Improving the Home Buying Process

30 Jan 2020

55% of home buyers hit snags in the home buying process

 55% of consumers who purchased a home within the past five years, hit at least one problem or bottleneck in the home buying process. The most common problems encountered (by 39%) were chain-related problems, followed by seller-related problems (17%)– e.g. seller withdrew from market, asked for more money, accepted a gazumping offer – and finally property-related problems (13%) – e.g. property defects were found. Property and seller problems are sometimes closely related, so property issues like a survey revealing serious problems with the property and searches revealing serious problems are linked with the seller problem of a property being withdrawn from the market.

Three changes to improve the home buying process

In order to overcome the above problems, three types of changes are wanted by consumers:

  • Behavioural and procedural changes – i.e. changes to the fundamental processes of home buying which may require legislative and regulatory action, e.g. making sellers collect together relevant information in order to be ‘sale ready’ before they put their homes on the market or making subject to contract offers legally binding (in England and Wales)
  • Enhancements to the speed of the process – i.e. changes which should help make a sale faster, including changes that help the buyers/sellers keep track of how fast the sale is progressing, e.g. an online portal / service which you could log into to see the progress of the conveyancing process, requiring local authorities to respond to search requests within 10 working days, introducing a Property Logbook
  • Greater use of online systems (presumably to aid sales speed and make the process easier for buyers/sellers), including online buying and selling guides, e.g online comparison site comparing conveyancers, surveyors and mortgage brokers

Improving the Home Buying Process Report

This report looks at the home buying process, focusing primarily on how the process could be improved from the point of view of the home buyer. This report considers who recent home buyers are, how consumers approach and navigate the home buying process, what bottlenecks are encountered along the process and how these bottlenecks can be eased or ended. It also shows data on the number of residential property transactions in recent years.

For this report, IRN commissioned research from MIS Group’s UK panel. The research was structured so that 2,051 consumers aged 18+ were asked about their recent home buying actions. This generated 812 individuals who had purchased their current main home in the past five years.

The report (45pp, PDF), is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £300. UK sterling price is plus VAT, so the total price is £360.


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Related IRN Reports

While this report focuses on the home buying process, sister reports from IRN consider the mortgage buying process (Improving the Mortgage Customer Journey Consumer Research Report 2019, First-Time Buyers 2019 Consumer Research Report 2019, Existing Mortgage Holders Consumer Research Report 2019) and the conveyancing process (UK Residential Conveyancing Consumer Research Report 2019).



IRN Team

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