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Graham Awards


Buying agent tells would-be purchasers: "Don't go portal-perving"

The major property portals are “way behind the market”, don’t carry all homes that are for sale, and have such varied inventories that buyer have to sign up to all of them to be confident they have a shout at getting the home they really want.

That’s the view of Stacks Property Search buying agent Rachel Johnston.

She says portals have many useful functions for buyers but “before you get an e-mail alert, you’re behind the field” she insists. 


Johnston says that buying agents will already have seen the best properties, as will proactive buyers who haven’t relied on portals alone for their intelligence. 

“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-pervers’, destined to look but never buy” she says.



“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” she admits.

But she is warning buyers that ‘portal perving’ shouldn’t be a substitute for visiting properties, getting on the telephone and talking to agents. 

  • Simon Shinerock

    This is what buyers really need to know and it explains why OTM is so arrogant. It's not the properties on the market the buyer wants to know about, it's the properties coming on the market and these only come to those buyers who make relationships with estate agents. It also explains a big reason why the agent is worth their fee because they have access to these serious buyers. In Marbella there is no Rightmove or Zoopla, so buyers have no resourse to research the market, there are literally thousands of agents and properties and the whole process of buying and selling is an expensive lottery, it makes the UK market look very efficient and the agents fees very good value by comparison!

  • icon

    Her viewpoint is spot on. The problem is there is too much rhetoric out there saying '90% of searches start online this/all you need to do is check RM & Z that.... Most of which has probably subtly been put out there by the portals' PR teams.

    Rob  Davies

    But doesn't she have a vested interest, as a buying agent? She's saying don't use the portals, because they're not very efficient, use a buying agent instead. So she's guilty of her own PR rhetoric.

    I'll never understand all the animosity towards portals. I find it all very strange.

  • icon

    Tomorrows headline
    "High street agents warns against dual marketing"

    Thursdays headline
    "Mortgage advisor warns against using your high street bank for your mortgage"

    although I cant see why they would publicise that here? I don't know 1 would-be purchaser that looks on this site for anything. Maybe social media might be a better place for that sort of article.


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