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7 things buyers wish they'd known before moving home

From failing to check broadband speeds to not chatting with neighbours, homeowners reveal their biggest regrets when moving house.

Guest Author
Words by: Matilda Battersby


Moving home is one of the biggest investments many of us will ever make. So it’s only natural the process inspires a wide range of emotions.

We asked 2,600 UK-based buyers and sellers about the things they wish they’d known before moving. Here's what we discovered:

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1. The emotional cost of moving was higher than we thought

Of the people we surveyed, 62% found moving home more stressful than they expected.

Just 11% of people said that the buying process went smoothly. 

While 18% of buyers said they lost or nearly lost their property purchase as a result of being in a chain.

More than a third of buyers built a personal connection with the seller of the home in a bid to prevent the sale falling through.

2. We were stung by hidden moving costs

A whopping 39% of Brits were stung by hidden costs when they purchased a property.

Of those surveyed, 44% of respondents were hit by unexpected charges of more than £500, while 30% overspent by more than £1,000.

A further 15% of home movers said they forked out more than £1,500 over what they expected to.

For nearly a third of movers, these extra costs were linked to standard sales-related services such as surveyors and conveyancers.

It pays to set aside an extra sum to cover any unforeseen moving costs. 

3. We should have checked on the tech 

Nearly half of the people we spoke to (46%) wish they'd been more rigorous with their research when deciding where to buy. 

With many of us now working from home more, it's no surprise that 15% of respondents wish they’d investigated broadband speeds further.

While 11% of buyers and sellers wished they'd looked into the strength of the mobile phone signal in the area more.

4. We wish we’d spoken to the neighbours

Not checking in with neighbours was also among buyers’ biggest regrets.

Some 16% of people we surveyed wished they had knocked next door before purchasing their home.

It’s always worth knocking on the doors of the street where you want to make an offer. People are often generous about sharing local knowledge.

Social media is also a good way to connect with would-be neighbours.

5. We should have staged our homes for viewings

The majority of homemovers (84%) agree that staging a home before selling is worthwhile.

More than half of respondents (53%) even went as far as saying that they would have sold their home for more money if they'd taken the time and effort to stage it. 

But, 31% said they didn’t have the additional budget to do so. 

6. It pays to declutter well in advance

Decluttering was high on the priorities list, with 52% of respondents wishing they had done more before moving,

Around a third of movers confessed that they were too nostalgic when packing. And needed to get rid of more stuff.

7. We wish we’d started the sales process earlier

One in five sellers admitted that the process took far longer than they expected.

Because many of us underestimate the work involved with moving home, it can help to get started sooner.

That could involve getting your mortgage agreement in principle before looking, getting a good solicitor and surveyor lined up, and decluttering your home well in advance of moving.

Find out what you can get busy with to make your move as stress-free as possible.

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.