A government review of the home-buying process has begun and our call to simplify one of the most stressful purchases is being heard. We’ve called for change and we’re now hoping to see actions as well as words, and sooner rather than later.
Anyone who has ever bought a home will know this: it’s one of the most stressful experiences in life. The process can be fraught with stress about whether the dream home you’ve set your sight on will end up being yours. A home is the most significant purchase that many will make.
There may be good news though. We could be about to see that stress and the problems that come with home-buying tackled at long last.
Back in April, we issued our calls to all political parties on the consumer issues that need to be tackled by the government. Nearly a third of people (27%) said the government should prioritise home-buying and selling as a consumer concern that ought to be addressed after the election (with only social care, energy prices and scams coming before it).
In an online poll between 19 and 20 April 2017, 2,130 people were asked to provide up to three consumer issues they believe the government should prioritise next, out of a prompted list of ten issues. Here are the results.
We called on the government to conduct a review into reforming home-buying to make the process easier, particularly for the buyer. We also asked them to examine the role that professionals, such as estate agents and conveyancing, play.
This weekend the government published the first stage in progressing with this reform by calling for evidence to feed into their review.
We want to see the government now bring forward changes to the outdated and flawed home-buying process. They must put consumers first, ensuring estate agents deliver a better service for both home-buyers and sellers, and that the conveyancing process is simplified. This will mean consumers will be able to make more informed choices about the professionals they use when buying or selling a house.
More than one million properties were bought in England and Wales in 2016 alone and our research found that it can take people an average of four to five months to complete a purchase. One in three sales fall through and as a result, on average, consumers lost £2,200 because of the costs already incurred.
Making these changes could not only make buying a home easier, but help hundreds of thousands of people a year, and potentially save consumers thousands from when a sale falls through.
What elements of the home-buying and selling process do you most want to see simplified?