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Estate agents ‘must help first time buyers’ navigate diffcult market

Property firms and brokers must help younger clients with guidance and information surrounding homebuying much earlier in the process, says buildilng society.

Robyn Hall

A male and female couple are pictured cuddling outside their first home.

Most first-time buyers (FTBs) are relying on advice from family and friends rather than talking to experts, research from Coventry for intermediaries reveals.

While nine out of 10 (90%) FTBs below age 24 used a broker during the homebuying process only a third (33%) from the same age bracket said they relied on them specifically for guidance and information when buying their first home.


Coventry for intermediaries‘ FTB research paints an opportunity for experts to step in to support younger clients earlier in the process with four out of 10 (40%) of those surveyed saying they needed more help and information on applying for a mortgage.

And over a third (36%) also want more guidance on the exchange of contracts and the costs of buying a home.

Jonathan Stinton, Coventry for intermediaries

Jonathan Stinton, Coventry for intermediaries

Jonathan Stinton, Head of Intermediary Relationships at Coventry for intermediaries, says: “Buying a home is an exciting milestone for first-time buyers and it’s only natural that they would lean on friends and family for advice.

“However, our research shows there is an advice gap between younger first-time buyers who need extra support and guidance on the fundamentals of buying and who they are relying on to provide this level of support.

“Brokers should be the go-to source of advice in the mortgage industry and can guide new buyers through the current market and the different stages of buying a home.”


But Marc von Grundherr, Director at Benham and Reeves estate agents, cautions: “My best advice to first-time buyers is not to solely rely upon one source of advice.

Marc von Grundherr, Benham and Reeves

Marc von Grundherr, Benham and Reeves

“Most mortgage brokers are fine and upstanding, of course, but you could argue that you might get advice from them that suits a vested interest rather than the first-time buyer instead?”

And he adds: “I would say this of course but talk to an estate agent too, particularly an established one with a large local presence.

No one knows the local property market like an estate agent that is seeing what’s happening on the ground on a day-to-day basis – which homes are selling and what they are selling for.

“Agents are at the coal face and the most up to date source of intelligence whereas other sources see data and trends in the property market with substantial lag.”

November 20, 2023

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