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8 in 10 first-time buyers risk inaccurate information as they turn to social media for tipsPublished: July 20, 2023 by Jennifer Armstrong
Buying your first home can be overwhelming and with lots of decisions to make, seeking advice can be invaluable. Yet, a survey suggests that many first-time buyers could be accessing information that isn’t right for them as they turn to social media.
According to a MoneyAge report, 84% of first-time buyers used social media for guidance, advice, and hacks on homeownership in the last year. TikTok was the most popular platform, followed by Facebook and Instagram. Among the questions aspiring homeowners are searching for are:
-How long does it take to purchase a home?
-How to search for a property?
-How much does it cost to buy a property?
-How to make an offer?
-How do you hire a solicitor or conveyancer?
With social media being part of everyday life and easily accessible with just a few taps on your phone, it may seem like the obvious place to find answers to these questions. However, the information may not be correct or appropriate and could lead to some buyers making decisions that aren’t right for them.
That’s not to say social media can’t be a valuable tool. It’s a great way to learn about the experiences of other first-time buyers and to discover tips. But you need to be cautious about acting on advice given on social media platforms – the decisions you make when buying your first home could have a huge effect on your finances.
Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t rely on information from social media as a first-time buyer.
1. It can be difficult to verify the person offering advice
One of the key challenges of seeking advice on social media is that it is often not verified. Does the person offering guidance have any qualifications, or are they regulated?
While someone on social media may sound professional, it can be difficult to know if they have the expertise, experience, and authority to be offering advice on the topic.
If you’re seeking advice about mortgages, for example, a regulated mortgage broker would be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. Regulated brokers are required to ensure their knowledge of the industry is up to date, that they carry out a thorough analysis of your financial situation, and that the quality of advice they give is to a high standard.
Take some time to research who you’re taking advice from before you act on it.
2. You may not get a full view of all the options
Whether you want to better understand the different types of mortgages or find a conveyancer, there are often several options you need to consider.
Recommendations or information online may not provide you with a full overview, and it could mean you miss looking into an option that’s right for you.
As social media often utilises passing on information quickly, it may simply provide a snapshot of a handful of the choices. Could a 30-second video or short status update provide you with all the information you need?
A social media influencer may only recommend options that they have used themselves or those that come from a provider that they are affiliated with.
3. Your circumstances will affect what’s right for you
While the person offering social media advice may have the best intentions, what’s right for one first-time buyer, isn’t right for them all. This is why tailored guidance is useful when you’re buying a home and taking out a mortgage.
When you engage the services of a professional, such as a mortgage broker or solicitor, they’ll take the time to understand your circumstances and what your goals or concerns are. It means they’re in a position to offer advice that’s relevant to you and your situation.
4. The property industry can change quickly
Accessing up-to-date advice is crucial when you’re buying a home. Things like tax allowances, interest rates and processes can change.
If you act on information that’s out of date, it could harm your home-buying plans or cost you money.
For instance, a social media profile may claim a certain mortgage lender currently offers the “best” interest rate or deal for first-time buyers. Not only may this not be accurate for all first-time buyers from the start, but lenders frequently update the deals they offer. So, there could be other options that are more suitable for you.
Contact us to talk about mortgages
If you have questions about mortgages, we can offer you support throughout the process. The mortgage you choose could affect your outgoings and it’s important to understand which option is right for you. We can explain your choices and help you apply for a mortgage when the time is right.
Please contact us to speak to one of our team.
Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loans secured on it.