Are you guilty of 'Property Ghosting'?

They didn't even call...

You thought things were going great. They couldn’t stop cooing over the living room, they said they’d be in touch. But a few weeks later and you’ve still not heard from them. You’ve been ghosted.

Related: Take a tour of this eccentric Victorian home in Islington

To be exact you’ve been property ghosted. ‘Ghosting’ is a term more often used in dating when the person you’ve been seeing seems to vanish without a trace, with not so much as a warning text.

However, ‘property ghosters’ are running rampant through homes for sale across the UK. A study by commercial estate agents Savoy Stewart found that 96 per cent of Brits have browsed properties with no intention of moving.

Property Ghosting

anton wide shelving unit with umbrella and potted plants

(Image credit: Ti-Media)

Sound familiar? We’ll be the first to put our hands up as being guilty of some strings-free property browsing. Out of the 1,614 people surveyed, 76 per cent admitted to taking a look around simply to be nosey.

36 per cent justified their property perusing as looking for interior inspiration, while 12 per cent admitted to doing it as a hobby.

While so many of us enjoy property window-shopping, all the participants said their first port of call was online site like Rightmove or Zoopla. However, 8 per cent took this a step further, organising in-person viewings for properties they were not planning to buy.

book shelf with table and chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

It comes as no surprise that half of the Brits surveyed were viewing homes way out of their price range. Homes with swimming pools, gym or previously owned by a celebrity were all found to be big draws for serial property ghosters.

Property ghosting can all seem like a little harmless fun unless you’re on the other side of it. If you’re trying to sell a home, it can be a little disheartening to watch people traipsing through your kitchen or bedroomswith no intention of making an offer.

living room with photo frame on wall and couch and cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

‘The best thing to do is to treat each applicant and enquiry exactly the same,’ says a spokesperson from Winkworth on dealing with property ghosters. ‘As long as you follow the protocol and ensure you’ve asked the qualifying questions, it tends to make it clear who is serious and looking and who is purely window-shopping.’

Related: Take a tour of restored mill – now a charming country home in Norfolk

Are you guilty of a little property ghosting?

(If you've clicked on one of the above links, I think you know the answer)...

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.