Online search tips for finding the perfect home

Technology has made it easier than ever to start looking for a home online; however the sheer volume of property listings on the various online property search portals can be rather overwhelming, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Statistics reveal that nine out of every 10 potential buyers will search the internet before looking at any other type of resource when looking for a new home. “Around 90% of people who are looking to purchase a home will start their journey online. Potential buyers are able to gain access to massive volumes of information at the click of a button. However, while the access to the vast amounts of information is why buyers start their search online, being exposed to such high volumes of property listings could make the search harder if the buyer does not have a way of narrowing down their search criteria,” says Goslett.

He provides a few tips to help potential buyers narrow down their search results and make it easier for them to streamline the list of homes they would like to see in person:


Ideally a buyer should assess their financial situation and get pre-approval on home loan finance before looking at properties online. Contacting a bank or bond origination company such as BetterLife Home Loans, will assist the buyer in determining what they can afford and what price range of homes they can look at. “Remember that what a bank is willing to lend is not always what a buyer may be are prepared to spend. It is important to remain within a price range that doesn’t stretch the budget to the absolute high-end of the scale. When entering search criteria online be sure to choose a price range that fits comfortably into the budget’s limits,” advises Goslett.

He adds that an advantage to searching for homes that are comfortably within the buyer’s budget is that if they find themselves in a multiple offer situation, they will be able to offer more money without putting themselves under too much financial strain. “The buyer will have the flexibility to compete with other buyers in the market.”

Look at the map

It is easy to get caught up with the images of the property and forget about where it is located. “The home may seem picture perfect and might have all the features that are required, but it is important to see where it is located on the map and how that ties into the specific criteria that were outlined at the start. Before contacting the listing agent, consider the property’s proximity to work, good schools and amenities,” says Goslett.

Consulting the map first will help buyers to avoid finding what they think is the perfect home, situated in a not-so-perfect location.

Filter down top neighbourhood choices

Driving from one side of a city to the other a buyer will encounter several different pockets of culture and attitude. “Although different suburbs all form part of the same city, different neighbourhoods will cater to different kinds of buyers and their lifestyles. While family buyers may want to live in the quieter suburbs that are close to schools, younger buyers may prefer to be in fast-paced hubs. Searching for specific neighbourhoods will greatly filter down the property search,” says Goslett.

Remember to balance character with upkeep

While older homes may have the type of character and features a buyer is looking for, it could come at the cost of updating and fixing certain aspects of the property.  “Although an older property might have higher ceilings or a larger garden, it will probably also require more maintenance from the start. It is important for a buyer to find the balance between a home’s character and its upkeep,” says Goslett.

Photos and videos are only 2D

While images and even a video of the home can give a buyer an idea of the property and its character, there is still only so much that a photo can convey. “Online searches are ideal to narrow down properties and compile a list of possible buys, however to truly get a feel for a property and its surroundings a buyer should go and see their top properties before they make their final decision,” says Goslett. “Seeing a property in person will clear up any uncertainties and help the buyer to decide on whether or not they can see themselves living in that property,” he concludes.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us