Property ‘catfishing’ – new word, old trend?

Catfishing – it’s a term from the online dating world referring to somebody who presents themselves somewhat differently online to when you meet them in person.

And it seems that a lot of prospective homebuyers are suffering the catfishing experience at property viewings, too.

An unpleasant surprise

A recent survey1 of homebuyers suggested that the vast majority (71%) of homebuyers were catfished by a property during their search. The most common issue was a property that was much smaller than it appeared in photos, while poor build quality frequently led buyers to believe a property wasn’t worth the asking price.

Buyers were also disappointed by properties that looked more outdated than they’d expected, as well as tiny rooms being advertised as extra bedrooms.

Do your research

To avoid disappointment, try doing some extra research rather than relying on the estate agent’s photos alone. A floor plan can give you an idea of the actual size of each room, while a street view tool could help you get a more realistic view of the state of the property.

1MoveStreets, 2021

As a mortgage is secured against your home or property, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments.