Does Your Home Pass the 20 Second Test?

We now live in a world where most of us are bombarded with never ending streams of information to process – well pre GDPR anyway!

And that information overload is leading to people making snap judgments quicker than ever.

We see it here all the time at Maurice Kilbride when people view a property.

In most cases I’d say a person has made up their mind about a property within 20-30 seconds. Yes, that quickly.

It’s a combination of potential buyers forming an initial opinion by looking at photos of the property online and then when they turn up for the viewing how the property looks outside, the condition of the front door and the porch/ hallway.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people say “We love it” or “it’s not for us” within half a minute of walking into a property.

5 questions to see if your home passes the 20 second test

So, if your property is currently on the market and not selling or you are considering putting your property on the market – does your home pass the 20 second test? Answer these five simple questions to find out.

1) If you are putting your home on the market have you had a major declutter ahead of when an agent comes to take photos? You have to be brutal!
2) Are any exterior fittings such as garden baskets, loose paving stones, even the doorbell in good working order? Little things get noticed by viewers and go towards forming an overall and almost instant opinion.
3) If you have a lawn, has it been mowed recently? Hedges/bushes trimmed? you want people to look at it and think ‘that looks nice’ rather than ‘that looks like even more work for us to do’. If you don’t have a lawn think about any communal / entrance points to your property, are they tidy?
4) My personal favourite! Have you cleaned your front door recently? Or better still has the front door had a fresh lick of paint before marketing? Do the windows sparkle? do you have a clean welcome mat outside the door?
5) Is your hallway / entrance porch cluttered with shoes, bags, coats and other stuff? The hallway / entrance area is an important part of a property when it comes to making a good initial impression. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have had to slalom through a cluttered porch to get to a property’s entrance!

If you’ve answered no to a lot of the questions above your property would more than likely fail the 20 second test in most viewers’ eyes.

But don’t despair with a few simple remedies and the advice of experienced estate agents like us at Maurice Kilbride you’ll soon be passing the same test with flying colours and increasing your chances of a quick sale at a price you will be happy with.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Whether you are selling, buying, letting or renting, we’re here to help. Call myself, Joe, Emily or Patrick at any time on 0161 428 3663 or email: or better still why not pop in to our High Street branch in Cheadle village for expert advice which is honest, accurate and informative we might even pop the kettle on!

The Property Ombudsman Chartered Trading Standards Institute