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Graham Awards


Lies, Damned Lies, and people who buy and sell homes

Some 59 per cent of people have lied while selling a home and 46 per cent have lied when trying to buy, according to new research.

The main lies from sellers involved failing to disclose faults in the home, disputes with neighbours or shortcomings in the local area; when it came to buyers, the lies were chiefly about monthly outgoings and debt when trying to secure a mortgage.

The study of 2,186 people who had bought and/or sold in the past five years asked if they had lied during any stage in their application to buy a new house. 


The most common answers found to be ‘I lied about my monthly outgoings/spend’ (29 per cent), ‘I lied about my intentions to clear my debts/when I would be able to clear my debts’ (21 per cent) and ‘I lied about the number of people who would be living in the home’ (19 per cent).

All respondents were then quizzed on their experience on the process of buying a home; 66 per cent said that they found the process ‘stressful’, whilst 43 per cent revealed that they found it ‘confusing’ and a further 34 per cent said that they found it challenging to their relationship.

The top lies told when selling a house were found to be ‘faults in the home/amount of repairs that need doing’ (31 per cent), ‘lies about the neighbourhood - noise, neighbours and so on’ (26 per cent) and ‘work that has/hasn’t been done on the property’ (20 per cent).

The study was conducted for Thomas Sanderson interiors.

  • Mike Lewis

    Tell us something we don’t know!

    Surely this is one of those areas where a good estate agent earns his corn? By getting properly (and personally) involved with his clients (as opposed to the on-line format), a good agent will be able to identify where someone is fibbing about the property their client is selling, or the applicant who is spinning a line about their finances etc, and progress the deal through to a satisfactory conclusion.

    Yes it is a stressful business and this is another reason for employing a proper estate agent, not some faceless call centre operative or a website.

  • Tony Sinclair

    Q: Why are the 59% of liars not stood in the dock?
    A: Because 59% of the victims are snowflakes who do not legally chase them down.

    It's illegal to lie about a property and the buyer can still go after the vendor even after they have moved in. A property transaction used to be covered by ‘Caveat Emptor’ i.e. “Let the buyer be aware.” Meaning it’s up to the buyer to ask the questions and the Seller or their Agent to give honest answers.

    However, the Property Misdescriptions Act was repealed in 2013 so the sale and advertising of property now come under the 2008 Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations (CPR’s).

    In a nutshell, the CPR’s require a Seller to inform their Estate Agent and/or any potential buyer about any information that may affect a prospective buyer’s transactional decision. Not only to buy a property but even ‘an omission’ that could affect a potential buyer’s decision to ‘view’ a property.

    In other words, people selling a property can no longer choose what to tell their Estate Agent or indeed a potential Buyer without risking ending up in court and finding themselves paying heavily for their lies.

    So what is all the fuss about? Snowflakes and lack of knowledge by half-witted agents. I rest my case M'Lud.


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