It seems that homebuyers’ frustrations are matched by estate agents as Property Wire reports this week that a lack of transaction speed is the biggest problem facing estate agents today, says company OneDome.
In a recent survey issued to over 5,000 UK-based agents, the firm asked respondents to rank the issues they face in completing property sales transactions. Of those responding, 74% chose ‘lack of speed of the transaction’ as their most significant stumbling block.
In second place was ‘lack of control’. Over 40% of respondents chose this as the second most important problem they face. A more surprising result was the response regarding revenue generation. Nearly half of all agents who responded said this was the least important area, when assessing priorities for improvement. The lack of control highlights the issues with our housing market currently. No-one is committed to a purchase until contracts are exchanged, until that time arises a buyer can pull out for any reason, often because they perceive they have found better value elsewhere or a mortgage offer gets pulled because of a change in policy.
OneDome’s survey findings echo those from recent research commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Over half of buyers (59%) and sellers (57%) found the process of buying and selling a home longer than they expected. Indeed, around one in four found it much longer than expected.
Furthermore, when asked what could be improved in the homebuying process, the most common area identified was the speed of service. Some 34% of buyers and 31% of sellers chose this.
In recent months, the inefficiency of the homebuying process has become more obvious. The whole system has been close to collapse, due to rapid spikes in demand. Average transaction lead times have increased from 6 weeks in the early 2000s, to 20-22 weeks in 2021!
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