Increase your home’s appeal by understanding local area

Homeowners looking to achieve a quick sale of their property are well-versed in the inexpensive tips and tricks that can make their homes appear instantly more appealing to prospective buyers, from smartening up the bathroom to colour coordinating the flower arrangements in the principal rooms. However, for some fortunate sellers, just the location of their property may be enough to make a quick sale more than likely, even if it isn’t exactly in show home condition – and the chances of selling are multiplied if there’s a shortage of alternative properties for sale in the locality.

Knowing what house hunters may be seeking in your local area can be advantageous in helping you and your estate agent market your property in a way that makes it irresistible. Compiled from a poll of house hunters, the following is a list of some of the most desirable features your local area may offer:

Walking distance to a good primary school

With demand for school places high in many parts of the country, now could be a great time to market your home if you’re close to a good or outstanding primary school. While school catchment areas no longer exist as definite areas, admission to schools is still dictated primarily by the distance from the applicant’s home to their chosen school, so the closer a family lives to a school, the more likely the child will be offered a place.

In fact, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, home buyers will pay, on average, an extra 8% for a property located close to a school rated by Ofsted as ‘good’ or better.

Excellent transport links

Often, house hunters factor in their commuting time when making a decision about which property to place an offer on, so emphasising your home’s proximity to major roads, motorways or public transport hubs could push it further up their shortlist.

Strong mobile phone reception

For a leading western nation, the UK’s mobile phone network is surprisingly patchy, with a number of blackspots meaning reception can be difficult or even impossible. While potential buyers are unlikely to want to erect a 20 foot mast in the back garden, it may be worth informing them when they view your home if you enjoy excellent reception.

A large garden

In some properties, where the garden is little more than a postage stamp with grass, it’s difficult to do much to change your viewers’ perception if a large outdoor space is high on their list of must-haves. However, even medium-sized gardens can, with a little vision and legwork, be made to appear larger than they really are. Pruning all hedges and bushes back as far as possible, mowing longitudinal stripes into the lawn and drawing the viewers’ eyes to the rear boundary (for example, by placing a distinctive ornament at the very edge of the garden) could do the trick.

Walking distance of a pub, restaurant or takeaway

While a noisy pub next door is unlikely to win your property approval, being within walking distance of local amenities may increase its appeal. Make sure you know exactly how far the closest pubs, restaurants and takeaways are, making sure you can offer a personal recommendation too.

By understanding what your viewers are looking for in the local area, you can personalise your sales particulars and tours of your home to increase your property’s marketability and, hopefully, to achieve that much-wanted offer as quickly as possible.­

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