Is Rightmove the rightmove?
Searching for a property can be incredibly exciting. Effectively, you're peeking into your future and looking at the house that may become your home.
And, after figuring out our finances (see our previous blog about saving up to buy a house), and starting our search, we quickly realised that it's not all fun and games, and the process can become quite exhausting and mentally draining.
Here are some of the places we looked at and the search methods we tried. Not all were successful.
Long gone are the days of walking past an estate agent's window and finding your next home. Rightmove is that place, and it's updated ALL of the time.
Rightmove is a bit of a novelty when you initially start looking to buy a property. And if you're like me, you'll be looking at houses that you're likely never going to be able to afford, but having access to that proverbial peak through the keyhole is utterly fascinating.
When it comes to actively searching for a property, i.e. when you're actually looking to buy rather than looking solely out of curiosity, it becomes far less fun.
Ever-evolving search criteria
It's amazing how quickly our search criteria went from designated areas that we'd researched and checked a lot of our boxes to what had been added to the site within the last 24 hours in the whole Greater Manchester region!
The thing was, not only were we struggling to get viewings at places we liked, but we were also struggling to get viewings at places that we weren't that keen on either.
One time I called an estate agent after a property had been on the market for a matter of hours, only to be told that all allocated viewings had been taken.
We knew that the housing market was competitive but not being able even to see a property, let alone buy one, was a real wake up call.
If you've seen a property on Rightmove, then someone else will have as well. With that in mind, we decided to look elsewhere.
We started liking estate agents' Facebook pages and checking those for updates. It turns out that Rightmove isn't the quickest at putting properties live on their site, but estate agents put available properties on their pages almost immediately.
Usually, there's a 24-hour delay from the estate agent submitting the property to Rightmove before the property appears there, so by following the Facebook page, we could contact the estate agent as soon as properties were posted and ensure that we got viewings booked.
Our viewings success rate increased significantly off the back of this and is something that we would highly recommend if you're finding the process is wearing you down.
Something else that we did, but had less success with, was getting in touch with several estate agents to let them know what type of property we were looking for, what our budget was, and any other additional criteria that are deemed necessary (good transport link, schools etc.).
With this, the estate agent uses the information you've given and should a property come to market that fits your criteria; they'll contact you to see whether you're interested. Usually, this is by email, but they may contact you by phone if you build a relationship with them and are insistent on getting something soon.
As mentioned, we had less success with this, and the email bulletins that we received were very hit and miss, but there were occasions where featured properties did interest us.
To conclude, Rightmove is great to give an overall view of what is available to buy, but make no mistake, absolutely everybody is looking there. If you're active and are seriously considering buying, my advice would be to go direct to the estate agents or their Facebook pages. The chances of you getting in for a viewing increase exponentially by doing this and get you closer to your dream home.
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