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The new rules for selling your home on Rightmove and Zoopla

Property portals are taking new steps to combat a practice used by some unscrupulous estate agents called “portal juggling”.

selling on Rightmove or Zoopla

Selling on Rightmove or Zoopla

Property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla are tightening up the rules for people selling their homes to combat a practice used by some unscrupulous estate agents called “portal juggling”.

This means re-listing homes that have been on the market for a while to make them look new and bump them up the search rankings.

Rightmove has introduced a new rule whereby a property cannot be taken off the site and re-listed as new within 14 weeks of its original posting. If it is re-listed within this period it will keep its original listing date and will not go out in property alerts.

Previously you could re-list a property as new on Rightmove after just two weeks off the market.

At HomeOwners Alliance we support this move, as we think it only fair that home buyers have an accurate picture of the property they are considering purchasing. The more transparency the better.

However, if you are selling your home this is definitely something that you need to keep in mind, particularly if you are planning a holiday and your home is on the market for that period. See below for advice about what to do in these circumstances and read our guide about how to choose the right portal for buying or selling a home.

What do the other portals say?

Zoopla will not reveal exactly how long a property needs to be off the market before it can be re-listed as new on its platform as it does not want its system to be gamed by unscrupulous agents.

Zoopla’s Lawrence Hall explains: “We have always had extensive automated rules in place for both sales and rental listings that require them to be off the market for an extended period of time before they can be re-listed as new.

“This is precisely to prevent this type of practice by a limited number of agents.

“Where any agent deliberately attempts to circumvent these processes and manipulate their listings to mislead consumers, we have a dedicated compliance team whose job it is to identify these rogue agents and remove them permanently from our platform.”

On the Market says it is reviewing its policies in light of the changes made by Rightmove and the industry debate around portal juggling.

Russell Quirk, chief executive of, the online estate agency, believes the changes should go even further.

He says: “I would like to see every portal publishing a full log for each property, detailing when homes were taken on and off the market, when the price was reduced, even when an offer fell through.

“Estate agency is plagued by its negative image of anti-consumer practice and back-handed tactics and transparency is the key to changing this.”

What can I do if I’m going on holiday and my property is on the market?

You could ask your agent to schedule an open day for your return. That way your agent can field all the calls from prospective buyers while you are away and give them the opportunity to view the property all on one day. Read our guide for more clever questions you should ask the estate agent when selling your home.

How else can I refresh my property listing to get new buyer interest?

If you haven’t already invested in professional photography this may be worth doing. Just swapping the original photographs for new ones can have a huge impact on the number of people clicking on your listing as they can make prospective buyers seem your home in a new light.

If your property has been on the market for some time without sufficient interest, it may be time to consider whether your asking price is pitched at the right level. Also consider whether your estate agent is working hard enough on your behalf and consider other alternatives.

Use our estateagent4me tool to find the best agent in your area. Our research suggests it is not necessarily the big national chains that get the best results, what matters most is your agent’s market share in the local area. We found that busier agents get the speediest sales and are more likely to achieve the asking price.

We also found that the 12th day on the market is the optimal point to sell in terms of achieving the best price.

Leave a comment (39)* Required

  1. AmirAmir

    Disappointed to note I’ve noticed this “cheat” on Zoopla. I’ve been following a property for 6 weeks on the app and now noticed it have the listing history from today… cheeky

  2. IanIan

    I am very unhappy you are endorsing the Right move 14 weeks re-marketing limit. I understand it is important to stop rogue agents but people never think through the unintended.
    consequences. My mother has just gone into a home after being in and out of hospital with Covid and bowel cancer and has 3/4 months to live. We have consequently put her flat on the market. We did extensive own research and approached 4 different agents and got wildly different valuations 2 clustered at £270K and 2 at £370K. It is a lovely flat in a old listed buidling with huge character and is essentially unique. The family discussed this and decided we decide to try the higher price for a few months and then, if it didn’t sell take it off the market and then re-market a couple of months later. The property has been on the market now for nearly 3 weeks and not one viewing. Under these circumstances having to wait 14 weeks to re-market is unacceptable. You should not be endorsing this.

    In addition we are being told marketing this type of property during lockdown is especially difficult and if we decide to take it off the market and then put it on again we could be into 2 14 week slots!

