Most high-street estate agents will have an account with, at least, one of the UK’s well-known property portals; Rightmove and Zoopla. Thousands of house hunters view these sites every single day, meaning that vendors often find sales fast. A quick turnaround can be both beneficial and limiting. It benefits the seller, as their property is snatched up quickly, however house seekers often find themselves back at square one, as potential houses are taken down quicker than they can book a viewing.
So, TheHouseShop.com have decided to investigate some alternative ways to find estate agents. We lead you down the road less travelled and show you places to find properties that may well surprise you.
So, as previously mentioned, Rightmove and Zoopla are the property giants, monopolising the property portal world. However, the internet is a large place, with a wide variety of options such as online estate agents like PurpleBricks and portals such as TheHouseShop.
If you restrict yourself to Rightmove and Zoopla then you are limiting the amount of views your property will receive. To gain maximum viewership it is worth doing your homework and finding out the best platform that works for you.
TheHouseShop.com is the UK’s no. 1 property marketplace, working with private sellers, private landlords, online agents, High Street agents and some of the UK’s largest property developers to buy, sell, rent and let property online.
TheHouseShop.com offers FREE property advertising for private landlords and has helped thousands of landlords find tenants for free and save money on essential services, such as tenant referencing, property management, rent collection and more.
Similarly, private sellers can list on the site as well, saving just as much money by advertising their property for FREE and enlisting some of their fantastically priced services.
Unlike other agent-only portals, TheHouseShop.com offers buyers and tenants a comprehensive selection of properties to rent and to buy with both private and agency listings. With a host of additional products and services covering all parts of the property sector, TheHouseShop.com is emerging as the leading, one-stop property marketplace for both professionals and consumers.
OnTheMarket is an up-and-coming property portal, created by a dissident group of high-street estate agents. They saw the portal giants like Rightmove and Zoopla dominating the property world and they wanted to challenge their duopoly. Although they got off to a shaky start, OnTheMarket has grown and become serious competitors in the marketplace.
They originally adopted a ‘One Other Portal’ policy, meaning that estate agents had to choose between Rightmove and Zoopla as their alternative portal when listing with OTM. This proved rather controversial and the company have now scrapped this for new members. However, it does mean that house seekers can browse estate agents that may not be listing on the portal giants. Their costs are competitive and estate agents may choose to list with OTM, as opposed to RightMove or Zoopla due to financial reasons.
TheHouseShop.com comes up trumps here as listing is FREE for everyone, private listings included, and, because of its inclusivity, the audience is the most varied, providing the largest viewership for your property.
Online estate agents, more often than not, list with Rightmove and Zoopla. But, if want to learn more about their services and how they can help you to sell or let your home then take a look at the related articles below…
90% of UK estate agents will have a website of some form, and Google will be able to help you find them. Simply by searching ‘local estate agents’ or ‘estate agents near me’ will immediately offer you a list of agencies near you, reviews for each of them, contact details and directions of how to get there.
The phrase ‘Google it’ is incredibly common in our modern vocabulary and it applies as much to property as with anything. So if you are struggling to find estate agents then just Google it.
Other search engines are available…
If you have very specific requirements about how you want your property to look, and what you want to house to provide, then it might be worth buying land and building your dream home yourself. Rightmove and Zoopla’s arsenal of ‘land for sale’ is minimal, and is nothing in comparison to the UK Land Directory. The Directory informs you whether the property already has planning permission in place. And one significant feature which is uncommon across similar websites, it’s FREE. You can browse at your leisure, absolutely FREE. So why not have a browse and see where your imagination takes you.
This is the main website in the UK dedicated to waterside property listings for both sales and lettings. If you are looking for a home with a coastal view, by a marina, a river or a lake, then this website should be your main port of call – pun intended. Not only does WatersideProperties list residential property located near water, but they also deal in moorings, commercial property and event boats. Now you can search for your dream water-adjacent home in one easy move!
For those that are particularly interested in a canal-side property then you can also check out canalcuttings.co.uk, where vendors can list their canal-side property themselves.
Although the internet is a rather dominating presence in our society, it isn’t the only way to house hunt. There are plenty of tried and tested traditional methods, which are perfect for finding your next property.
- Badger local high street estate agents – Treat your house hunt like you would a job hunt and sign up with some local estate agents and don’t forget to contact them frequently, so that they know you’re serious about your search. Some vendors do not like their properties placed online, and therefore the only way that their houses will be found is directly through the estate agents. Similarly, it might take a while for a property to be placed online and therefore those that regularly keep in touch with their agents are likely to grab the good stuff before the internet gets its hands on it.
- Leafleting – It can’t hurt to leaflet your chosen neighbourhood with flyers, letting residents know that you are looking to buy, or, alternatively, that you are looking to sell. Often, people can get ahead of the crowds by approaching a vendor directly. Research has shown that homebuyers are more likely to move between 3 to 6 miles away from where they are currently living. This means that your potential buyers or sellers may very well be your neighbours, so staying local can be key!
- Hire a Buyers Agent – Buyers Agents are essentially professional house hunters. They will find you properties that match your criteria, whilst also following through with the whole process. They will fast track your search in the local property market and take ownership of the chasing with estate agents on your behalf. But obviously, this comes at a price.
- Read your local property paper – Many vendors still prefer the old-fashioned route of advertising their homes for sale, so it is always worth scouring your local paper for leads. Vendors favour this option in comparison to listing their property on Rightmove and Zoopla because these sites allow the neighbours to snoop on their homes and see how much they are asking for them. Newspapers are a tried and tested method that sifts out the browsers from the serious buyers. Limited space means limited information and therefore to learn more you are forced to call the agent themselves.
- Ask family and friends – By utilising your social network, you can find vendors looking to sell their homes before they have even contacted an estate agent or listed them online. You might know someone who has heard that the house down the road might be coming up for sale, or your best friends sister might be looking to move. Word of mouth is a fantastic way to find property and should not be overlooked. Bear in mind that properties are often sold before their listing even goes live on Rightmove and Zoopla too.
- Check out For Sale Boards – Keep an eye out in your dream area for those ‘For Sale’ boards and make a note of the estate agents on any ‘sold’ boards too, as these are a good indicator as to which ones are successful in the area. You may also see boards with agency names that you are unfamiliar with, and this would be a good opportunity to get to know those smaller businesses and expand your search.
- Use the agent who sold your house – If you felt that your agent was really professional and did a great job, it makes sense to consider using them again when it comes to looking for a new home. You already know how they work and they have a history with you, so are more likely to find you a property that suits you better.
With Rightmove and Zoopla, the buyer has access to the mainstream selection of property available to purchase in the UK. However, despite their wide reaching audiences, they can be limited. It is definitely worth considering these other methods when looking for a new home, as you may be surprised with what you might find and the successes that can be had when you start to look elsewhere.