Q: I HAVE registered my details and property search criteria with two well-known property portals, but time and time again I find that when I call the estate agents for more details I have already missed out.

Do you have any recommendations to help avoid this?

Mrs B, Thrupp.

A: It is well known that almost all property hunters tend to start their search on the internet nowadays but I feel buyers have become far too reliant on using portals alone.

Most estate agents will firstly match new instructions to house hunters who have already registered their details directly with them.

The agent will contact buyers either by email, telephone call or post to generate activity as sellers like to see pro-activity and viewings booked quickly.

I generally know the calls that are internet based enquiries and far too often agents respond with ‘I’m so sorry but that’s already sold’ as you have had said to you.

Admittedly we do not get to call everyone straight away but wouldn’t you much rather give yourself the chance to hear ‘Hi, I’m calling because I’ve got a great property just come on’ from an estate agent than the alternative?

Talk to a good estate agent, take time to explain what you want and why.

Work with them, understand that they cannot make four hundred phone calls every day but they can still make a lot of calls and I am sure you would like to be one of them.

Remember, you may not be the first person to see the portals alert to a new instruction, your search criteria may be too vague or too restrictive, even how the agent describes the property type for the portal can vary and affect the matches.

In some cases in can take two to three days for the property to have been uploaded to the mainstream portal.

However, if internet based searches is your preference I would recommend making note of the individual estate agents website as this is often more up to date.

Rely on the portals alone and you may just miss your dream home.

Please continue to send in your property related questions to: clive@sawyersestateagents.co.uk