How reliable are property websites?(6 Posts)
I am just curious- how many buyers have found that photos and descriptions posted on property websites eg Rightmove etc are generally reliable and accurate ( or not!) . Or have there been cases where you wouldn't even give a second look to the property on the website but yet fall in love with it after visiting it?
Photos only tell you so much. Floorplans give a better idea of what you'll see but nothing compares to actually visiting a house. How light and airy a place is can be hard to capture in a photo and things like how nice the street is, if its overlooked, how high the ceilings are etc are best assessed in person.
The only places I ruled out were ones that were not in the right location, could be converted to a 4 bed with a loft conversion, and non-period houses. Everything else that come on the market we viewed. However, it was easy for us as we were living locally and were also prepared to do work so didn't have any other deal breakers besides the above.
I think it entirely depends on how experienced and diligent the agents are and whether they use a good photographer or just send some rookie out with a camera phone. I've seen some houses I know are beautiful inside made to look like tiny, dark caverns by photographers with no idea what they're doing. I tend not to pay much attention to the descriptions except to pick out actual facts (number of rooms; room sizes; what's it heated with; is it double or single glazed etc) because a lot of the rest is just estate agent marketing speak. I'm not fussed about whether the garden is described as "a credit to the current owners" or whether the kitchen is "worthy of Heston Blumenthal himself", to be honest.
When we saw our current house listed we knew we wanted to buy it from the photos alone: we saw going to actually view as just about confirming the decision. We were right, it was pretty much exactly like the photos, market by a very knowledgeable family-owned and local estate agent who knew their stuff.
Agree with LondonGirl: floorplans are really useful for letting you know before you bother to view that the third bedroom can only be accessed by walking through the second bedroom and that the galley kitchen is actually in the hallway.
My current house had poor photos on Rightmove, made the rooms look really small.
If I had other plans on the day of the open house I wouldn't have felt I missed out viewing it. Very glad I did as is it so much better in real life and nothing else in our price range could compare!
Rightmove and similar websites are only as good as the information from the Agent. I looked at many many properties on the websites and short listed and then visited. The big problem in London is that property sells so quickly so you have to drop everything and view. I was looking for a flat and actually changed location because the flat we wanted went above asking price and it was getting silly! Flat came back on the market again as the buyers were not genuine. By then we had bought a lovely flat elsewhere but I did a lot of research into the new area and had a good look round.
The floor plans, street photos, shops, facilities, transport links in particular were important to us but having a look around was also vital. We felt the photos were accurate as it was a refurb and generally the photos of all the flats was good but we saw some shoddy workmanship in some properties. I think floor plans and street photos tell you a lot but not if a property nearby is a squat or two doors down now has a mattress in the front garden and been painted bright orange!
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