British homebuyers confused by ‘unfair’ property buying process

Posted 26 February 2016 by Helen Christie

A new survey by TV presenter Sarah Beeny’s estate agent, Tepilo, has revealed that Brits find the UK property buying process confusing and unfair.

The British Buyer Barometer survey has been conducted by Sarah Beeny’s online estate agent, Tepilo, to uncover the habits of British homebuyers. 2,000 British homebuyers were surveryed, who have either bought in the past year, are in the process of buying or are planning to buy within the next 12 months.

More than six in 10 (61%) of those surveyed admitted they find the whole buying process confusing, with the main reason being that almost a third (27%) said the processes they have to go through when it comes to getting a new home are too expensive and complicated.

Almost a third (27%) said the buying process is far too complicated and expensive, 21% think transactions take too long and over one in 10 (14%) worry about the risk of a sale falling through prior to exchange when they’ve already forked out money on legal and survey fees.

Nearly four in 10 (37%) also think the buying process in the UK is unfair. When asked how they think it could be made fairer, 40% said that once a sale has been agreed it should be made legally binding so no one can pull out, which would help to reduce the worry of losing money spent on legal and survey fees if a sale falls through.

A further 35% think bidding above an already accepted offer shouldn’t be allowed and almost a third (31%) think that sellers should be responsible for paying for the survey on the house they are selling.

Understanding of the buying process

When homebuyers were asked whether they knew the meaning of key house buying terms, the results were surprising.

Just 41% know what a mortgage in principle is, only 45% know what a homebuyers report is and 48% know what conveyancing means.

Almost two thirds (60%) know what the terms exchange of contracts and stamp duty mean, with just over half (53%) understanding what the land registry fee is and only 50% knowing what an EPC is. A staggering 5% of buyers admitted to not knowing what any of the terms meant.

Most stressful aspects of moving

However, although Brits find buying confusing and complicated, it’s moving day that proves the most stressful aspect of the buying process for 42% of people, closely followed by deciding how much to offer on a property (31%).

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


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