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Property hunters still use traditional routes to snap up best buys

Saturday 17 September 2016



Property hunters are packing up their laptops in their search for a dream home, as new research shows more than half still favour traditional methods. 
 
Consumer watchdog Which? conducted a survey of 2,000 recent home movers which revealed that only 45 per cent used a modern method like online portals. 
 
An astonishing 55 per cent went the tried and trusted route of checking the local paper, looking in estate agents' windows or spotting For Sale signs.
 
And although first-time buyers are usually younger, it seems they were even more unlikely to use new technology to find a house, with 60 per cent opting for old fashioned methods. 
 
Property portals, emails and electronic alerts like apps accounted for 45 per cent, while communications from estate agents (11 per cent), For Sale boards (10 per cent), word of mouth (9 per cent), the local newspaper (6 per cent), direct approaches like leafleting (3 per cent), auctions (1 per cent) and other traditional methods (4 per cent) accounted for the remainder. 
 
Which? recommends that would-be house buyers get out and about in order to pinpoint the best deals. 
 
In areas where the market moves fast and demand outstrips supply, the best properties 'are often snapped up before the agent has had the chance to list them online', the watchdog said.
 
It advises shutting down the search engine and walking down the high street to tell estate agents exactly what you are looking for.
 
The same research highlighted the problems of poor property listing on online portals:
 
Nearly 20 per cent of respondents said they didn’t bother viewing a property because there were no photos or not enough, with one in six turning down a visit because no floor plan was provided.

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