Study reveals the secrets that makes a home sell


sold property

Estate agents don't have the best reputation for clear communication. As they show you round the shoebox above a kebab shop you can't help but recall details of the 'easy-to-maintain' property that's 'close to local amenities'.

However, while over-sugaring the pill does no-one any good, we can learn a valuable lesson from the language of our local estate agents... a lesson that could make all the difference when you're trying to sell your home.

Phrases that pay

Estate agents may go a bit over the top in their glowing property descriptions, but in each local area they have learned the phrases that pay in property descriptions. When we're trying to sell up in this environment, it's worth understanding the features they tend to highlight, and see whether we can accentuate those aspects of our property.


Aviva has published the results of a study of over 5 million property listings. It said that the most striking trend nationwide was for high-spec interiors, which are mentioned in 257,000 property descriptions.

Some of these are impractical to install in a bid to sell, but we can work on the quality of the finishes in some areas, such as installing a granite work surface, or marble flooring.

Other high-spec features which can be a doddle to install are ceiling speakers, walk-in wardrobes and built-in entertainment centres. Some properties even list the brands of appliances such as Smeg or Miele, which you could take with you when you go but which give off an air of quality.

Commenting on the research, Heather Smith, director of home insurance at Aviva said: "We all fall in love with properties for different reasons, and while the character and charm of a home is a matter of personal taste, it seems that assets such as smart flooring and on-trend kitchen brands are as important to some buyers as transport links and schools."

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It's worth understanding the role your garden plays in selling your property. In London, gardens merit the most mentions in estate agency blurb, because space is at a premium. If you have a property in the capital with a garden, make sure curtains are thrown open and window sills are clear, so it can be seen at its best. Clear the clutter, and weed it to within an inch of its life, to make the space seem as big as possible.

Elsewhere gardens are more common, so to make it a selling point you'll need to do something bit different. If you're lucky enough to have a well-planted and mature garden facing south, that's a major selling point in itself.

If not, consider joining the trend of blurring the boundary between indoors and out. Some built-in seating, a patio and a heater, and you have an 'outdoor room' that merits an estate agency mention.

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The ambiance of the area is often mentioned in property descriptions. There's very little you can do to change your area, but you can reflect it in the property.

Estate agents outside London often talk about peaceful or tranquil locations. This can be reflected in the interior decor, with subdued tones and country-styling. Within London it's far more common to mention the cafe culture and local entertainment. If this is one of the draws to your property, you can reflect this in modern photographs of this sort of culture on your walls.

The basics

Schools and transport links merit a mention in estate agency brochures. Of course, you cannot change these, but it's worth doing your research and making any buyers aware of the positives.

Schools are a particular selling point in the South East. It's worth checking the catchment areas, and highlighting this to any buyers. Transport is also a big deal in a commuter area, so time the walk to the station, and check the timetables for journey times, so you can offer a clear and informed picture to buyers.

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