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First time buyers confused about home buying process

  1. 24 April 2018
  2. By Andi Michael

From the research we’ve done, it seems like first time buyers are a little confused about how they go about buying a property.

We surveyed 500 people who are planning on buying their property in the next 3 years, and asked them about conveyancing, surveys and mortgages. What we found was that first time buyers definitely need more support when they start on their home buying journey.
When asked who carries out local searches on a property, two thirds, (67%) of first time buyers responded that it was the responsibility of the surveyor or the estate agent to carry out searches such as environmental, water/drainage and chancel repair liability, with only 33% correctly identifying the conveyancer as the professional responsible. Misunderstandings about the costs involved when buying a home could lead to first time buyers being unprepared and underfunded, ultimately leading to transactions falling through. A large proportion (36%) don’t realise that they are responsible for paying for a survey, believing it to be the seller, the buyer and seller together, or the mortgage company who foots the bill. Just 63% know that the buyer pays for a mortgage valuation, HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey.

When it comes to paying solicitors fees, however, First Time Buyers are in for a more pleasant surprise, with most respondents vastly over-estimating how much they will be charged for conveyancing. When asked how much solicitors fees are likely to be on a £250,000 property, 69% guessed around £1,500 when in fact the average is £550.

The jargon commonly used in the home-buying process can be confusing.  Only 60% said they planned to secure a mortgage in principle in advance of offering on a property and only 55% understood the true meaning of ‘exchange’, with a worrying 37% believing it’s the date they collect the keys and move in.
With this in mind, we used our nearly two decades of experience in moving home to create the Ultimate First Time Buyer’s Guide – a clear breakdown of the whole process in a free downloadable PDF. It covers choosing a property, finding a mortgage, figuring our which survey you need and much more. Plus we have redesigned our First Time Buyer’s Area on the site, including helpful videos and in-depth articles to make your first step into home ownership a little bit easier.

Still have questions? Why not go to the First Time Buyer’s Hub on our forum? You might find other first time buyers are having the same problems, or that you can share your experience to help others.
We think 2018 will be the year of the first time buyer. With the Stamp Duty exemption, continuation of the Help to Buy Equity Scheme and the saving tools like the Help to Buy and Lifetime ISA, Generation Rent are turning into buyers. We want to help support them in any way we can.

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