A property industry-facing news outlet has slammed “Millennials” for having “unrealistic expectations” when it comes to how long it should take to complete the purchase of a house.
According to a report in The Negotiator, a news website aimed at estate agents and other property professionals, “younger house buyers expect sales to take weeks rather than months”, an expectation that the publication seems to think is bonkers.
It currently takes, on average, 21 weeks to complete the purchase of a home, a figure which seems to be getting higher by the day while 60% of young people believe it should take less than five weeks.
There are many reasons for today’s elongated timeline, one of which is the archaic and inefficient processes used by industry professionals throughout the buying journey.
Vital information about a property, for example, is rarely made available to prospective buyers at the beginning of the purchasing journey. Instead, the buyers are left to discover this information for themselves, by which time it is often too late.
For example, if it was made clear up-front that a home needed work to the roof in order to avoid leaks in the near future, prospective buyers would be able to decide whether they still want to go through with the purchase and whether they might make a lower offer in light of the money they will have to spend fixing the roof.
Instead, this sort of vital information doesn’t come to light until the prospective buyer pays for a surveyor to examine the property which can often cost £1,000. This £1,000 is essentially wasted money if the surveyor discovers deal-breaking problems with the property.
As well as wasted money, this archaic process also costs an awful lot of unnecessary time. If the information was available as soon as a buyer declares an interest in a property, there would be no need for them to wait weeks, sometimes months, to get an appointment with a surveyor.
Local Authority Search
Another example is local authority searches, an essential part of the buying process in which the local council is contacted in order to discover if any future plans, such as new roads or large developments, are likely to impact the property in the coming years. You can be waiting weeks for this process alone. If the industry found a way to have this information ready to go rather than hidden away, weeks and months would be shaved off the buying timeline.
Up-front information is easy to implement and affordable for sellers to provide. Furthermore, there are companies on the market already offering such services. So for the industry press to label Millennials as unrealistic for expecting a more efficient buying experience speaks volumes of the industry’s reluctance to modernise itself.
Fortunately for all buyers, the industry will not be able to ignore evolving consumer expectations and demands for much longer. We’ve seen the power of changing expectations in how we order takeaway food, how we watch films and listen to music, even how we buy holidays and cars.
So for now, we’ll let the industry think a shorter buying timeline is unrealistic because, before long, they won’t have any other choice than to listen and evolve.