The smart way to house hunt online
If you are thinking of moving house then putting time into some research may help you get the house of your dreams a bit cheaper.In my opinion there is no better place to start than on the property portal Rightmove. In 2012 visitors to this website viewed over 1million properties every hour and it is by far the most popular place to start house hunting.
Like most people I like looking at properties, I think it's the 'nosey neighbour' in us all, but I want to direct you to away from property photos to a section I think can add a great deal to your house hunting.
If you start on the Rightmove homepage and look for the tab at the top of the page labelled 'House Prices' a menu will appear with following categories - Find Sold House Prices, Price Comparison Report, Market Trends, Find Estate Agents and Property Valuation.
It's the first three categories that will help you get the best deal for your current property as well as the property of your dreams at the best price. Below I cover each of the three tools in more detail and explain how to use them to good affect.
Find Sold Properties
One of the most important pieces of information you can have, when searching for a property, is how much other properties have recently sold for in the area. In this section you can put in a postcode and obtain information from the Land Registry and Registers of Scotland about actual sold prices in that postcode.
Once the postcode has been entered you should be shown a list of properties together with details of the address, sale price and date of sale. You can also extend the area of search as well as filter your search by type of property, year of sale and tenure.
Now you have details of the historical selling prices of properties in the area and, who knows, you may even find the house you want to view in this search showing the last time it was sold and the price achieved. Genius!
Price Comparison Report
This section will help you get an idea of how much your property is currently worth before you decide to put in on the market. Enter your postcode and you will get a list of properties currently on the market in your area. You can apply filters on area, property type and number of bedrooms which will enable you to get a closer match to your current home. Remember that the prices shown are asking prices which may be up to 10% higher than the actual prices achieved. This a fantastic tool that can be used when discussing the marketing price of your property with your chosen estate agent.
This section will show you how the market in a certain area has performed over recent years and will give you guide to whether prices are currently rising or falling. I would recommend making a wider search than just a postcode area, doing this will include a greater number of properties and therefore a more reliable trend.
(image by artur84, freedigitalphotos.net)
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