Turning up with the removal men to discover left furniture, litter and other junk is now the third biggest headache for anyone buying and selling property, said the annual survey by Which?
Top two complaints are, perhaps less surprisingly, delays in a chain which hold up both buyers and sellers and simply finding the right property in the right area.
But a growing problem is the detritus left behind by former owners when moving into what many hope will be their dream home, leaving them with a nightmare start to their stay.
Which? admitted: “One in seven homebuyers (13 per cent) said the property they bought was left in a poor condition or with unexpected furniture.
“This can be a headache to resolve as large, bulky items cost money to get rid of.“
One answer, said Which? is to have it written into the purchase agreement exactly what is being left as part of the fixtures and fittings and to include a clause that says the seller must leave the property in good condition.
Some complaints affect both sellers and buyers, such as a purchase falling through which then damages all those in a chain and causes delays.
Others can be prevented with good research before committing, such as picking the right solicitor, removal company, understanding the survey and using online guides.
Which? surveyed 2,000 members who have moved house within the last two years to find the problems they encountered.
Some are experienced during the build up to moving but some are problems that occur on the big day itself.
This includes dodgy removal companiers and completions not going through fast enough, leaving homeowners stranded between moving out of one place and moving in to another while funds are cleared.
David Blake, Which? mortgage adviser, said: “Moving home can be time-consuming, stressful and expensive, and while some problems will be out of your control, there are certain steps you can take.
“Clearer communication and opting for well-respected mortgage advisers, removal companies and conveyancers who are able to work to your timescales can all help to give you a smooth move.”
TOP 10 BIGGEST PROBLEMS WHEN MOVING HOME
1. Delays in the chain – 19 per cent: The most common gripe. The longer the chain the greater the chances of delays and problems.
2. Finding a suitable property – 18 per cent: If you’re struggling to find a home in your ideal area that ticks all the boxes it might be worth exploring other neighbourhoods to find the perfect fit.
3. Sellers leaving a mess – 13 per cent: Have it written into the purchase agreement that the seller leaves the property in good order. If they leave items not mentioned on the form, you are within your rights to complain.
4. Completion day chaos – 12 per cent: In a long chain it can day time on the day of moving for everyone’s funds to be release. Have a backup plan with a place to stay should the completion day be set back.
5. Removal company nightmares – 10 per cent: If you want a firm that helps with packing and is reliable, take the time to do some research by looking at reviews, getting quotes and checking they have insurance.
6. Getting a mortgage – 10 per cent: Lenders have had to tighten up their affordability criteria making it tougher for borrowers to secure a deal. Tip: save a bigger deposit and check your credit report before applying.
7. Sellers getting cold feet – 9 per cent: Sometimes this is because their own purchase has fallen through or they have simply changed their mind. There is not much you can do if it happens before exchanging contracts.
8. Conveyancing isues – 8 per cent: A good solicitor will keep the deal moving quickly, a bad one could mean delays which could hamper deals and has been a problem for eight per cent. Use the Which? guide on how to choose a property solicitor.
9. Getting gazumped – 7 per cent: This is where the seller accepts your offer but then backs out to accept a higher offer from a different buyer and you lose what you’ve spent so far on surveys, solicitor fees and mortgage applications. Which? has a guide on gazumping to help deal with it.
10. Confusion over surveys – 7 per cent: Surveys are vital but the jargon can be difficult to get your head round. Read up about surveys to understand them better.