Thrills and spills of house hunting | Ralph Lauren

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While house hunting might seem like a fun and exciting experience, a new report has revealed many Australians find the process is filled with frustration, stress and tears.

As part of a survey commissioned by residential property developer Sekisui House Australia’s SHAWOOD division, the national report surveyed 1005 Australian homeowners and considered the emotional highs and lows of buying a home.

Dubbed The Great Australian Home Search, the survey revealed nine out of 10 Australians found the house hunting process frustrating, and two-thirds of respondents indicated they would do things differently when searching in the future.

In addition to this, more than half (55 per cent) admitted to fighting with their partner during the search for a new home, while 43 per cent said they ended up in tears as a result of the process.

As the property market has become more competitive over the past six months, SHAWOOD Executive Sales Manager Scott Rudgley said homebuyers were more likely to feel exhausted than excited when it came to purchasing a home.

“Buying a new home is an adventure, but as the property market has become more competitive the experience has turned from excitement to stress and exhaustion,” he said.

When it came to the amount of time people spent searching for a home, the survey revealed prospective buyers spent an average of four hours per week doing online research.

Despite all this time spent researching, 45 per cent of those surveyed admitted they ended up settling for something other than their dream home because they found the process was proving to be too tough.

With online real estate platforms making it easier for homebuyers to discover new listings and compare properties, Mr Rudgley said having this information readily available was a double-edged sword for many people, as it made it easier for them to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of searching for the perfect home.

“Our research shows those who find the house hunting process most frustrating actually spend almost double the amount of time doing online research compared to those who don’t find the process frustrating,” he said.

To avoid getting caught in this cycle, Mr Rudgley recommended house hunters set aside specific amounts of time in their schedule to dedicate to research.

“Try allocating a specific time for your research in front of the computer, so you don’t end up down the rabbit hole and it doesn’t get overwhelming,” he said.

Given purchasing a home is a big financial decision for most people, Realmark Urban Residential Sales Representative Holly McSweeney told West Real Estate it was fairly common for buyers to feel overwhelmed by the house hunting process.

“Even experienced buyers can feel overwhelmed by the process,” she said.

“However, there are ways you can limit the frustrations associated with buying a home.”

For Ms McSweeney, nothing beats speaking to a well-informed agent.

“A good real estate agent will be familiar with the area you want to live and have personal knowledge about how the suburb is moving and what other buyers are thinking,” she said.

As Perth’s property market is currently moving fast, Ms McSweeney said speaking with an informed agent could provide a real advantage for house hunters.

“When quality stock becomes available, it’s selling pretty fast,” she said.

“This can leave a lot of buyers feeling like they keep missing out. So it absolutely makes sense to get in touch with a trusted agent.

“Engaging with an agent will help ease the process, as they can keep you informed about what is available and let you know about other properties coming to the market soon.”

For those about to embark on the house hunting journey, Ms McSweeney said to be open when communicating with a selling agent.

“They are there to help you in the transaction,” she said. “There is no advantage in having a game of secrets or challenging negotiations.

“If they know what you are interested in and fully understand your capacities, then they can help guide you to a successful transaction and also make the paperwork easy for you.

“In the current market, buyers that are well informed, clear in their requirements and have a readiness to act will be the most successful at finding a home.”

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