The longer the viewing, the lower the sale price!

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An unusual but large-scale piece of research suggests that older buyers are more likely to take their time viewing a property - and that those who spent more time viewing were also more likely to pay less.

Which? has surveyed 1,990 members of the public about their experiences of buying and selling property. A remarkable five per cent of buyers across the UK bought

without viewing, although this figure jumped to nine per cent of Scottish buyers.

Most of course preferred a second or subsequent look before making their decision: 43 per cent said they visited the last home they bought twice while 21 per cent viewed it a third time. Younger and first-time buyers generally spent less time than older buyers viewing and undertaking checks for things like damp and cracks in the wall.

Across all age groups, some 38 per cent said they spent more than an hour looking around the last home they bought. Over-65s preferred to take more time, spending an average of 74 minutes viewing the property, compared to just over 49 minutes for people aged between 18 and 34.

Some 52 per cent of buyers who spent under 10 minutes viewing their future home paid the full asking price or more. Fairly obviously, this appeared to happen in locations and at times where the local market was particularly competitive. However, 71 per cent of buyers who spent more than an hour-and-a-half in their future home paid below the asking price for it.

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