These days, there are more column inches dedicated to property and homes than ever before – and when you're selling your home, it's vital you take advantage of this.
Whether it be reading the weekly property supplements or scouring the web for housing news and buyer trends – being up to speed can be extremely valuable during the home moving process.
With this in mind, each month we take a look at some of the property world's biggest stories and shine a light on the headlines sellers need to know about.
Here's our latest round-up...
Public's portal awareness
As you'll know by now, when selling you'll need your home listed on the major property portals in order for it to be seen by buyers.
Zoopla and Rightmove are the most established of these property websites – but which one is the public more in tune with?
Well, according to a study by Harris Interactive, it's Zoopla which has a higher level of ‘spontaneous awareness’ amongst the public.
The research surveyed 1,000 adults, asking them which property search websites they could name.
Some 39% of people said Zoopla, 31% said Rightmove and 2% named the newest portal on the block, OnTheMarket.
However, more people said they had used Rightmove (41%) than Zoopla (33%).
Moreover, when the participants were prompted – by being told brand names and asked whether they had heard of them before – Zoopla and Rightmove were in a dead heat, both striking a chord with 79% of those surveyed.
A study like this shows the importance of choosing an estate agent that advertises properties on Zoopla, Rightmove or both as these sites are widely recognised by the public and are likely to be one of their first ports of call when looking to buy a new home.
That said, the study was commissioned by Zoopla, so may be best taken with a proverbial pinch of salt!
Selling hotspots or 'notspots'?
Speaking of Rightmove, the portal recently reported that according to its data, Dartford is the UK's fastest property selling location.
The website says that the average home in the south eastern location is sold in just 16 days, 33 days fewer than this time last year.
The national average has dropped too, from 87 to 79 days. Meanwhile, Grays in Essex is the second fastest selling location, with an average time of just 26 days.
Warrington, Crewe, Middlesbrough and Bury have all cut their selling time by 30 days or more, according to the data. However, Clacton-on-Sea has posted the strongest improvement, with homes now selling 45 days quicker than this time last year.
The average selling time in Scotland is 87 days, while in Wales it has fallen to 97 days.
Darlington is currently the slowest place to sell, with the average home taking 132 days to get over the line.
The north eastern town is closely followed by St Helens, Wakefield and Bradford, all of which have an average selling time of over 115 days.
More mortgages available
Property buyers' choice of mortgages reached an eight-year high in January, according to the latest figures from Mortgage Advice Bureau.
Its study shows there were over 17,000 products on offer last month, the highest number recorded since March 2008, when there were 23,000+.
To put it in perspective, this time last year there were just 12,771 products available so now really is a good time for buyers and consumer choice.
Are we owners or renters?
The Government recently published its latest annual English Housing Survey. The headline figure this year is that the number of people who own a home has not declined for the first time since 2003.
The average age of first-time buyers has increased, however, from 31 ten years ago to 33 now. The survey also hammered home the extent of the growth of the Private Rented Sector – it says that 46% of 25-34 year-olds now rent privately, this figure has increased by a whopping 22% since 2004-05.
Shabby exteriors could cost £50,000
A report from Barclays Mortgages recently revealed that a home with an unkempt exterior could lose an average of £57,600 from its sale price.
The study – which we'll be taking a closer look at on our blog next month – found that 35% of property buyers make their decisions based solely on a property's exterior.
On top of this, 53% of those surveyed said they would buy a property which looked appealing on the outside, even if the interior was shabby.
This report reinforces the importance of first impressions and is a timely reminder for sellers to make sure that they do everything they can to make their homes – both outside and in – as appealing as possible.
South-facing gardens vs river views
One of the most interesting stories to surface in recent weeks revolved around the price premiums generated by south-facing gardens and river views.
Both are extremely advantageous for sellers but the results of research by Direct Line comes as somewhat of a surprise.
To find out which of these popular features could add more value to a home, see our in-depth blog on the story here.