Majority of buyers find the process takes longer than expected with some being left homeless

Almost three quarters of people who bought a house in the last 10 years say the process took longer than expected with many being left without a place to stay before completion, research has found.

Indeed, in 21% of cases buyers were left not having a roof over their head with the most common reason due to the buying chain being delayed by admin, as many of the steps still rely on paper based processes and manual updates.

To add to the situation, in many cases, rental contracts expire before tenants can get the keys to their new homes, leaving them without permanent accommodation, according to the research from When You Move.

These problems are exacerbated by the lack of communication between parties involved, the reports points out with 58% of people saying they found the home buying process stressful, feeling in the dark during the whole experience.

The report says there is a significant need for the property industry to bring itself up to speed, not just when agreeing the sale of a home but the lengthy steps that follow to seal the deal.

Almost three quarters of people say that the home buying process took longer than originally anticipated, an average of seven weeks longer, and 10% of all home buyers say the process takes 10 weeks longer than expected.

The report suggests that this demonstrates not only the need for processes to be more efficient, but also for transparency around the timescale should the projected completion date become unachievable.

Delays in the property chain have become commonplace, and the differences in timescales between buying and selling has seen home buyers bearing the brunt with 27%, some 4.31 million people, forced to stay with friends and family or rented accommodation while they waited to get the keys for their new home following completion.

The findings of the research are not a surprise, according to Steve Mansour, chief executive officer of construction insurance and warranty specialist CRL. He pointed out that there are certain requirements that must be met before a homebuyer can complete, from the lender, insurer, builder, and surveyor to name but a few and this is often the reason that consumers may see delays at this stage of the build.

‘However, it is imperative that all necessary rules and regulations have been met, and it is in the home buyer’s best interest that this is completed pre-completion. The final certificate for structural warranty insurance, for example, will only be issued when the property has been completed to the required standard and all relevant documents are received,’ he said.

‘It is in all party’s best interests that every process has been met and that the house buyer receives a structurally sound property. The industry needs to ensure that it is openly communicating and helping to educate home buyers in relation to the completion process and the potential delays that can occur with it,’ he added.


Written by: Houseladder