Tag: due diligence


Are we a nation of careless homebuyers?

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Sleepwalking…drifting…aimlessly ambling…call it what you will, but it’s time for us to nail our colours firmly to the mast:

Britain is a nation of careless homebuyers.

After our recent graphic that illustrates just how little time we spend researching a new home purchase, here are five great reasons why we need to up our game and do better at property due-diligence:

1) 1 in 4 buyers lose more than £2,500 because of issues they failed to pick up during viewings

Research from Which? and RICS (the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) in 2010 found that 1 in 4 homebuyers lost more than £2,500 because of simply issues they failed to pick up on during viewings, which they then had to remedy themselves after moving in.

2) 1 in 10 home buyers lose more than £10,000

Ergo the above, 1 in 10 lost more than £10k when buying a property. The mind really boggles.

3) The average property viewing lasts just 15 minutes

Of course, most people tend to get a ‘gut feeling’ just on arrival at a property, but 15 minutes to adequately evaluate the potential of a property as a prospective new home just isn’t enough.

4) The average homebuyer views a property just 3 times in total before completion

Three viewings before you buy the single most valuable thing you’re ever likely to own in your lifetime? Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to visit a few more times than that?

5) It’s a messed-up transaction

Think about it: can you think of any other retail-based transaction where – for the person who is serving you – YOU are not THEIR customer? Forget duties of care…buyers are on their own, buddy (though thankfully we’re on hand to help you out).



What is property due-diligence?

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When we speak to people about Property Detective, people tend to ‘get it’ straight away: we’re a powerful resource that helps people moving home conduct better research on the property, streets or neighbourhoods they might be thinking of moving into, giving them improved confidence in the transaction as a result. But that said: it’s difficult to know how to refer to what we actually do!

On the one hand, we like to think of it as ‘property due-diligence': the task of methodically researching a property according to a set of key criteria, assessing its suitability as somewhere to live, based on your needs and lifestyle requirements at the time (and foreseeing how these might change over the future).

Due-diligence sounds a bit technical though, doesn’t it? What about plain old ‘research’?

Property Research or Due-Diligence?

In our view, research sort of hits-the-spot, but doesn’t reflect the depth of what we offer. Research sounds a bit flimsy, whimsical and curious…whereas we want to be scientific, robust and authoritative. Research implies just reading and digesting, whereas we’re more than that: we provoke further enquiries, action and reaction.

‘Reaction’ is a key tenet of Property Detective, you see. Our opinion is that the reports we deliver should never be taken ‘as is’, and should never represent the authoritative perspective on a property; rather, customers should be treating them as the starting point for further research and investigation, helping inspire them with the right questions and lines of enquiry that might lead them into further probing in the future.

Which is why we like the term ‘due diligence'; it reflects what we’re about: noseying around, uncovering things, unearthing new discoveries and ensuring that we have a complete, full, honest, impartial perspective on what will be the biggest financial transaction many people enter into during their lifetime.