29th November 2018
The days of peering into estate agent windows are a hazy memory to most. When it comes to finding our next property, many of us choose to search online, and understandably. But where exactly should you start the online search? That’s the question, and that’s why we’ve put together this list of the best property search sites and how to use them.
We know that your time is limited (the life of a Contractor!) so we’ve ranked the top property search websites from best to worst to help.
In first place is Rightmove. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rightmove is the ultimate property search website; it’s the largest UK online retail estate portal and property website and, because of this, most estate agents put their property on Rightmove over any other property search sites. We think it’s the best place to review a potential property as can see numerous pictures, floor plans, and it also plots the property on a Google map to make it easier to search around the area. This helpfully enables you to see what schools and amenities are nearby too.
Zoopla is very similar to Rightmove but being smaller means that it does not always have the same number of listings. One feature that is very handy though is that it allows you to view the market activity for the area you are interested in. You can see the current average value, value trends, current asking prices as well as other ‘fun facts,’ as they describe them. So if you know the area that you want to move to, Zoopla’s handy tool could provide you with helpful insight.
On The Market is a fairly new property search website and it’s shaking up the industry. The On The Market website is very simple and easy to use, allowing you to set up an instant property alert. As soon as a property that matches your requirements comes up (area, number of bedrooms, detached/semi-detached etc), they’ll send you a text so you can view the property as quickly as possible. However, as traditional estate agents prefer Rightmove, there are not as many listings.
It’s worth remembering though, as we shared in our ‘the important questions to ask when house hunting’ article, it’s not always the case that estate agents will put their property on all of the top property search sites. So while it’s tempting just to stick to Zoopla, do have a look around the other sites every so often to see if you are missing a property in the area you are interested in that has only been posted on an alternative site. It does happen, and you don’t want to miss out.
It may also be a good idea to speak to a mortgage adviser and get a decision in principle before you go house hunting. This will give you a clearer idea of which areas and what kind of properties you may be able to afford when you start your property search.
If you need any other help securing a mortgage or finding your home, get in touch.
All content is accurate at the time of publication
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