Younger buyers have unrealistic expectations of property sales, claims logbook firm

Millennials say they expect sales to take weeks not months to complete, not helping an already tense situation as boom continues.

property transactions

Younger house buyers expect sales to take weeks rather than months, as lengthening transaction times during Covid continue to cause friction in the sector.

A survey by Property Information Products (PIP) found that while the average exchange time is currently 21 weeks, more than half of those under 30 think a sale should take between one to three weeks if all the relevant information is available, while more than 60% of respondents believe a property sale should exchange in less than five weeks.

The remaining respondents reckon two to six weeks to exchange is an appropriate target.

Thirty years ago, the time between agreeing a sale and exchange of contracts took on average four weeks – and that was before mobile phones or emails, says Tim Main, PIP founder. He adds: “Clearly there are significant improvements needing to be made to the whole process. We think this shows house buyers and sellers are keen to have certainty in the process sooner rather than later.”

With extended exchange times, many estate agents are being put under pressure to chase conveyors by frustrated clients. Earlier this year, a campaign urging those working within the property sales process to ‘be nice to each other’ launched to stem the tide of intolerant and aggressive emails in the sector.

More than 90% of those surveyed by PIP agreed that more use of a dataroom, such as the PIP Vaults where seller, agent and the seller’s conveyancer can post property documents, would help.

The main focus of displaying ‘up front’ information during this time is to inform buyers better and reduce fall through rates. All the information is then available to a buyer’s conveyancer, so reducing exchange time.


  1. I can buy and own a £550,000 2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale, today in 24-hours, online. Yet to own a three bedroom semi in Newcastle at a cost of £150,000, I probably need to wait almost half a year to get through the buying process, and have the title in my name.

    Generation-Y are 100% correct in wanting to buy their next home in 7 to 21 days, as technology exists to support all of this, but the legacy systems, and vested gatekeepers all support a ‘go slow’ staus quo attitude.

    Fortunately, Gen-Y & Z is now coding the future, and month by month, what the digital locust natives ‘want’ will be put in their reach. Silos to deposit intel is an old fashioned concept, digital democracy, super powered cloud computing, collaboration of enlightened minds and re-casting the architecture of the legal, lending and sales verticals will provide the solution.

    Gazing at our navels saying ‘we always do it this way’ will be a costly strategy for anyone continuing with it, as new digital businesses eat everyone’s virtual lunches .

  2. Is the survey available for download?
    I suspect the younger generation would expect some kind of app to help them manage the entire process, something like FirstHomeCoach ?

    The benefits of a logbook are clear to all parties except the consumer, I suspect the consumer just expects an efficient process enabled by technology. Logbooks are definitely the way to go and PipValut is a great logbook for the buy/sell transaction. Beyond the transaction AskHomey’s logbook aims to help the homeowner manage their home (finance/bills, tasks (fixes/maintenance/projects) and data). There are also other more specialised logbooks like BuildingPassport (health/saftey) and Chimini (historical property info)

  3. The main purpose of the survey was to see what sort of “sales” process the next generation expected. We interpreted the results to say that the next generation expect to exchange much quicker. The challange now is to adapt the current system to provide a robust and quality system that services the next generation.

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