Only one in five people trust estate agents
Only one in five homeowners and people looking to buy a property trust estate agents, while only a third of homeowners trust builders, a new survey reveals.
The survey, commissioned by the HomeOwners Alliance, asked homebuyers and homeowners about the most stressful aspects of buying a home.
Homeowners said the top five worrying things are: finding the right home (41%), hidden costs such as stamp duty and surveys (37%), the conveyancing process (37%), completion (36%) and securing a mortgage (26%).
For those looking to buy, securing a mortgage was the most stressful aspect (68%), followed by: hidden costs (66%), finding the right home (46%), paying the right price (39%) and the conveyancing process (35%).
Women told the HomeOwners Alliance they are more concerned about being gazumped, while the under 45s are more worried about securing a mortgage.
The survey also looked at consumers' trust in the professions related to buying a home. Aspiring homeowners trust surveyors (62%) and solicitors (52%) more than banks and mortgage lenders (35%), while estate agents scored the lowest (20%).
The latter figure remained the same among people who already own a home, while only a third (34%) of homeowners said they trusted builders.
Architects are the most trusted profession, according to homeowners (60%) and aspiring homeowners (65%).
Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance said: "Homeownership remains the dream for many but things aren't always helped by the professionals. There are trustworthy and conscientious people out there who want to help you look after your home but a few rotten apples can spoil it for everyone.
"Homeowners and aspiring homeowners need to take control of the situation – your home is one of your biggest investments so research and seek out independent advice about professionals before signing on the dotted line."
A hugely unpopular tax paid on property and share purchases. Stamp duty on property is levied at 1% for purchases over £125,000 (£250,000 for first-time buyers) which then moves up at a tiered rate. For property between £125k and £250k you pay 1%, then 3% from £250k up to £500k and then 4% from £500k to £1m and then 5% for properties over £1m. But unlike income tax, which is “tiered” and different rates kick in at different levels, stamp duty is a “slab” tax where you pay the rate on the whole purchase price of the property. On shares, stamp duty is charged at a flat rate of 0.5% on all share purchases. Figures correct as of May 2011.
Everything you own: all your assets (property, cars, investments, savings, insurance payouts, artwork, furniture etc) minus any liabilities (debts, current bills, payments still owed on assets like cars and houses, credit card balances and other outstanding loans). When you’re alive this is called your wealth; when you’re dead, it becomes your estate.
The branch of law concerned with the preparation of documents for the buying and selling of property (or remortgaging), always handled by a qualified solicitor. The conveyancing process covers many of the legal aspects of the sale/purchase/remortgage such as land registry, local authority searches, freehold and leasehold status, title deeds and much more.