During the first 15 seconds of a property inspection, a first impression is formed.  Following the three-minute mark, the decision is made. The future purchaser will know whether or not a property is perfect for him or her. That short span of time alone spells the difference between closing a sale or not at all.



This really happened: It was late this summer when we opened the door to a four-bedroom apartment located in one of NSW’s prime suburbs. We were greeted by a young man who was probably in his late twenties, and we were thinking he was a tenant. Inside, empty bottles of beer, some of whom still cool, were strewn on the tables and chairs. A stale scent is in the air.

In one corner, there’s a big maroon couch set against a purple wall. The contrast is stark but we know that a simple makeover work will help.  In the kitchen, stacks of unwashed dishes are piled in the sink.

The interior of the apartment bears a contrast to the building’s lovely exterior. Outside, a lush of green cover the grounds and surround the building’s perimeter. The vicinity is clean and the air is fresh. Courteous trades are walking about quietly performing their work. It’s an impressive welcome sight – until we got up the front door.

What happened? And why do other people take an hour to inspect a property while in this case it only took a few minutes? This article discusses how people fall in love at first sight on a property as it takes you through the journey on the different concepts related to first impression.

Why 15 Seconds and Not More?

Well, this inspection has a record to beat: three minutes. That short span of time alone spells the difference towards closing a sale or not at all. Before homebuyers search for a property, they already have this ‘dream home’ in mind. This home contains all of their wants, needs, personalities, and indulgences. In fact, we all do when it comes to the things we’re after.

So if buyers search for a home online, they already have a cognitive filter – that is, they can immediately feel if a property needs checking out. This means that when potential homebuyers reach out to you to inspect a property, you have 50% chance of getting a sale and another 50% for not closing it.

The 15-second ultimatum is set as a gauge for potential homebuyers to see if the property lives up to their expectations or not. If there are strong attributes about it that they don’t want, and if there are other factors that don’t play well with the home buyer’s expectations, then the deal’s over.

What Happens Within that Three-Minute Timeframe?

The word is ‘connectedness.’ It represents the very essence of the processes that goes on in the home buyer’s mind once they step inside a property. And we’re not only talking about the colour of a wall, for example. We’re talking about the feeling and emotions associated with living in that particular property. So there’s a visualisation involved as home buyers project themselves moving about the spaces of the property.

The Psychology of House Hunting, a study sponsored by the Bank of Montreal, revealed that 80% of potential buyers know if a home is right for them as soon as they step inside. However, 68 percent of likely buyers are willing to settle for a home that’s less than ‘perfect.’ So within that three-minute timeframe, home buyers let their emotions take the lead and then afterwards, they make compromises if a property is ‘not OK.’