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Rise of the tyre-kickers: huge extent of online property ‘ghosting’ revealed

Survey reveals that half of the UK population peruse online property at least once a week usually to snoop on nearby properties or those belonging to celebrities.

Sheila Manchester

online property

If you’ve ever wondered why Rightmove and Zoopla report such huge traffic figures often running into billions of page impressions a year, then the answer to this riddle has now been unveiled.

Research among internet users reveals that 96% of Brits are involved in ‘property ghosting’ which is looking at and even visiting properties they have no intention of buying.

The research by property firm Mayfair-based Savoy Stewart also found that 10% of the population have attended viewings out of nosiness and curiosity when a property has come up for sale on a property portal, and that three quarters of respondents admitted to doing this online too.

Brits also do this frequently. Half of all the survey’s 1,614 respondents said they ‘property ghosted’ at least once a month including looking at homes out of their price range or with luxury features.

Online property

The survey points to a UK population that’s slightly obsessed by property, whether it’s lusting after properties way out of their price range, pining over pictures of big beautiful gardens or dreaming of grand picturesque front doors.

A third of those surveyed said they browse property listings to ‘look for interior inspiration’ along with ‘considering purchasing a property nearby’ (20%) ‘window-shopping’ (17%), and even ‘a hobby/something to do’ at 12%.

Homes most visited by ‘ghosters’ include those with a swimming pool, home gym or having previously been owned by a celebrity.

Savoy Stewart has also given other agents pointers to help them spot these tyre-kickers including a reluctance to hand out multiple contact details; being vague about budget, requirements and preferences; and people who get offended when asked personal questions.

Let us know how you handle serial fake buyers.

July 2, 2019

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