Work, family, social life… and in the top of that, finding the time to buy or rent a home can make anyone go nuts. There are plenty of things we need to take into account. The neighborhood, the comfort of the house, the lighting… And, if that was not enough, then comes the move. Luckily for us, nowadays we can automate our searches thanks to classified ads websites.
Finding a home from anywhere with just our mobile phone, laptop or tablet is very comfortable. In fact, did you know that 37% of people who are looking for a home start online, according to Which?’s study? That’s why you need to put in practice your excellent skills to read and interpret the ads! Not only in order to avoid online scams, but also to be able to detect the best opportunities. Afterwards you will have time to move from the Internet to real life.
Search engines like Trovit collect and show ads from different websites on the market to save you time. But each of them has its own style and way of presenting the listings. Although there is no single criteria, most of them show the same information. That’s why we want to share with you some tips to become an expert in analyzing these ads!
The first impression is key to continue or not reading an offer. When the results appear after applying the filters in the search engine, it is time to start evaluating.
The first thing you will see is the title of the ad. Even though there is no universal truth, it appears that the less exaggerated, the more trustworthy it will be. How many times have you read “exclusive offer”, “promotion” or “last days”?
You will also find a summary with the overall information of the property: location, price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and square meters. The main image also plays an important role, but we will come to this later.
It indicates the number of days since the ad is active. Don’t discard so fast the ads that have been published more than a month ago if you are looking to buy. Selling a property takes time, and homeowners prefer to interview many candidates before the final decision. If you want to rent, it will probably happen the other way around: the more recent the ad is, the more chances you will have to be first in the owner’s list!
It’s the most important section in the ad, as you will dedicate most of your time analyzing them. Images that show all the areas of the rooms or important details will give you a clearer idea of how the property looks like. Specially if they are high quality! Visiting a home without having seen it in pictures may be adventurous, but it can also be a waste of time.
Tip! If the ad has blurry or unspecific photos but you think the property may be worth it, don’t miss the opportunity! Not always the best deals are the most appealing in pictures.
Description of the ad
If the ad doesn’t show the basic information or you think that important details are missing, don’t be afraid to ask the owner. Something that is key to you may have gone unnoticed for him. Read carefully the indoors and outdoors description, and the one of the neighborhood. You may want to know if it‘s noisy, if there are supermarkets, schools, restaurants, shops… Also check if the property is a new built home, an used home, or if it needs renovations.
Some homeowners don’t include all the information on purpose. This is because they wait for the person to show interest in the property and ask the questions himself, proving to be a quality contact. In any case, don’t forget that the ad is just a summary of the house and that it is always better to see it in person.
Pay attention to the additional information, as it can differentiate the place from similar ones. For example, if it has an elevator, central heating, air conditioning, garden, swimming-pool, parking space… Most of the ads will give you this information, so dedicate some time to evaluate them.
The accuracy of the location will depend on the website where you are searching, the habits of your country, or even the advertiser. They usually show the city, the neighborhood, the street or the exact address. Some classifieds websites don’t share the the exact address of the house unless you contact the owner or complete the booking.
It has been confirmed that the ads that include the price of the property receive more visits than the ones that don’t. Choosing will be easier if you have already made some research and compared real estate prices and if you know how much you are willing to spend. If the house’s price exceeds your budget, don’t waste your time. Also, make sure the price is realistic: if it is too low to be real, it could be a scam.
In the case of properties for rent, the ads will show the daily, weekly or monthly price. In the other case, homes for sale will show the final price and, ideally, if the property have a mortgage or is in debt. Oh, and don’t forget to check if the price that appears refers to the whole house or just a room for rent!
Some countries (like in Latin America) use more than one currency. However, classifieds websites usually show prices in just one currency so if you want to know the equivalent in another one, you will have to do the conversion yourself.
Pay attention to offers that have decreased the price. Most pages will show you the starting price and the current one, as well as the percentage of discount.
Remember that the cost may vary depending on your calendar or availability. For example, if you want to rent in high or low season or for a specific amount of time. Check if the ad shows a deadline to move. Can you already do it? This week? Or is the house available in 6 months?
Some classifieds websites contain information about the advertisers or homeowners. This will give you a better idea of who you are dealing with before you contact them. See if there are reviews of him and the property such as comments, general score of the house, reliability, response time, if the account is validated, etc.
In addition, verify if the ad has been posted by an individual or an agency, as the process will be different depending on who you will be doing the agreement.
Contact with the advertiser
Each website has its own layout and way of contacting the publisher. Therefore, there is not universal way to do it. Some of them use emails, phone numbers or contact forms. If you are checking ads in a search engine, you just have to click on the listing and it will direct you to the original website where it is published. There you will find the way of contacting the advertiser.
Although some contact forms have a default message, I recommend you to start asking your questions to the owner and use the chance to stand out from other candidates. It’s the perfect opportunity!
If the offer that you have analyzed doesn’t convince you, don’t worry! Many classifieds websites include similar ads on the same page of the listing so you can compare and continue your search. You can find them in different formats: as a list, a fact sheet, in pop ups, etc.