What You Wish You’d Known Before Moving

Added on November 13th 2020

We all know that moving house is a stressful experience and we all brace ourselves to a certain extent, but lots of Brits find it more taxing than they expected. 

Property portal Zoopla conducted a study recently to find out what the average Brit feels, thinks and wishes they’d known before the moving process started. 

The stress is higher than expected

On average, a house move takes 14 weeks from start to finish and almost two-thirds (62%) of the study respondents said they’d found their move more stressful than they’d anticipated. 

Only 11% of the study subjects said their move had gone without any extra hassle or hitches and an unfortunate 18% said their sale had almost fallen through or actually failed.

Many buyers forge a relationship with the seller

As well as the financial investment involved in a house purchase, many buyers make an emotional investment. More than a third of UK buyers said they’d developed a personal rapport with the seller in order to reduce the risk of the deal failing.

The financial costs can be higher than expected

Of the 2,600 survey respondents, 44% were hit by unexpected charges of more than £500, with 30% paying out an extra £1,000 or more and 15% paying more than £1,500 in “surprises”. Many of these extra costs were to surveyors and conveyancers. 

If I’d known then what I know now…

Almost half (46%) of the survey sample said they wish that they’d researched the area more before they decided to buy there. Chief among buyer regrets were:

  • Not speaking to neighbours – 16% of the respondents said they wished they’d spent some time getting to know their new neighbours before buying
  • Not checking out the broadband – 15% of the survey subjects said they should have looked at the broadband speeds in their new postcode, and
  • Not checking out the mobile signal – 11% of the respondents said they regret not looking at mobile signal strength at the property.

Sellers had regrets too. Despite 84% of the respondents appreciating the importance of staging, 53% of sellers said they wished they’d bothered as it may have earned them a higher asking price. Unfortunately, 31% of the survey respondents said that a lack of funds prevented them from making this investment.

Other regrets among sellers included not decluttering enough in advance of moving. More than half (52%) of movers said they should have done more before they started packing up.

Underestimating the time and effort it takes to sell and move was the other big regret, with 20% of the survey sample saying they wished they’d gone to market earlier.

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