Top tips for navigating your property search

Mar 20, 2014 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Market Trends , Property Search

Navigating through the online Platforms

We have some of the most successful online property platforms in the world, with rightmove and zoopla both featuring in the top ten recently. With most agencies signed up to their services, browsing available properties to buy should never have been easier.  The main problem with the service is after hours or trawling through 100’s of potential properties, you’ve saved your favourites and finally get to picking up the phone, to discover the majority are under offer, not able to be accessed or most infuriating of all, exchanged. Now whilst the platforms have a service for you to report your frustrations, sadly as their paying clients are the agents, I cannot see that it will ever be resolved fully. As an ex-agent I can see the benefits of advertising properties which are under offer; it brings you in good potential buyers, it makes your portfolio look bigger to potential sellers, and it pleases your client to have the property fully marketed until the monies are in their bank. But, that doesn’t prevent the extreme frustration it can cause buyers.

However, in such a buoyant market it’s best to monopolise every service available to you the best you can. Both rightmove and zoopla do offer three other fantastic services:

1. Contacting large groups of agents

Once you’ve completed a search if you scroll down, both sites gives you the option to contact all agents with your requirements. This is a fantastic way to register with multiple agents in a jiffy. Make sure though that you do it when you have a day to spare, otherwise your phone won’t stop ringing all day.

2. Sold House Prices

Both sites offer a fantastic service where you can search sold prices. Not only can you search to see whether the price you are buying at is a fair market price, you can also compare floor plans and the condition of the building to get a much more concise view then from land registry.

3. Search Alerts

Whilst ringing through a search to begin with can be frustrating, if you set up a 24 hour search alert for your chosen area, you are much more likely to view the property online before it’s sold, and so hopefully to get there in time to step through the front door.

Is the Old School way a better way?

It’s my absolute belief that in a seller’s market, where buyers are coming through by the dozen, that the best way to find a property is to go and meet the agents. Save the hour trolling the internet and go into the agents, one by one, and register your search. If you’re pleasant, enthusiastic and clear with want you want, you will become the buyer they call before details are put online, and hopefully you’ll be the one that’s then under offer. It’s much harder to forget a face then it is an online enquiry form.

Be Proactive

My final point in your quest for finding a property is be proactive. Don’t wait for the alerts to be handed to you on a plate, call or visit the agents weekly to see what’s coming onto the market so you’re ahead of the game.