What are the main difficulties in buying a house?

In 2021, for 7 out of 10 potential property buyers, the greatest difficulties lie in finding the documentation and in being aware of the actual market value
28.06.2021 3 minuti di lettura

The research carried out by Politecnico di Milano, Kaaja (former HomesToPeople) and Italian PropTech Network reveals the greatest difficulties to home buyers.

Lack of transparency especially in the process of understanding costs and in the purchasing phase: it is hard for 61% to understand if their offer is in line with the market value and for 69% to have visibility on any other offers they are competing with. For over 60%, it is difficult to identify the associated and recurring costs.

Thanks to digital tools, in Italy, the search for a home has not stopped; 74% of potential buyers believe that it is easy to contact the agency and 80% book a visit, but for more than 60% of them it is still difficult to have an estimate of ancillary costs (such as taxes and commissions) and recurring ( like IMU and TASI). Buying a house is not a frequent experience so, often, the buyer is unprepared. Moreover information is given in a confused and disordered way and buying a house can become really hard.

Because of this, Kaaja (formerly HomesToPeople) in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano and Italian PropTech Network, carried out a research on over 400 participants who were asked to answer 24 questions about the 5 phases of a purchase process: the search, the relationship with the real estate agent, the costs, the visit of the property and finally the actual moment of purchase. In detail, in chronological order, the purchase steps:

About the initial phase of the search for a property, what emerges is that, despite identifying the area and the right distances from the places of interest and inserting any other selection criteria, these steps are considered quite simple, respectively for 54% and 59%, actually finding the property with the desired characteristics, is considered difficult for more than half of the interviewees (54%); it is even more complex to retrieve all the information and documentation on the property and have a reliable estimate of its market value and average sales time (complicated for 70%).

Relationship with the real estate agent
While 74% of the interviewees found it easy to communicate with the real estate agent, 61% found it difficult to understand their competence and reliability, but the greatest difficulties lie in obtaining all the information on the property and the purchasing process (both perceived as difficult for about 60% of the interviewees).

According to participants, this phase is one of the most complex. The greatest perceived difficulty in this step lies in identifying all the costs associated with the purchase like notary, commissions and taxes and recurring costs such as condo fees, IMU, TASI (difficult for more than 60%). Furthermore, more than half of the interviewees perceive as difficult to get mortgage proposals with one or more credit institutions.

The visit phase is by far perceived as the simplest: both booking an appointment (easy for 80% of the interviewees) and visiting the property at the time and in the way, in person or online, more convenient for the visitor (68%).

Once the property has been found and visited and the costs analyzed, the greatest difficulties are perceived in the purchase phase: understanding whether the offer is in line with the market value (problematic for 61% of the interviewees) and whether there are other offers to compete with is complicated for nearly 70% of respondents. 50% of respondents perceive as difficult to fill in and understand the conditions of their offer or purchase proposal and to be sure that the deposit is returned if the transition cannot be completed. Finally, more than half of the respondents identified as complex to carry out the deed at the notary and complete the purchase quickly and above all without surprises.

"We created this survey with the intention of really understanding what are the greatest difficulties for home buyers - declares Dario Cardile, Founder and CEO of Kaaja - we created Kaaja with the aim of simplifying the buying and selling processes, guaranteeing a quick, transparent and qualified service to buyers and sellers and it is therefore our primary interest to be aware of the difficulties in order to continue improving".

"The survey showed that most of the difficulties arise in the most bureaucratic phases, such getting of all the documentation of a property, the visibility on other offers and on the overall costs to be incurred - says Paolo Castelletti, Founder & CMO of Kaaja - and this is the main reason why we choose to work only with qualified real estate agents who, thanks to their professionalism, verify all the documentation of the property before the auction starts".

The research was carried out by Kaaja (former HomesToPeople) in collaboration with Italian Proptech Network (Prof. Andrea Ciaramella, Prof. Stefano Bellintani) and Politecnico di Milano REC - Real Estate Center, ABC Department.

Research methodology
The research was conducted on a sample of 426 responders of which 175 between 25 and 39 and between 40 and 54 years of age, groups considered the most interested in buying a real estate property. Participants were asked to answer 24 questions, evaluating, on the basis of the perceived difficulty, the 5 phases that make up a purchase procedure: the search, the relationship with the real estate agent, the costs, the visit to the property and finally the real moment of purchase. The survey was conducted between March and April 2021.


Kaaja is a real estate company, founded to make buying and selling properties easier. Kaaja is the first company in Italy where people and companies can sell and buy properties through an entirely digital private auction. Fast, secure and transparent, the Company offers a truly innovative process leveraging the best digital technologies and highly qualified real estate agents. Founded by Dario Cardile and Paolo Castelletti in February 2021 - coming back from an experience on the US market - with the purpose to simplify real estate sales also in Italy, through the best technologies.

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