Hidden Costs Overwhelming Home Buyers

As price transparency knocks on the door of the legal sector, a new report has criticised the house buying process for the level of hidden fees a buyer is expected to pay.

Furthermore, the survey into the hidden fees of buying a house has condemned conveyancers and estate agents for crippling many home buyers.

Research conducted by When You Move, focusing on over 2,000 people, has found that fees in the house buying process are severely lacking transparency. Estate agency fees, surveyor fees and legal costs have been found to cost an average of £8,113 more than expected.

The additional money has had such an implication that 28% of recipients would have withdrawn from their home purchase if they were aware before making the initial offer.

The survey also found that a fifth of home buyers were forced to ask close family and friends to help with the unforeseen costs.

58% of those surveyed believed that they had paid between £1,000 and £4,000 more than they had expected. 14% believe that they have overpaid on fees by £5,000 and £10,000.

There is also a huge variance in hidden fees experienced by different age brackets. The average additional fee found by younger buyers aged between 18 and 34 paid up to £2,823 more than they had anticipated. Shockingly, 35 to 54-year-olds paid £9,498 in additional fees.

Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “Publishing information on price, services, and protections will not only benefit the public but will also help law firms win new business. Research shows that people struggle to find clear information about the services firms offer and think using a solicitor is more expensive than it actually is.

“We are providing guidance and support for firms to help them meet the new requirements and make the most of the opportunities they bring.”

With the deadline of December 6th quickly approaching, many firms are already preparing for price and service transparency. It is hoped that once price and service become clearer, confusion and ambiguity found in the report will be eradicated.

Have you found home buyers confused by the fees they are charged? Do you think the blame should be placed in other sections of the home buying process? Are conveyancers unfairly blamed?  


  • test

    I am intrigued by the research and for one would like to read the whole report. Is the cost including Stamp Duty and VAT or reference is to professional fees?

  • test

    The problem with quoting is that before a transaction has begun, no one knows what is going to be found: defects in titles, breaches of planning and Building Regulations, third party rights and a myriad other things. Surveyors find things which require further investigation and additional surveys and it is impossible to know the cost in advance.

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