Virtual viewings: House buyers not ready to make offers without touching them first

London agency Douglas & Gordon says consumers still want to see property in the flesh before making a financial commitment.

house buyers

Leading London estate agency Douglas & Gordon has revealed that house buyers have a long way to go before they will buy properties solely based on virtual viewings.

Although many tech platforms and other estate agents have claimed in the past that virtual viewings will one day be the norm within the sales and lettings markets, Douglas & Gordon says its buyers still want to touch, feel and see properties in the flesh before committing to an offer.

The company says this is the reason why it expects its full 2020 results to reflect lower sales volumes in London despite the stamp duty holiday induced boom since the chancellor’s announcement in July.

It says that during the lockdown months “as a result of property viewings not being able to be undertaken in person and although video viewings were offered, there is a reluctance to buy property on this method alone,” its latest trading statement says.

Stamp duty

The company says the reduction in sales caused by the Covid restrictions will be made up in part by the stamp duty holiday on homes sold under £500,000.

But the company’s results for the year ended 31st March 2020 show it was already dealing with the quieter London market caused by the then looming Brexit negotiations.

Its revenues remained largely static, falling by just over £200,000 to £16.47 million for the 12 months period.

The 18-branch agency, which has 187 employees, remains dominated by lettings, which turned over £8.6 million during the 12 months to 31st march compared to £5.47 million from sales.

Read our recent interview with the D&G CEO. 

One Comment

  1. Apart from the occasional investor buying from a new development, it is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that the public will buy without viewing a property. All this tech to just get the buyer through the front door makes me laugh. Probably something to do with those selling the stuff, they are bound to keep banging on about it.

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