From failing to check broadband speeds, to not chatting with neighbours, here are homeowners' biggest regrets.

This article is part of our Master Your Move Zooploma - a series of free guides, insider advice and inspirational stories delivered straight to your inbox.


Buying a home is an emotional rollercoaster, with nearly two-thirds of Brits finding it more stressful than they had anticipated.

We surveyed more than 2,600 active buyers and sellers about the things they wish they’d known before buying a home. And the results are very revealing. 

Tom Parker, consumer spokesperson at Zoopla, said: “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.”

The emotional cost

With the average property transaction taking 14 weeks to complete, 62% of respondents found moving home more stressful than they expected.

Just 11% said that the buying process went smoothly, while a further 18% 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 safeguard the sale and prevent it falling through.

The financial cost

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

Of the 44% of respondents who were hit by unexpected charges of more than £500, 30% overspent by more than £1,000 – while 15% of home movers forked out more than £1,500 over what they expected to.

For 29% of homemovers, these additional costs were attributed to standard transactional services such as surveyors and conveyancers. 

What homeowners wish they’d done before buying

Nearly half of respondents (46%) wish they had been more rigorous with their research when deciding where to buy. Here's what they would have done differently.

1. Spoken to neighbours

Not checking in with the neighbours was among buyers’ biggest regrets, with 16% wishing they had spoken to the people next door before purchasing the property.

2. Looked at broadband speeds

With many of us now working from home some or part of the time, it's no surprise that 15% of respondents wish they’d investigated broadband speeds.

3. Checked mobile phone signal

Some 11% of buyers and sellers said they should have considered the strength of the mobile phone signal in the area.

What homeowners wish they’d done before selling

1. Staged their homes for viewings

The majority of homemovers (84%) agree that staging their property 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 had taken the time and effort to stage it. However, 31% didn’t have the additional budget to do so. 

2. Decluttered well in advance

Decluttering was high on the priorities list, with 52% of respondents wishing they had done more before moving, and a further 28% confessing that they were too nostalgic when packing. 

3. Started the sales process earlier

One in five sellers admit that the process took far longer than expected, showing many underestimate the work involved with moving home. 

Parker added: “Finding that balance between head and heart can often be the most difficult, such as deciding whether to throw out certain possessions you may no longer use but have had for years, or being emotionally invested in the price your property sells for.”  

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The information and data in this article was correct at the time of publishing and every attempt is made to ensure its accuracy. However, it may now be out of date or superseded. Zoopla Ltd and its group companies make no representation or warranty of any kind regarding the content of this article and accept no responsibility or liability for any decisions made by the reader based on the information and/or data shown here.
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