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Selling Your House, What Are Viewers Actually Looking For?

What home buyers are actually looking at - Valor Properties

In an ideal world, someone selling his or her home would have buyers lining the street, eager to purchase the home of their dreams. The reality of selling a house is far more like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears; the words “just right” can be elusive and slow in coming. The feedback that clients give after viewing a house offers little insight, and sellers might begin to wonder what is wrong with their house. Comments from the viewers such as “The house is too white,” or “It doesn’t have enough bedrooms,” can leave a seller guessing as to why the buyer even looked at the house to begin with.

It’s understandable that one house cannot possibly appeal to everyone. Vileda, a company that produces cleaning products, handed out eye-tracking glasses to some prospective homebuyers to determine what they examined while walking through houses that were on the market. The results were surprising in that much of the clients’ time was spent gazing up at the ceiling. No time was spent looking inside the oven; therefore, time sellers spent cleaning the oven was time wasted. While an experiment like this is helpful in showing sellers where to invest their time by knowing what people looked at, it doesn’t help determine exactly what they’re looking for. After all, home has a different definition for everyone.

Digital Presentation

In today’s electronic world, it’s important that a house actively listed on the market have a digital presence. People do their shopping online, including shopping for a home. A lot of information can be gathered from the pictures of a house, interior and exterior, on a website. Likewise, the absence of pictures makes a statement, leaving the consumer to hypothesise as to what the seller doesn’t want them to see.

The online pictures should give an overview on the entire room and demonstrate the layout of the house if possible. Every room should be included with the rooms having first been cleared of clutter. Displaying the garden at different seasons takes some planning but is beneficial to incorporate if that is one of the home’s highlights.

The written description on the internet that accompanies the home should be accurate. This description is often brief yet has the power to paint a lovely picture of the home, pointing out the best features and drawing attention to the house’s strengths. Help your estate agent accurately list the properties features.

Front Entrance

Just as first impressions are important when meeting a new person, first impressions are crucial when selling a house. Special attentiveness to the front entryway, must say welcome to all who enter. It takes very little time to put in a few flowering plants and a new, or nearly new, welcome mat. The front door is where potential home buyers will walk into the house for the first time. It should be kept free of cobwebs and swept clean of any debris.

In the garden, it’s still a guessing game to know what the viewer is looking for. Some might want open space for children to play, while others might be searching for a shady nook for reading. Regardless of the outdoor features, any fabulous elements should be prepped to shine. Additionally, general upkeep and maintenance go a long way for any outdoor spaces. Buyers aren’t looking for projects to tackle; they want a house and garden that has been cared for, knowing that tasks automatically come up along the way for homeowners.


Using the special goggles, Vileda recorded that a whopping 95% of the shoppers headed straight to the windows. Therefore, windows and sills need to be thoroughly cleaned before showing the house to anyone. Dust the sills, use glass cleaner, and knock down any cobwebs. It’s important to note the view out the window. Maximise the beautiful scenery by making sure that anything unsightly, like the rubbish bins or the recycling bin, are put away. Also, the flower beds should be checked from the inside to be sure there are no bare spots or weeds popping up in the back. Again, adding a few flowering plants serves a dual purpose as it can freshen up both the space inside and out.

Buyers will be looking at the quantity, size and direction of the windows with different thoughts in mind. Some homeowners want to be sure that all areas of the property visible from within the house. Besides giving a sense of orientation to what is outside in the garden and the neighbourhood, windows allow natural light in. Whatever the case, be sure that the windows are easily accessible, with any coverings opened, letting sunlight enter the home.


It has been proven that people will open closets and cabinets, looking for storage space and wondering if their belongings will fit. Closets don’t have to be perfectly organised; however, an overstuffed closet sends a message that the closet, or maybe even the entire house, is not big enough. Home buyers want to know if this house has the capacity to meet their storage needs.


Maybe the reason that people’s eyes went to the ceiling so often while wearing the eye tracker is that the consumer was looking for signs deterioration. Whether there is water damage from leaks or a crack formed as the house settled, these areas should be repaired and repainted. Perhaps the viewers were surveying at the light fixtures, and if the fixtures would match their décor. Many people like cornices and other touches that add architectural interest. Still others may have just looked to determine how high the ceilings were in that room. A final speculation is that lifting the eyes seems to allow a person to take in more information than when the head is tilted down. It’s possible that people were absorbing atmosphere of the house.


De-cluttering should probably come first on this list as it is vital for the sale of a home. There is a fine line between having a house that looks cosy, like it could be lived in versus one that that looks shabby because it is lived in. Potential buyers don’t expect flawless housekeeping, but they will be repelled by visibly dirty areas and by foul smells. There is no need to bake bread as has been suggested in the past, but taking out the rubbish, keeping dishes clean and put away, and freshly vacuuming the carpet will bring out the beauty of the home. Likewise, it isn’t necessary to repaint walls, but touching up any glaring marks with leftover paint demonstrates that the house has been lovingly looked after.


Few houses offer absolute perfection. Creativity comes in handy when seeking to show off the best characteristics and bonuses of the home. There are solutions for any weaknesses that the house might have. Traffic needs to flow freely without disruptive obstacles. Furniture should be arranged thoughtfully, and the floor should be kept clear. Rooms should be well-lit with window coverings open and lights turned on. Clients might otherwise struggle to locate the light switch. Paying attention to these small details makes the home more likeable.

Overall, it’s imperative to create an environment where the buyers can imagine themselves living in the home. It’s worth restating that de-cluttering should be a top priority. Cleaning is an essential ingredient for charming a potential home buyer. Some staging is helpful to highlight home’s best features or functions. It can be as simple as placing a book in a quiet reading area or having luxurious pillows on the bed. When the buyers feel comfortable and at ease, they act on those feelings and make the purchase. They will know that they have arrived home.