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.