Home : Property professionals have a role to play in shaping home buying experience

Property professionals have a role to play in shaping home buying experience

Many will agree it has never been harder to get on the property ladder and the difficulties don’t stop when you are ready to climb the first rung. Going through the process of making a house your home and navigating the property market is difficult and can be unpredictable. As property professionals, we need to start considering ways in which we can improve the experience of home buyers.

Buying a house is the most important purchase many will make in their life and is one that the home buyer is massively financially and emotionally invested in. A mortgage is a serious financial commitment and the opportunity of having a home of your own to lovingly furnish, make memories in and host important milestones in your life, requires a physical space that can cater for that.

My own home buying experience has been wide and varied. My earliest memory one being of my mother purchasing our council house under the Government’s Right to Buy scheme — with disastrous results. As an adult, my first property was a new build flat with all its trappings, including a lucky escape from an escalating ground rent. We have bought and sold as we moved with work and as our family expanded, my husband amassing quite a collection of DIY tools during our years together.

It’s not only the property buying process that can be difficult to get your head around. Understanding the market so you can make an informed decision is mind boggling. I have pored over industry related news over the years and read countless opinion pieces, so called facts and commentaries on house market trends and fluctuations, wearing both my surveyor and home owner hats. Despite being a professional in the industry, even I have thought what the heck is going on? Who do you believe and what do you do? We all look for certainty and reassurance, to be validated in our buying decisions and waiting for the moment you can actually get excited about the future.

When I look back over the course of my home buying history, it’s the people that stand out. As surveyors we inspect properties for defects and are the eyes and ears, looking to prove there are no defects (as opposed to just finding them). Estate agents sell houses, conveyancers check legal documents and contracts and mortgage brokers work out financial deals. Everyone has a role to play. I’ve used good and bad property lawyers, surveyors, mortgage advisers and conveyancers. Some I would recommend, others I wouldn’t.

But the ones that have made the best impression are those that have been committed to using their technical expertise to help me make an informed decision. It is these individuals that help the home buyer answer so many questions: If they can afford it; if they understand the legal consequences of leasehold or a right of way; what maintenance or repair of that property is required; and so many other things! They understand it’s not just about presenting facts or following a process. That the information they have to offer has a real and lasting impact on the home buyer’s enjoyment of that property and they feel a sense of responsibility for that. They have understood, that when you are dealing with customers, you are really in the business of helping people’s lives.

As Surveyors, there is scope for us to improve the customer experience of the home buyer without extending our liability. It is important to realise that the information we provide can help with the prospective home buyer’s journey to purchase. It can help them make an informed decision and allow them to tread forward with confidence. In addition, the way we do things and the care and attention we provide has an impact on shaping the home buyer’s experience. How are you adding value to your customers’ experience and helping them on their journey? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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