Property Portal Anorak or serious buyer?

Most property searches start on the internet, but Online is an aid, not a substitute for an exhaustive property search. Buyers that restrict their research to the armchair are likely to fall into the category of chronic searchers, or ‘portal anoraks’, destined to look but never buy.

Firstly, remember not all portals are the same. To ensure you don’t miss anything you will have to sign up to all the main portals – OnTheMarket, Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation, plus any local or specialist engines, for example for land or commercial purchases.

Our advice would be to set up exactly the same search criteria on each site. Go to the trouble of ‘drawing’ a customised map, and setting the same price bands – one tier above and below your budget. This will ensure you see property that’s out of your budget but that might be reduced or negotiable; and property that’s below your budget that could be improved / extended to meet your needs.

Don’t set up any other filters – the time to rule things out is when you can see how they won’t work for you, not before. Your critical faculties will always be more sensitive and accurate than a search engine’s! The speed at which agents upload properties is also an issue – mistakes can be made in the categorisation process, so a broad search override any errors. For more on the potential errors in property search portals see here [Link to DRawbacks]
Setting e-mail alerts for all the portals will mean that a lot of duplication arrives in your inbox!
So, that’s how to make sure you don’t miss anything that’s uploaded to the portals. But despite the e-mail overload, not to mention the time you’ve spent on this exercise, it doesn’t mean you won’t miss anything at all.

The portals are way behind the market. Before you get an e-mail alert, you’re behind the field. Buying agents will have seen the property, as will the proactive buyers who haven’t relied on the portals for their intelligence. And some properties won’t ever find their way onto the portals at all, their buyers preferring to keep a low profile and only show their properties to selected buyers.

There are many advantages to the portals. Some will tell you how long the property’s been on the market, some will tell you whether the price has been reduced, and there’s plenty of historical information and comparisons that you can delve into that will help you build up a picture of the local market. You can also establish which estate agents operate in a particular area.

However, the information line is not infallible – see here  for more on what to look out for, but also remember, portal research is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to property search. It doesn’t replace traditional methods, and if you’re serious about buying, you will need to have good relationships with all the agents in the area. Or by using a search agent you can be sure you won’t miss anything, and you’ll also get to hear about property before it comes onto the market, or property that is never advertised in the press or on the portals.

One of the greatest dangers of portal-perving is that buyers tend to spend too long on the computer, and not enough time on the road. Property simply isn’t a ‘virtual’ commodity. The impression you get from pictures and descriptions may vary dramatically from the real thing. So by all means start your search on the internet, but get on the phone, talk to the agents, and go and see as much property as you possibly can. That’s if you really want to buy. If you just like fantasising, then the portals are a wonderful invention!

For more on the drawbacks of househunting online, see here and more on online tools to aid you in your search here [link to isearch]

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2018-11-21T12:13:26+00:00
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
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Sunday Telegraph

2018-11-06T13:59:47+00:00

Sunday Telegraph

"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
2018-11-21T12:54:09+00:00
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
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2018-11-21T12:57:31+00:00
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
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2018-11-21T12:39:48+00:00
"great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
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2018-11-21T13:19:40+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:47:38+00:00
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
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2018-11-21T12:43:03+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:38:34+00:00
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
2018-11-21T13:09:36+00:00
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
2018-11-21T13:12:00+00:00
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
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2018-11-21T12:44:59+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:13:46+00:00
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"Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
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2018-11-21T13:18:39+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:07:43+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:56:37+00:00
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
2018-11-21T12:30:52+00:00
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
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2018-11-21T12:21:23+00:00
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
2018-11-21T12:52:31+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:21:20+00:00
"You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
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2018-11-21T12:32:12+00:00
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
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2018-11-21T13:18:01+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:42:07+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:48:37+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:50:28+00:00
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"utterly tenacious..."
2018-11-21T13:06:52+00:00
"utterly tenacious..."
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2018-11-21T12:45:49+00:00
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
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2018-11-21T13:15:37+00:00
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2018-11-05T22:55:02+00:00
“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
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2018-11-21T12:17:11+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:43:48+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:59:15+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:28:29+00:00
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"...negotiate on anything"

Financial Times

2018-11-06T14:00:36+00:00

Financial Times

"...negotiate on anything"
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2018-11-21T12:51:23+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:55:04+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:41:04+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:11:13+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:08:49+00:00
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