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Confusion over the home buying process

Confusion over the home buying process

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 10/02/2016
First Published: 10/02/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Do you fully understand the home buying process? According to research from estate agent Tepilo, many people are confused by it, and some even find the whole thing completely unfair.

According to the survey, 62% of UK homebuyers think that the process of buying a home in the UK is confusing, with key issues being the number of complicated and expensive stages they have to go through: 27% said that the whole process is too complex and expensive, while 21% think that transactions take too long, and 14% worry about the risk of a sale falling through when they've already spent money on surveys and legal fees.

Not only that, but 37% think that the buying process is unfair, with much of it again due to fears over sales falling through. As such, 40% believe that once a sale has been agreed it should be legally binding, thereby preventing anyone from pulling out, and reducing the worry of money being lost on stages thereafter.

A further 35% think that bidding above an already accepted offer shouldn't be allowed, and 31% believe that sellers should be responsible for paying for the survey on the property they're selling, rather than the other way around.

Many of the issues identified could also be due to a lack of understanding about various aspects of the process, with a surprising number not knowing what key home buying terms (such as conveyancing, EPC and land registry fees) mean.

For example, just 41% know what a mortgage in principle is, while 45% know what a homebuyers report is and 48% know what conveyancing means. A larger proportion (60%) know what exchange of contracts and stamp duty refer to, while 53% understand the land registry fee and 50% know what an EPC is, but a staggering 5% admitted to not knowing what any of the terms meant!

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

"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. 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."

The buying and selling process may initially seem complicated, but taking the time to really look into things could make it all far less stress-inducing. Start by reading our mortgage guides to get an overview of some of the terms and processes you may come across, and make sure to get your finances in order, too – getting a mortgage agreed in principle was deemed stressful by 28% of respondents, but making sure your credit score is in order (by using a credit check provider such as Experian) can boost your chances of success.

Once you feel more comfortable with the processes involved, all that's left to do is find the right mortgage to suit your needs, and then you can look forward to the next stage – enjoying your new home!

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.