Whether you're looking to buy, sell or rent a new place, your search will almost certainly start on a UK property website or app.
The portals have become so popular that it seems positively ancient to peer through the window of an estate agent's high street office to see their listings.
So which is the best UK property website (or app) to use? I've listed my top 10 below, but please do let me know if you think I'm wrong!
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For my money, the obvious place to start. Rightmove is the UK's biggest property portal, with more than 800,000 properties for sale on there at any point, never mind the considerable selection of rental homes too.
Even if you don't find your ideal property there, it will certainly give you a good idea of what you can expect for your money.
Rightmove is also available as a free application if you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, which is well worth getting hold of.
#2 Land Registry
If you want to know precisely what somebody paid for a property, then you can’t do better than the Land Registry.
Through its price paid data section you can look at what buyers handed over, whether you want to see transaction prices for a whole street or just a single property.
There are loads of filter options too if you’re only interested in what people paid for terraced homes in an area for example.
It's a cracking resource for keeping track of house prices in the area you are hoping to buy – and also how the value of your current property might have changed, and it won't cost you a penny.
It’s another big property portal, but while Zoopla perhaps isn’t the name that Rightmove is, it’s got some great data for users to make use of.
For example, I really like its house price section, which allows you to track house price fluctuations for a specific area, meaning you can get a good idea of whether that list price represents a bargain or not.
The fact that you can dictate how long you’re willing to travel to work, and it will then bring up appropriate properties within that time frame, is pretty smart too.
If you’re buying a home, it pays to do plenty of research not just on the property itself, but on the surrounding area too. An old favourite of mine for doing that was UpMyStreet, but that has now been bought and integrated into Zoopla.
A nice alternative is Streetcheck. Just enter the road name you want to research and you’ll be presented with all sorts of useful information, from the types of people living in the area to crime rates.
It’s absolutely free to use too.
If you want to sell or let out your home, you will need to sort out an energy performance certificate (EPC).
As the name suggests, it will inform the buyer or tenant of how energy efficient the property is, to give them an idea of what sort of energy costs they will face living there.
There are loads of different energy assessment firms out there to choose from, and the government’s EPCRegister website is a simple resource you can use to find an accredited assessor.
#6 NAEA Propertymark
When it comes to selling your home, which estate agent you go for is a huge decision.
A good estate agent will price your home properly and will only arrange viewings for potential buyers who realistically might make an offer, weeding out the timewasters.
NAEA Propertymark is the trade body for agents, representing around 12,000 different offices across the country, and demands members operate by a code of practice, so you should have a good experience with member firms.
And best of all you can use its website to search for local members to register your property with.
#7 HomeOwners Alliance
The HomeOwners Alliance is a tremendous resource, filled to the brim with guides and information on everything from which survey to go for to how to find a tradesman.
One particularly nifty little feature though is its estate agent section, which includes a comparison of the various main online estate agents.
There are now plenty of sellers turning their backs on the traditional ways of flogging their home and opting to use an online agent instead, but with so many different outfits to choose from it can be a bit tricky establishing who to use.
The HomeOwners Alliance website breaks down all of the big players, the fees charged and brings together reviews from people who have used them to, helping you make a more informed decision.
Many loveMONEY readers are comfortable with all things financial, and more than happy to search the market for their next home loan. In fact, you can do just that through our mortgage comparison service.
But the truth is that the majority of mortgages are taken out through a mortgage broker in the UK.
It’s not just that a broker can help guide you towards the most appropriate type of product for your circumstances either ‒ some lenders only offer their deals through intermediaries. You won’t be able to access those products unless you use a broker.
Unbiased is an excellent website when it comes to finding any sort of financial adviser, including a mortgage broker, in your area.
Alternatively, you could try using one of the handful of online mortgage brokers, like Trussle and Habito, which promise to use algorithms and technology to streamline the advice process and find you the right deal quickly, without the need for face-to-face meetings.
#9 Law Society
Just as important as getting the right estate agent (if you choose to use one) is getting a good solicitor.
When we bought, the one thing that held up the process was the legal side. It didn't hold us up too long in the end, but it can be frustrating if you have to constantly chase up your solicitor for updates.
Thankfully you can head over to the Law Society website to search for conveyancing specialists.
As with the NAEA, this is a great trade body which imposes some exacting demands on its members, so you should be sure of getting a really good service if you use one of their member firms.
An alternative is to embrace econveyancing – basically a way of utilising the internet to get you the most competitive quote.
Sign up with an e-conveyancing firm, submit your case, and a list of quotes will be generated for you from the firm's panel of solicitors. You can then pick the best solicitor for you from the results.
Well, of course! There are absolutely loads of ways loveMONEY can help you with your property decisions.
For a start you can follow the hints and tips in our How-To guides, compare the best deals on the market with our comparison tool, as well as our Q&A section where you can pick the brains of your fellow lovemoney.com users.
There you have it, my 10 favourite websites to use when buying or selling a property. However, you may have some favourites of your own – be sure to share them via the Comment box below!
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