Is Rightmove Helping Or Hindering The Property Market?
Today, Rightmove announced a major change to the way it treats properties that have been removed and then relisted. Here is their alert:
We are constantly making improvements to the technology that’s used to upload your listings on to Rightmove. The latest update to our technology extends the time period that a property can be relaunched as a new instruction, increasing it from two weeks to 14 weeks.
Why are we doing this?
We’ve made this change after a number of discussions with agents and with other organisations in the industry. This step will help ensure that home-hunters are seeing the most accurate listings when searching on Rightmove.
What does this mean?
If you have a property for sale that you take off Rightmove and put it back on within 14 weeks, it will display as usual but will keep the original listing date and will not go out in property alerts
If it has been longer than 14 weeks since the property was last listed, it will relaunch, the listing date will be updated and it will be sent out in property alerts
The change to the time period will affect properties uploaded through agency software and those that are uploaded manually using Rightmove Admin.
What else have we done?
We’ve made improvements to the technology we use to more accurately detect relisted properties. This also means that the process will be smoother if you choose to change your software provider that automatically sends your listings to Rightmove via a data feed.
These changes sit alongside the technology and processes that are already in place to remove hundreds of thousands of properties each year that have been sold or let.
Rightmove Director Jason Bushby explains: “After listening to and reviewing feedback from around the industry we have made the change to 14 weeks to provide users with the most accurate data when they are making property decisions. This will help to prevent any agents who may be deliberately trying to incorrectly relaunch listings and we will be continuing to improve, update and review this technology.”
It is argued that this change is good for home buyers as it prevents a new agent listing a property as new. However, in some ways it may actually be an unfair hindrance. If a seller contracts an estate agent who fails to market a property well, they will naturally wish the change. Some estate agents use poor quality photos and generic descriptions that fail to entice people to look. A new agent may provide expert advice on how to stage a home, take professional quality photographs and write useful and engaging descriptions that are targeted specifically to the intended market. A relaunch under these conditions should be allowed, as this will help good estate agents do a better job, and also help get the property market moving again.
It will be interesting to see how this change affects listings on Rightmove in due course, and also interesting to learn how far estate agents have managed to manipulate listings in the past.
Have you tried and failed to sell a property on Rightmove? Have you been advised to remove your listing to create a “fresh” one two weeks later? Did it work?