ll online property listings are not created equal. Here’s how to make sure buyers will find your house among the thousands that crowd the property websites.
If you opt to sell your home via an estate agent, nowadays almost all of them will list it on at least one of the online property portals such as Rightmove, OnTheMarket and Zoopla.
But online home hunters’ ability to actually see your listing depends in large part on how well your selling agent has uploaded your property on to the portal and if they’ve used the right key words. Most people will search by area, price and number of bedrooms. But that can still bring up a lot of houses.
Miss out some crucial features, such as land, or a granny annexe, and buyers searching for those specifics won’t find your property.
Here’s how to make those algorithms work for you.
Choose the right agent
A relatively new service, getagent.co.uk matches your property’s description and tests it against sales success rates of comparable houses by local agents. It’s free and can open your eyes to agents you may not even know existed.
Test the listing yourself
Put in the key words you would add if you were searching for a house like yours.
Does it have land? Views? Potential to build? Near a station? Correct radius from key towns nearby?
If your property doesn’t appear when you search for its key assets, contact your agent. Houses in lesser-known areas and small villages can need special help to be discovered by buyers.
A five-bedroom rectory sitting in 2.5 acres in Burmarsh, Kent, is only four miles from the high-speed line to London — but how many Londoners would know where Burmarsh is? (It’s 1.5 miles from the Kent coast, on the edge of Romney Marsh, close to Tenterden, Rye, Canterbury and Hythe.)
Savills in Cranbrook, Kent, have made sure anyone searching for properties within 20 miles or so of those key towns will find The Old Rectory. Further, they have added search terms such as “land”, “station”, “views”, “coast” and “‘garage with potential”’ so it appears in all relevant searches.
Be gently demanding
Push to have your house listed on more than one portal, as some buyers might only get alerts from a single portal, missing your listing entirely.
You can ask for your property to be a “Featured Property” or a “Premium Listing”, which will push it up each page viewed. There can be an extra charge for this but try arguing for this to be included at the point of hiring your agent.
Featured homes appear at the top of a search results page and have larger photos than premium ones to grab further attention.
Old-school sales techniques can still outweigh even the mighty internet. A proactive team will constantly contact their database of buyers to bring properties to their attention.
By contrast, some agents will just upload your property then sit back and wait.