: buyers may not be walking up the front garden path but they will be starting in your hall. This sets the tone for the rest of the house so make sure it’s tidy – no piles of coats, bags and shoes spilling out.

Make sure the doors to the other rooms are open so that it’s as light as possible.

 

  1. Buyers are likely to be Instagram-savvy and wary of what you aren’t showing or what is lurking out of shot. 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 that has nowhere to go.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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 fashion for completely depersonalising a room has gone now but don’t fill every surface with pictures of your cute kids and pampered pets.

House buying is still aspirational as well as practical; make sure your coffee table books and belongings show a happy household.

 

  1. 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.

Appliances can help so show off any good ones – you can’t tempt them with fresh coffee and baked bread but a coffee machine and a high quality toaster can work wonders.

If you have a pantry or a utility room then tidy it and show it off. Buyers want to know where they can store the ironing board, the muddy boots or washing machine.

 

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.

@purplebricksUK #virtualstyle #virtualviewings

 

-ENDS-

 

For additional information and imagery please contact: sally.plant@thepr.network  

 

Notes to Editor:

 

*OnePoll study of 2,000 UK adults, August 2020  

 

Research by TwentyCi found that Purplebricks helps customers achieve an average of £8,000 more on the price of their house, when compared to the other top five estate agency brands. When savings on commission are taken into account, Purplebricks customers end their move an average of £9,500 better off.

 

Purplebricks remains the UK’s largest estate agency brand, instructing and selling more than any other brand (selling almost 4 times more than its largest competitor.)

 

About Purplebricks

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.  

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