  3. EmmaEmma

    I’ve just seen my property that I completed on 8 days ago and moved into, listed on Rightmove today and sold today! Surely this is false advertising by the estate agents?

  4. Maria EdenMaria Eden

    I want to report several agents on site Willaston Cheshire. 3 mile radius , advertising properties that clearly sold 2 or more yrs ago, it’s ridiculous they scam the site by bumping up property listings, yet prices are from years ago, it’s Farcical and outrageous, wish you could stamp them out, it’s rather unsettling when trying to buy, clearly they have no morals!!!!

  5. Sarah-Jayne WilliamsSarah-Jayne Williams

    Our house has been on the market since Nov 2019. Obviously we have had Christmas and lockdown. All bad timing. Then we have had the problem of mortgage companies doubling their deposit requirements so people who wanted to buy could no longer afford to. Our estate agent suggested we put a double driveway in (the only feedback we had) and she would relist it with new photos and a higher price. We’ve spent £15,000 to put the drive in and its now up for sale at a different price to recoup our outgoings. Its massively different and looks fab but our estate agent now informs us they cannot relist it. Are you kidding me. In circumstances where work of a said amount has changed the property then surely it should be relisted and sent out to people again because now it has a double drive something it never had before and much more desirable. We want it fresh again and relisted. What can we do?

  6. SteveSteve

    We have been looking at new properties for about the last 18 months in anticipation of being able to move soon. A new build penthouse apartment caught our eye some time ago which I added to my favourites on Rightmove and Zoopla. This apartment was listed on Rightmove on the 05th June 2019 for £550,000. It then disappeared from Rightmove and Zoopla on or about the 27th May 2020. It was then relisted by a different estate agent on the 06th June 2020 but had mysteriously increased in value by £49,950 in a matter of 10 days, it is now shown for sale at £599,950. Now call me cynical but I thought there was going to be a drop in property prices, not a 9% increase. Is this incident purely a matter of shall we say “sharp practice” by the developer and new estate agent so they can now show a reduction in asking price whilst still maybe achieving the original asking price, or did the original well known high street agent get their valuation wrong ? I would have thought that if a property had not sold in almost a year on the market it would have probably seen a reduction in price not such a major increase. One last point, can a property also be relisted in such a short time ? I thought it was 14 weeks. There is also no listing history shown on Zoopla. I’d be interested to know your thoughts.

  7. Melvyn FabbMelvyn Fabb

    I had to remove my property from the market because my buyers pulled out because of the pandemic and following this I had to self isolate.
    Now I have put my property back on the market some 12 weeks later I find that my agent tells me it will not go out as a new listing. These are exceptional times could you explain why you are not taking this into account because lots of people lost purchasers over this period because of the Coronavirus. I understand you changed the rules but under the current situation 14 weeks is a long time to wait to return you property to the market and this will do nothing to help the housing market. Thank you.

  8. rob norrisrob norris

    if a house was under offer but it fell through can that house be relisted with a new added date or does it have to have it orginal date.

  9. SteveSteve

    Someone need to tell permissions homes in Bideford this, I keep seeing the same new builds being re submitted and top of the list in Rightmove every few weeks!

  10. Martin BlanchardMartin Blanchard

    Zoola are refusing to remove my property listing from their website. Do I have any right to force them to do so and if so, how?

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Hi Martin, what reason have they given you for refusing to remove the listing? Have you contacted your estate agent? It may be easier to ask the estate agent to remove the listing (it’s how Zoopla gets the list of properties to list in the first place).

  11. daviddavid

    This is not true. A property I was buying was aborted by the seller five months into the conveyancing process and almost immediately re-listed by the same estate agent on rightmove and their own website at a higher price than the agreed price. Contact me for details.


    If we make significant improvements to the house we will want the place to be seen in a new light. It would favour everyone for it to appear back up on the listing. We wouldn’t want to reduce the price and if we made improvements that have added value to the property I’d hope the price might even go slightly higher. What to do in this case? Thanks

  13. LisaLisa

    Our house was sold after 1 day on rightmove back in March, unfortunately the buyers had to pull out last month because we have yet find a property. Our house is now back at the market, but right down in the search, it so hard to find now and the agents are saying they can’t change the listing date. We find this a little unfair, we are not trying to fool anyone with how long its been on, it sold straight away and we had 6 viewings.

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Hi Lisa, your agent is correct. The only way for your property to move up the search listing on Rightmove is for you to reduce the price or change agent.

  14. Kelly BarnesKelly Barnes

    Firstly, is it a legal requirement that if we have accepted an offer on our property then it must state ‘Under Offer’ on Rightmove? Secondly, how long do we reasonably keep the property ‘Under Offer’? Our buyers have 2 properties between them to sell (which are both on the market) and although we have accepted their offer 6 weeks ago how long are we required to stay in this position before expecting some form of progression? We just feel that the ‘Under Offer’ status is deterring other potential buyers who may offer nearer our asking price and who are in a position to proceed.

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Hi Kelly, I’d suggest you have a chat with your estate agent. It’s often frustrating waiting for your buyer to sell their property which is why often vendors would prefer to accept offers only from sellers who are in a position to proceed (they have an offer on the property they are selling, or have nothing to sell). If you’d like to become a member, our HomeHelpline team could talk you through this in more detail.

  15. E whittakerE whittaker

    Hi I am currently looking to buy a house in the Scottish Borders at around 200,000. I viewed one at 215,000 liked it and wanted to put foreword an offer of 200,000 the agent turned me down and said the seller wanted full asking and if not would put it out to rent again.i have the money in the bank after selling last year. I was a motivated seller and dropped the price of my property by 25,000 I don’t think it’s an unreasonable offer, can an agent stop you and not tell the seller an offer has been put forward or is he only interested in his commission.

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Agents are required to pass on all offers they receive at any time until missives have been concluded unless the offer is an amount
      or type which the seller has specifically instructed them, in writing, not to pass on. It’s possible in your case that the seller has instructed the agent to only pass on asking price offers.

  16. DarcieDarcie

    My property did not sell and the Estate Agent agreed to remove all the marketing of the various web pages he used. I now find that Zoopla has kept this photos and its possible to view all these on google. If the house sold its not really a problem but as we are now staying we don’t like the idea of our home on public display for perpetuity. We have the usage rights of the photos in question. Can i demand Zoopla and the agent remove these to protect our ongoing privacy

    • Sara HindSara Hind

      Hello Darcie, take a look at what the Information Commissioner’s Office says about your “right to be forgotten” and then get in touch with Zoopla to make your request. Best wishes, The HOA Team.

  17. Deborah FlemingDeborah Fleming

    We reduced our property on the 2nd May by just under 2% with aim for our property to be at the front of the listings. Our estate knew the reason why we were reducing our house and did not inform us that we needed to reduce the house price by 2% or more for the house to become at the front of the listings. When we questioned the estate agent to why they didn’t inform us of the 2% rule at the time of the reduction, they said that the 2% ruling had just come in. Please can you inform me when the 2% ruling came into force? Thank you,. King regards

    • AKerrAKerr

      The 2% rule has been around for years Deborah… I do hope it’s worked in getting viewings and offers through! Let us know if you need any further help with. Angela

  18. Claire SweeneyClaire Sweeney

    I’ve just received an e-mail stating a flat that I previously saw has been reduced, a few months ago this flat was selling at the same price , is it legal for estate agents to lie about price reductions?

    • Sara HindSara Hind

      Hello Claire, that sounds very misleading. In the first instance, point this out to the estate agent asking them to correct it. If they don’t, consider making a formal complaint to them.

  19. GayleGayle

    Are estate agents who advertise on rightmove allowed to keep putting a property on as reduced when it’s still the same price?

    • Sara HindSara Hind

      Hello Gayle, this doesn’t sound right at all, we’d suggest that you contact Rightmove direct to let them know about this issue. You can contact them via email at

  20. Ian bendreyIan bendrey

    I have a section 106 property that I want to sell and have been advised by the council to list it on either zoopla or rightmove.. How do I go about doing this.. many thanks Ian

  21. Mrs CapaldiMrs Capaldi

    If a property is listed with an open day can a agent sell it before the open day date? If so why have a open day in the 1st place?

    • Sara HindSara Hind

      Hello and thanks for your query. The short answer is yes, they can sell it before the open day. An open day is a sales tactic aimed at introducing a sense of competition between viewers. Typically then, the estate agent will hold off all viewings until the open day. However, if there’s a buyer out there that’s in a really strong position then the estate agent may well speak to the seller asking for an advanced viewing and so it is possible that an offer is accepted ahead of the open day.

  22. BarbaraBarbara

    We had our property on the market with a large estate agent but the property did not sell so at the end of our contract we took the house off the market. Several months later we now want to try again with another agent but the original agent is still advertising it on Rightmove despite repeated requests to remove the listing. What can I do?

  23. Janet ArbitonJanet Arbiton

    I disagree! When you are selling any item that belongs to you by right, you are free to advertise YOUR item as YOU want to at whatever price is fair – so long as the sale is honest and accurately described, as many times as you want to without any prior history being available. Selling a house should be no different! By publishing the history of the sale of a house, does not necessarily mean for instance, that it has been up for sale for that whole period. I have had my house up for sale and have removed it once when I changed my mind – that was for about a year, and also each time I have had alterations or decoration carried out on it – but the history shows that my house has been on the market continuously – this is wrong and misleading to the public! The house prices change regularly – a seller should be able to take this into account because when the seller wishes to purchase a new house – that price would have changed also. No other commodity on the market requires the buyer to know the full history of the item. It can be very biased against the seller and is therefore, very unfair!

  24. Mrs J ArnoldMrs J Arnold

    Can you tell me when Right Move introduced their policy of price reduction by 2% before a property is shown as reduced? My property has been advertised with a local estate agent who lists on Right Move and has been reduced several times since it was first listed in August 2015 but I was completely unaware of this rule. Had I known about this ruling the reduction could have been calculated accordingly. As a vendor I feel that although my dealings are firstly through my estate agent I also am paying Right Move since my fee to the estate agent also supports their advertising fee and feel extremely let down by this.

  25. RobinRobin

    Six weeks into the conveyancing process our buyer suddenly demanded a 10% reduction in our agreed sale price. We refused the 10% reduction as we were already in the conveyancing process on a property we wanted to buy. We instructed our estate agent to put our property back on the market. The agents told us that, because of new online listing rules, the only way they could re-list our property with zoopla and rightmove was if we were to reduce our asking price by 2%. Why? That represents an expensive re-listing fee to me and adds an additional cost to us that is well over the commission we are paying our estate agents. There is an alternative, we can take our property off the market for 14 weeks and then re-list it as a fresh property. If we fail to sell our property soon we stand to lose out on a property that has accepted our offer to buy. The only reason we are selling our property is because we have found a property we want to buy. Why should we be made to suffer because our buyer suddenly wanted to try and save some money. These new rules should take into consideration special circumstances. It looks like 2 property sales could be dead in the water because of a new re-listing rule introduced to online property selling. It shows just how dependant estate agents have become on the likes of rightmove and zoopla. Believe it or not a week after we originally accepted our buyer’s offer we were informed by our estate agents that there was another higher offer on the table for substantially more money. We declined the offer on the grounds that we didn’t approve of gazumping. Ironically it looks like we may have become the victims of a new phenomena which I am going to label as “reverse gazumping”.

    • AKerrAKerr

      Sorry to hear of your experience Robin. That’s very stressful indeed. The portal rules do dictate that a property will be ‘refreshed’ as a new listing and will be sent out via their email alerts system if it is reduced by an amount greater than 2% of the asking price. But there are no rules and restrictions on re-listing having to be on the basis of an accompanying mandatory reduction. For an agent to say so is simply not true. You should re-list your property and ask your agent to consider other marketing techniques e.g. premium listing, to give it a boost and quickly so that you can find a new buyer. That is after all what your % commission is paying for. Angela

  26. MattMatt

    I understand why they have done this but this disadvantages those whoses chains have fallen through, through no fault of their own having to put their property back on the market. It retains its original date stamp and makes it look less attractive to prospective buyers because rather than being new to the market it’s now been on 6 weeks old and not generating as much interest because there hasn’t been an alert. Only choice then is to move agents.

  27. BrandonBrandon

    The practice of portal juggling just proves that even the most experienced estate agents often have difficulty selling some properties. At the same time, many vendors dictate to the agent what price the asset should sell at instead of pricing for a sale within a reasonable period.

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