British homebuyers confused by UK’s ‘unfair’ property buying process.

  • More than six in 10 (62%) think the process of buying in the UK is confusing

  • Almost four in 10 (37%) think the house buying process is unfair

  • Less than half know what many key home buying terms mean

  • Moving day is most stressful aspect of the buying process (42%)

A new survey* by Sarah Beeny’s estate agent, Tepilo, has revealed that Brits find the UK property buying process confusing and unfair.

Complicated and unfair

More than six in 10 (61%) of those surveyed admitted they find the whole buying process confusing, with the main reason being the number of expensive and complicated processes they have to go through to bag a new home.

Almost a third (27%) said the buying process is far too complicated and expensive, 21% think transactions take too long and over one in 10 (14%) worry about the risk of a sale falling through prior to exchange when they’ve already forked out money on legal and survey fees.

Four in 10 (37%) also think the buying process in the UK is unfair. When asked how they think it could be made fairer, 40% said that once a sale has been agreed it should be made legally binding so no one can pull out, which would help to reduce the worry of losing money spent on legal and survey fees if a sale falls through.

A further 35% think bidding above an already accepted offer shouldn’t be allowed and almost a third (31%) think that sellers should be responsible for paying for the survey on the house they are selling.

Understanding of the buying process

When homebuyers were asked whether they knew the meaning of key house buying terms, the results were surprising, with many not knowing what phrases like conveyancing, EPC and land registry fees mean.

Just 41% know what a mortgage in principle is, only 45% know what a homebuyers report is and 48% know what conveyancing means.

Almost two thirds (60%) know what the terms exchange of contracts and stamp duty mean, with just over half (53%) understanding what the land registry fee is and only 50% knowing what an EPC is.

A staggering five per cent of buyers admitted to not knowing what any of the terms meant!

Most stressful aspects of moving

However, although Brits find buying confusing and complicated, it’s moving day that proves the most stressful aspect of the buying process for 42 per cent of people, closely followed by deciding how much to offer on a property (31%).

Getting a mortgage agreed in principle is also deemed stressful by 28% of Brits and deciding which solicitor to use by 27%.

The British Buyer Barometer survey has been conducted by Sarah Beeny’s online estate agent, Tepilo, to uncover the habits of British homebuyers. It surveyed 2,000 British homebuyers, who have either bought in the past year, are in the process of buying or are planning to buy within the next 12 months.

Sarah Beeny, owner of Tepilo, said: “It’s staggering to see just how many people think that buying a house in the UK is complicated and unfair. It shouldn’t be this way, as the actual process of buying and selling houses is fairly straight-forward if you understand it. However, many estate agents and solicitors benefit from people thinking the process is complicated, as it allows them to charge astronomical fees to look after key elements of transactions on behalf of buyers and sellers.

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. Gen up on all the steps involved, the average costs for each and all the terms associated with property transactions. 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.”

Teplio is an online estate agent owned by property guru and TV personality, Sarah Beeny. She set up Tepilo to help redesign the property selling process around the customer, offering hugely reduced fees and 24/7 customer support from a highly experienced team. Tepilo also offers customers an easy to use website and an app that allows them to track their property sale and receive instant notifications.

For further information, visit

Blog content supplied by Content Soup

* The British Buyer Barometer survey was conducted by Tepilo, using a UK-wide sample of 2,001 homebuyers, who have either bought in the past year, are in the process of buying or are planning to buy within the next 12 months. Respondents were aged 18-65.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

You May Also Enjoy

how to present your property for sale
Estate Agent Talk

6 Property Management Marketing Strategies For And Beyond

Did you know that over 70% of individual renters find their new homes on the­ internet? In our current digital e­ra, a sturdy online existence­ isn’t just an extra for property management firms—it’s a critical need. Nonethele­ss, with innumerable property administrators scrambling for visibility, how might your firm gain promine­nce? The solution is a de­tailed…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

Strategies for Successful Real Estate Investment: Emphasising Luxury and Privacy

The appeal of luxury real estate lies in its ability to combine opulence with exclusivity, offering more than just a property but a lifestyle investment. For those seeking to enter this lucrative market, understanding the nuances of where and how to invest is crucial. As we navigate through key strategies for successful real estate investments,…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill – Thoughts from the Industry

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill has become law with the Act making it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their freehold, increase standard lease extension terms to 990 years for houses and flats, and provide greater transparency over service charges. The Act will also remove barriers for leaseholders to challenge their landlords’ unreasonable…
Read More
Who are Rentd
Letting Agent Talk

Renters (Reform) Bill Dropped – Thoughts from the Industry

The Renters (Reform) Bill has been dropped as a result of the general election being called. Here are some thoughts from within the property industry. Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association: “It is hugely disappointing that this Bill will not now make it into law. The news comes despite the fact that…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

July 4 General Election – Thoughts from the Industry

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has called a general election for July 4, 2024, citing now being the time for the people of Britain to choose the next government. Here are some thoughts from within the property industry. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert: “A look back at recent elections shows that house prices and activity usually…
Read More
Rightmove logo
Breaking News

Rightmove’s weekly mortgage tracker

Matt Smith, Rightmove’s mortgage expert said: “Today’s inflation drop feels like an important milestone on the road to the first Base Rate cut. There’s been some to-ing and fro-ing over whether we’ll see a summer Base Rate cut, but today’s news will likely reinforce some of the positive words coming from the Bank of England…
Read More