The best portals reveal everything. Your best bet is to work with them.

photo of filing cabinetsRightmove and Zoopla are the most relevant advertising platforms today, with the former having market share. Both websites pride themselves on being cutting edge and invest heavily in development. This means they're the most expensive to use, but then they bring estate agent the most leads. To qualify as being better-than-average, a website must put the user first to enable a streamlined experience that prevents people having to look for information elsewhere. By retaining traffic, portals encourage more leads through them, in turn making them more valuable to their paying clients— estate agents. So it makes sense to give users the information they'd like to see as easily as possible. Users on property portals want to know things like, how long something's been on the market or if its asking price is fair.

What kind of data is shown?
Rightmove and Zoopla both publish 'added by' dates which instantly tell users how long a property has been listed for. Rightmove overrides this to a 'reduced by date' if the reduction is at least 2% of the original asking price. Zoopla publishes the upload date, all price reduction dates with full figures and the most recent sales details of each property. Interestingly, Zoopla also publish how many views each home has had on its site since launch and over the last 30-days, data Rightmove reserve for property professionals on the back-end of their site (a special place we sign in to and track property and office performance). Both portals have site sections where users can search previous sold prices using data supplied from the Land Registry.

Is this helpful?
Home sales are more transparent than ever as tech takes us into new territory. During a sale, homeowners fill in a questionnaire that's passed to their buyers' solicitors and the Property Misdescriptions Act ensures nothing is described inaccurately during the marketing stage. Little isn't revealed during a sale these days, which, ultimately, is a good thing. Unless you own a Greek island, we'll wager your home is your biggest asset and you're also looking for your next place. You'd hardly want to be tricked into buying something with hidden surprises.

We'd always advocate honesty, it helps build trust with interested parties, which will increase your chances of getting the best offers. Far from hampering sales, transparency empowers both buyers and sellers to make informed decisions. When someone agrees to buy a home with confidence, the sale is less likely to break down. By publishing data portals are playing a part in helping the industry become or be understood as, more ethical. Let's face it, selling homes has historically been seen as a bit of a crooked past-time.

Every aspect of a sale benefits from straight-talking. If you are selling a home that needs structural work, it would be a good idea to commission a survey that your agent can show interested parties. If the lease on your flat is low and you can't afford to extend it, talk to your agent about extending it on completion. Your agent can factor this into the price and explain everything to viewers.

Will all this transparency affect my asking price?
No. The market dictates your asking price. Bear in mind, your home may be seen in a less favourable light if it's been on the market for longer than others. Unfortunately, this makes people more likely to come in with low offers.

If your property has been on for twelve weeks, you might be starting to blame your 'uploaded by' date for waning interest in your sale. The reality is, if you haven't had an offer close to your valuation in twelve weeks, then something is wrong. Either the market's fallen dramatically while you've been active or you haven't been marketed at a realistic price. Bear in mind, people expect larger homes to take longer to sell, so there's more leeway with the big ones.

For many sellers, choices are to either rest your home and relaunch later or address your asking price. Clients that react to the market are taken more seriously by buyers, so align your asking price to its true market value. People scoff at listings they know are priced too high and won't bother to view them.

Right now, we can't be sure if the market will stabilise or fall further. If prices have yet to bottom out, it can take a couple of years to happen and a couple more to recover. If staying put is an option, consider whether you can wait a while or if renting your home out might work.