Buying and selling a home is stressful. It can be a long and uncertain process full of pitfalls. But with homebuying or selling being cited as one of the top consumer concerns by younger people, is it more demanding than it needs to be?
Buying a home is a big decision at any age, but it’s probably the most significant purchase a younger person can make. It can be a roller-coaster of emotions: hope, anticipation, disappointment, anger, sadness, and hopefully, at the end, joy.
Last summer, we heard from frustrated homebuyer, Polly Freeman, about her terrible experience of the home buying and selling process, and a number of you identified with Polly’s story.
In many ways, it isn’t surprising that it’s such a stressful life event. Homes are expensive and the stakes are high. More than just bricks and mortar, you are investing in your dreams for the future.
But with half (49%) of 18 to 34 year olds ranking homebuying and selling as one of their top three consumer concerns, does it really have to be this way?
Which? research has shown some of the challenges homebuyers and sellers face. Three in ten (28%) house purchases fall through and it takes on average four to five months to complete a purchase. That’s four to five months of mental anguish.
If your purchase collapses, you could face being out of pocket by an average of £2,200, with nothing to show for it. For first-time buyers who’ve spent years saving deposits, that is a huge blow to accept.
Time for a review
Everyone has heard nightmare stories about long purchasing chains collapsing after months of negotiations, unreasonable price-hikes at the last minute before contracts are exchanged, or dealing with professionals who demand generous fees but do little in return.
No one would design the system in its current guise. So, it’s time to fix the flaws that leave too many people buying or selling a home angry and frustrated.
That’s why we’re calling on the next government to review the home buying and selling process and make it better for consumers.
In particular, we want the government to consider how to make the conveyancing process simpler and how to help consumers make more informed choices about the professionals they use when buying or selling a house.
So, how would you rate the current homebuying and selling process? How do you think the processes could be improved?