It's fair to say that the property market in the UK is well on the way to recovery. And, as the pent-up demand for a change of scenery after lockdown translates into a home move, new research reveals what Brits wish they knew before relocating.
A new survey of over 2,600 active buyers and sellers by Zoopla found that, for many, the whole process was an emotional rollercoaster, with 62% saying that they found their previous moves more stressful than they had anticipated. This stress was compounded by the dreaded property chain, with just 11% of respondents saying that their experience went smoothly and a further 18% saying that they lost or nearly lost their property purchase as a result.
Purchasing a home isn’t just a financial transaction but a uniquely emotional experience with over a third (34%) of buyers building a personal connection with the seller of the home, hoping that a personal connection will help safeguard the sale and mitigate against it falling through.
When it came to the financial implications of moving, nearly 40% of respondents said that their move cost more than they had budgeted. For 29% of respondents, these additional costs were attributed to standard transactional services such as surveyors and conveyancers.
Unexpected costs vary with every home move but 44% of respondents said these costs were more than £500, and 30% more than £1,000 – while 15% of home movers were stung by more than £1,500.
Smaller details make a difference
In terms of specific details to check before buying a property, 46% of respondents wished they had been more rigorous with their research before purchasing. With harmonious living high on everyone’s wish list, 16% wish they had spoken to the neighbours before purchasing the property, while 15% say they wish they checked broadband speeds and strength of the mobile phone signal in the area (11%), factors that have become even more important with more people than ever working from home.
The aesthetic advantage
In addition, the majority of home movers wished they had invested in staging their property before selling it. 53% even went as far as saying that they would have sold their home for more money if they had taken the time and effort to stage it, although 31% said they didn’t have the additional budget to do so. With 84% of respondents agreeing that home staging is worthwhile, it's a real consideration for sellers in a market where Instagram and programmes like Selling Sunset provide buyers with a steady stream of dream homes.
Decluttering is evidently the order of the day, with 52% of respondents wishing they had done more before moving, and a further 28% confessing that they were too nostalgic when packing. One in five (20%) admitted that the process took far longer than expected, showing many underestimate the work involved with moving home.
Tom Parker, Consumer Spokesperson at Zoopla comments:
“Moving home is one of the biggest investments we will ever make so it’s only natural the process inspires a wide range of emotions. Finding that balance between head and heart can often be the most difficult, and this is where agents have a crucial role to play in supporting home movers in their property journey.
Agents will have experienced this process hundreds of times so can help not only with finding the right property but also making the purchasing or selling experience as seamless as possible.”