Buyers confused by complicated buying process

Buyers confused by complicated buying process

We know full well that buying a home can, in some cases, be a long and frustrating slog. But what do British buyers really make of the buying process?

Our latest research has revealed that many find it to be confusing and unfair, with the amount of complicated and expensive processes that buyers have to go through cited as the main reason for this unhappiness.

Some 61% of those Tepilo surveyed said they found the house buying process confusing, while nearly a third (21%) said it was far too complicated and expensive.

Equally, 21% believe transactions take too long to go through, while 14% are concerned about the prospects of a sale falling through before an exchange has been made (and after they’ve shelled out on legal and survey fees).   

To add to this, 37% of those we polled think the UK buying process is inherently unfair. But what could be done to make it fairer? Well, when asked this question, 40% of participants said that “once a sale has been agreed it should be made legally binding so no one can pull out”.

This, of course, would massively reduce the risk of buyers losing money spent on legal and survey fees if a sale (for whatever reason) collapses.

Furthermore, 35% of people are of the opinion that bidding above an already accepted offer should be disallowed, while 31% believe sellers should have to pay for the survey on the house they are selling.

Our survey also showed that knowledge of property-based terms is quite low among buyers, with many unaware of things like conveyancing, energy performance certificates (EPC) and land registry fees.

When it comes to a good understanding of the house buying process, it was revealed that only 41% know what a mortgage in principle is, just 45% of people know what a homebuyers report means and only 48% know what the conveyancing process involves.

Half know what an EPC is, 53% are aware of land registry fees and nearly two thirds (60%) understand what the terms “exchange of contract” and “stamp duty” entail.

Astonishingly, 5% of buyers admitted to not knowing what any of the above terms meant!

Nonetheless, the buying process being confusing, complicated and unfair isn’t the main bugbear when it comes to purchasing a home.

That dubious honour, unsurprisingly, is afforded to moving day – in fact, 42% of people said this was the most stressful aspect of the buying process, closely followed by working out how much to offer on a property (31%).

“It's staggering to see just how many people think that buying a house in the UK is complicated and unfair,” Tepilo’s very own Sarah Beeny said. “It shouldn't be this way, as the actual process of buying and selling houses is fairly straight-forward if you understand it.”

She added: “To help Brits feel more comfortable when buying and selling, I'd advise them to really research the process thoroughly before purchasing a new home or selling an existing one. Gen up on all the steps involved, the average costs for each and all the terms associated with property transactions. That way, you'll feel much more empowered and in control of the process, which will help to reduce your stress levels and give you more time to concentrate on how you'll make your new house feel like home.”