1440x350 Buying a house in the UK we all deserve better

468 days, a deep-set frown line, and a semi-detached house on a quiet street

Coadjute's Marketing Director, Dominique Summers, has recently completed on the purchase of their first home in the UK. The journey was far from straightforward and riddled with complications, but it didn't have to be so difficult. Read on to find out what happened and how Coadjute could make experiences like Dominique's a thing of the past.

This article was originally published on Linkedin on March 28, 2024.

Buying a house in the UK, we all deserve better

“How’s the house going?”

“Any update on the house?”

“Do you have a completion date yet?”

For the last 15 months, versions of these questions have entered almost every conversation with my family, friends, and colleagues. All eager to know how one of the most exciting (and expensive) purchases of my life was going.

As of tomorrow, my husband and I will have spent 468 days of our lives trying to purchase a property in the UK. Tomorrow, we pick up the keys to our first home.

Relieved doesn’t even begin to cover how I am feeling. Grateful, joyful, proud but also exasperated, indignant, and angry.

Our situation IS unusual. 468 days to complete on a property is not the norm. We were ‘unlucky’. So that must mean it’s more like four to six weeks right? Oh no, it’s 21 weeks right now.

Let that sink in for just a moment.

21 weeks, 153 days or 5 months is the average time it takes to complete a property transaction in the UK. I’m sorry but, are you kidding me?

Two fall-throughs, thousands of (wasted) pounds, hundreds of emails...

My husband is American and I am Australian and we have decided to live our lives in the UK. We were excited to finally put down roots and find four walls and a piece of land that could be ours. I had heard that it was bad but goodness, it really IS bad.

If you are reading this and you are from the UK or live in the UK or want to buy a house here - I want to reassure you. It doesn’t have to be this way.

We could never have imagined that along with the welcoming pub culture, long grey winters and the kind and self-deprecating people that the UK could also have a strange and painful process for what should be one of the most exciting experiences of our lives.

Most people in the UK only move every 10 years which must be some sort of ingrained self-preservation because honestly, my husband and I would be happy to never have to do this again.

Two fall-throughs, thousands of (wasted) pounds, hundreds of emails, countless forms asking me for the same information over and over. Hours of my life zapped waiting on the phone for estate agents or conveyancers to tell us there wasn’t really an update.

“The top of the chain isn’t responding.”

“I will get in touch with the solicitor, they were disputing the boundary line on the property.”

“I’ve got some disappointing news.”

And throughout all of this, every day it went on I got progressively more frustrated. Because when I’m not correcting the spelling of my name on a client information questionnaire or redoing my digital ID for the ninth time, I work as the Marketing Director at Coadjute. A company whose vision is to create a better property market in the UK.

Coadjute does a lot of things but in a nutshell, we’ve built an infrastructure for the property market enabling everyone involved in the process to access everything they need to successfully and quickly transact a property. You can message the estate agent and conveyancer in our product, estate agents can get the data they need from the Land Registry and can even request your digital ID through the system. Our clients often call us a ‘one stop shop’ which is accurate but it’s more than that.

A change is ... here

We are working to fundamentally change how property transactions are conducted in the UK. For so many years there have been proptechs who have promised a lot, delivered very little and made a lot of money in the process. They’ve never wanted to truly change how it runs because they stand to make a lot from the status quo and aren’t incentivised to do better.

But that’s where Coadjute is different. We don’t believe in trapping estate agents and conveyancers into slow moving, closed services and technologies with hefty fees. Having them store their (precious) data in monolithic databases. Ignoring those in the industry who want a better way and counting on their desperation to develop into apathy.

Coadjute is working tirelessly with industry heavyweights to strategise how we deliver real change. We contribute our free time to designing open data schemas so that everyone can have access to Open and FAIR data. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out Coadjute.com, google us. I promise it’s worth 10 minutes of your time to find out what we are really about, why we are different, and why you should consider us.

We want something different because buyers and sellers deserve it. Estate agents, conveyancers, brokers, and everyone who works hard in this industry, we all deserve better.

Let’s try to get there together.

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