The internet is the first place most of us turn to when looking to buy or rent a new property, and there is an endless variety of property sales and rental classifieds from which to choose. There are of course national sites like Idealista and Fotocasa, however, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to property portals. Knowing how to find a great classified can simplify and speed up the search for your perfect property.
The first quality marker to look for is photos. Quantity and style will vary by listing, of course, but overall, you should seek out property portals that consistently provide clear, accurate, professional photos. It is a sign that the agents or owners using the site are serious and have invested time and money in the presentation.
This is a more technical aspect of presenting a property. Not every listing will have it, but if sites regularly feature advertisements with well-drawn floor plans it is a sign of professionalism. Floor plans vary in detail, but they should give a clear picture of the layout of the house, entrances, room dimensions, and some indication of interior features like stairs or baths.
The best real estate classifieds offer complete, detailed descriptions of the properties. Look for descriptions that include the age of the home or building; information on energy consumption (including any certificates); structural features such as type of roofing, flooring, insulation, etc; decorative/functional details such as built-in wardrobes, kitchen islands, fireplaces, etc; condition of the interior; appliances, and their ages and conditions; details of furnishing, if applicable; description of any outbuildings such as garages or sheds; dimensions and description of the garden or land; any special features such as septic system, solar panels, and so forth.
The description should use simple, descriptive language and as much concrete detail as possible (age, brand name, etc). You should have a good idea of what the home looks like, inside and out, by the time you finish reading the description.
Once you find properties you are interested in the next step is communicating with the agent or owner. Look for websites that offer simple, secure means of communication. Being able to contact people directly via the portal is a convenient way to begin the process. Sites with live chat can answer queries even faster. At a minimum, you should have access to verified email addresses and phone numbers.
Updates & alerts
Hunting for a property is a time-consuming process. A good real estate classified will save you time by offering email updates on properties you’re interested in, and supplying alerts if similar advertisements are posted. Look for ones that allow you to customise how often you receive notifications, so you can choose whether you want to be updated every day, every week, or at some other interval.
What property websites do you rely on? Share in the comments!