Property buyers seeking maximum value will aim to find properties in need of improvements they can make and/or in areas which have good prospects for improvement in general, such as areas which are targets for regeneration.
By contrast, sellers seeking maximum value will aim to do as much as possible to their property themselves and/or keep themselves of any (potential) developments in their neighbourhood which may increase the value of the property (e.g. Regeneration projects).
Out of all the factors which can influence the sales price of a property, there are five which stand out.
Utility bills are probably the most obvious example of running costs, but, in the context of property sales it is possibly more important to look at the cost of insurance.
The reason for this is that insurance of any sort is taken out to protect against risk, hence anything you can do to mitigate this risk will lower the cost of insurance and will also reduce the likelihood of the buyer being inconvenienced.
When it comes to insurance, some factors are non-negotiable (like the location of a property and its age), but some most definitely can be influenced (like the level of security).
Schools and universities
Neither buyers nor sellers are likely to be able to influence this factor directly, but it’s certainly worth keeping an ear open for news from the local authority or other well-informed sources.
Whether you’re buying or selling, being located near a school with an ‘Outstanding’ report could add up to as much as £100k to the property. Great for those currently selling their property and even better for those buying who could benefit from the continuing rise of property prices.
School catchment areas can and do change, new schools are opened and old ones closed, all according to developments in a local area. The pace of change at universities tends to be much slower, but still worth noting.
The “Waitrose effect” is so well known it has become something of a joke, however, as is often the case, it’s worth looking beyond the headline and thinking about what actually means in practice, as it could add value to your property.
Research released from Property Solvers, demonstrated that if your property was within a ¼ mile from Waitrose, your property could perform much better than the UK national average.
Lower-income areas tend to have limited facilities and amenities for the simple reason that there is a lack of funds to support them. As areas are regenerated (or otherwise improved), the quality of the facilities and amenities increases until, eventually, brands such as Waitrose establish a presence there.
With this in mind, buyers looking for up-and-coming localities would actually usually be best to look for retailers such as Aldi and Lidl which are recognized for their ability to spot areas on upward trends.
Sellers should be alert to any signs that a well-known premium brand store is moving into their area.
Neither buyers nor sellers are likely to be able to improve the transport facilities in their neighbourhood, although they can keep themselves informed of potential improvements.
They can, however, look for ways to establish a parking space for themselves, even if it’s not directly beside their home. While this may be the preferred option, having a short walk (or even bus ride) to a safe garage may be an acceptable compromise for many people. These days secure cycle storage can also be a much-appreciated selling point.
Essentially the same comments apply here as apply to schools and transport. One additional point to note is that at this point in time increasing numbers of people work from home, at least to some extent, so the ability to create some sort of home office is often highly valued.