Revealed: What Buyers Really Want From Real Estate Agents and Home Builders


A new survey of more than 2,600 respondents offers a good indication of what buyers expect from homebuilders and real estate agents.

The Consumer Insights Survey, conducted by Zoopla, collected the opinions of those who bought a home in the last 18 months or who intend to buy one in the next 18 months.

The study found that there is a clear correlation between overall buyer satisfaction with the buying process and the speed of the transaction once an offer has been accepted.

Buyers who had a “very good” or “good” experience generally saw the process from offer acceptance to exchange take less than half the time compared to those who had a “poor ” experience (65 versus 138 days).

Interestingly, the buying process also varies by buyer group, with older households – who are perhaps more selective in their needs – taking around 240 days from initial search to exchange and families only taking than 160 days on average. For pre-family audiences, where affordability is a bigger concern, buyers typically take 203 days from search to redemption.

Nearly 70% of new build respondents said energy efficiency was an “extremely” or “very” important factor in their decision to buy a new home. This compares to 41% of resale respondents.

However, the majority of respondents underestimate the cost savings of moving to highly rated EPC housing. A third of respondents felt that a new home offered annual savings of 20% or less compared to an average resale home. And one in ten respondents “simply didn’t know” what the savings might be. The correct figure is 52%, highlighting the lack of knowledge about the potential savings of living in an EPC ‘A’ or ‘B’ rated property.

Some 94% of all respondents want some form of parking in their new home, with off-street parking – either a garage or a driveway, a preference for the majority. Outdoor space is also a key consideration for buyers with 84% of respondents saying they wanted a garden – and 45% of that group saying they would like a large garden.

This has been a long-term requirement for buyers since before the pandemic – “gardens” and “garages” remaining the top 2 keyword searches on Zoopla among new and resale home buyers over the past 3 last years.

Alex Rose, Director of New Homes at Zoopla, said, “Our Consumer Insights survey provides agents and builders with a range of actionable information to inform new home strategies and new home marketing. One of the key takeaways is the importance of the energy rating for new home buyers at a time when energy bills are rising.

“We see a real opportunity for builders to push the green credentials of homes against the broader resale market, which is one of the key benefits of buying a new home.”


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