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February - The Month of Love! - Edition 6

Did you know around 71.2% of the homeowners in England are coupled up, and people who are buying or selling a home in the next 12 months are 42% more likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day than the population as a whole?
February - The Month of Love! - Edition 6

That’s a third of all movers, an estimated 831,000 people. Are the romantics in the home moving market more likely to buy if they fall in love at first sight with a home?

According to the latest Rightmove statistics, the average time for an estate agent to find a buyer for a property has increased steadily since early last year. Figures in December report that it now takes an average of 71 days, quite a long time if you need to sell quickly. And a lot of tidying up as viewers come through the door. 

Changing socio-economic dynamics, such as shifting demographics and lifestyle preferences have reshaped the real estate landscape. Millennials, now the largest cohort of homebuyers, exhibit distinctive preferences compared to previous generations.

For instance they have much higher expectations than previous generations, on how a property should look. They will scrutinise all the digital technologies at their fingertips, lifestyle videos are a particular favourite, and meticulously research properties before even booking a viewing. This heightened level of scrutiny and deliberation elongates the buyer's journey, in turn extending the time it takes for estate agents to secure a sale. Consequently, estate agents are tasked with understanding and catering to these evolving preferences, which inherently prolongs the process of finding the right match between properties and buyers.

So what of falling in love? We recently conducted a nationwide survey through the market research company Opinium and the results were dramatic. 70% of those surveyed said ‘love at first sight’ was at least ‘fairly important’ and only 5% said it was not important at all. With people expecting to buy a home only around three times in their life, it seems pretty clear from these stats, if agents and owners are prepared to accept first impressions as a principal factor in the buying process they can speed the time from launch to market to securing a good offer. 

We believe that currently only about 1% of homes in the UK are benefiting from professional advice or staging before they are launched to market. The advice from many UK agents is scant at best and non-existent at worst. As a By Design agent you have an inherent USP. You have the opportunity to offer professional advice to every single home owner with whom you work through the By Design/Lemon and Lime partnership. Take advantage to ensure your client’s’ time to offer is much shorter than average. Help your buyers fall in love at first sight!

Elaine Penhaul, MD of Lemon + Lime.