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5 little-known hacks to find your perfect home faster

In the mission to find your dream home, every advantage counts. Here are our top tips to find your perfect home faster.

Words by: Ellie Isaac

Senior Editor

It’s tough to get ahead in the hunt for a home. There are no promo codes, no Black Friday sales, and no reselling the next day if it’s too small.

So how can you get ahead when everyone’s looking on Zoopla, just like you?

Well, there are lesser-known tactics to find a property that not everyone knows about. And they start with our handy tools.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve done it all before, these insider tips will guide you towards your dream home that little bit faster.

1. Look for the ‘back to market’ label on properties for sale

Our ‘back to market’ label can help you discover a hidden gem that other buyers are missing out on.

Search property for sale to see ‘back to market’ properties.

There are so many reasons why sales fall through - and it’s rarely anything to do with the home itself.

It’s often an issue further up or down the chain, or a financial hurdle like a mortgage offer not getting approved or a change in someone’s budget.

They’re all humans in the chain as well, remember - even if you never actually talk to them. That means job changes, relationship break-ups and health issues could all stop the sale from happening.

Another pro of ‘back to market’ properties is that you know the seller is serious about moving. They have all their ducks in a row and could be keen to move quickly.

Win, win.

Ready to find your dream home?

Search more than half a million properties for sale, from brand new homes to period homes.

2. Search for properties by travel time

Ruled out certain properties because they were too far from work or family? Or the school run would take over an hour?

You might find they’re better located than you thought.

Search by travel time to find the perfectly positioned home, whether it’s close to family, the office, school or your favourite pub.

We’ll only show you properties that are within your ideal travel time by car, foot, bus or train.

This tool can open up new options that you thought were too far away from what’s important to you.

Search for homes by travel time

Prefer your new place to be within 30 minutes of the office, your favourite pub or the in-laws? Allow our travel time tool to help. Simply set your destination and we'll show you all the homes available within a certain travel time to your preferred place.

3. Filter by price-reduced properties

You know that Black Friday sale we mentioned? This is the next best thing.

Our handy ‘price-reduced’ filter can help you find properties that have had their asking price cut.

You never know - that leafy area, an extra bedroom or a nice big driveway could be back in reach after a price reduction.

Search price-reduced properties for sale

Homes are reduced in price for all sorts of reasons, and it’s mainly to do with the seller wanting to speed up their sale. It might be that they’re holding up the chain, their mortgage offer is running out, or they simply want to move quickly for personal or family reasons.

That means if you get in there first, the seller may be happy to accept your offer so they can crack on with their sale.

4. Find properties with no chain

Our ‘chain-free’ filter can help you find properties that’ll be quicker to move into, because the seller doesn’t need a new place.

Search chain-free properties

They might be moving in with family or a partner, or moving into a rental property. Or sometimes it’s a sale after the owner has died.

Buying a property with no chain can streamline the whole process. It reduces the risk of delays as there’s less work for conveyancers and fewer checks to wait for.

It means a more predictable buying experience (read: less stress) and it’s often simpler to plan your moving day.

5. Be the first to know about new properties for sale

Think of our property alerts as one of those ‘New season drop’ emails that lands in your inbox.

Only the freshest properties, carefully curated for you and pinged to your inbox as soon as they’re listed for sale.

Sign up for instant property alerts

Because if you’re the first to find a property, you can be the first to view it. And if you’re the first to view it, you can be the first to make an offer.

Find your new home

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.