During the past six months, an estimated 51% of homebuyers have not been able to book to view a home before the property went under offer, according to virtual property viewings platform, U-See Homes.

The research also found that 33% of buyers were not able to visit up to a quarter of their scheduled viewings, 9% could not view between a quarter and half of their scheduled viewings, while a further 9% missed out on half or more of the properties they scheduled to view.

U-See Homes also asked if the same thing had happened with homes they were able to view initially but did not view for a second time because the house went under offer; 38% of buyers stated this had been an issue, with 15% stating it had happened on a quarter or more of their secondary viewings.

The platform also found that nearly half (48%) of UK buyers would be happy to submit an offer having initially viewed a property in person with a second viewing conducted via a virtual guided tour.

Meanwhile, 36% said a virtual guided tour would have allowed them to avoid scheduling unnecessary viewings.

As well as this, 16% of buyers said they would submit an offer on a property they liked having viewed it virtually and without viewing it in person.

Simon Dempsey, head of marketing at U-See Homes, said: “Homes are selling like hotcakes in the current market and if you’re lucky enough to reach the offers stage, the chances are you’ll have some tough competition from a number of other eager buyers.

“For over half of homebuyers, the initial task of getting a foot in the door is proving too large an obstacle and many are finding the properties they have scheduled to view are flying off the shelf before they’ve even had a chance to view them.

“Virtual viewings can be a vital resource in overcoming this current property market pitfall, allowing you to get a very good idea of a home before viewing, or as a follow up to an initial viewing to reconfirm your feelings.

“Doing so allows you to at least remove the need for an unnecessary additional viewing in person and if you do want to make an offer, it can mean getting in ahead of the rest.

“Of course, while virtual viewings can streamline the process, you need to make it to that all-important physical viewing first which is also proving a tough ask.

“That said, 16% of buyers would be prepared to submit an offer without seeing the home in person first – and even we’re a little surprised by that.”