It is the most expensive decision in a person's life, yet home buyers in the UK take just half an hour to decide whether to purchase, according to new research.
The report from Aviva found that competition from other buyers means that house-hunters are quicker than ever to decide whether a home is right for them.
One in four (24 per cent) make just one visit to a property before deciding to purchase it. And every year, as many as 40,000 people buy properties without viewing them at all. Overall, not devoting enough time to inspecting a property gives sellers less time to showcase their home and also potentially causes buyers financial pain further down the line.
Indeed, unnoticed maintenance and structural issues can result in high repair costs or even scupper a house purchase altogether. The survey of 4,000 homeowners showed that buyers are forced to spend Â£1,094 more than they had expected on essential repairs once they move in to their property, with the average total bill coming in at Â£3,490.
To help home buyers make the most of the limited time they have during house viewings, the UKâs largest insurer Aviva has created a house viewing checklist, an interactive tool which provides a checklist of signs of potential maintenance trouble to look out for.
"Renewed competition and rising prices have combined to make many buyers more pressurised to snap up a property quickly," says Heather Smith, Marketing Director at Aviva.
"Our research showed that buyers in the past year devoted under 10 seconds to looking round a property for every Â£1,000 they spent purchasing it."