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What local knowledge can do for a property sale

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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When you sell a property, what do you actually need to know about the local area? Learning how your neighbourhood relates to the next one (or instructing an agent who already knows) is the key to knowing what your home is really worth. Read on to learn how.

London, on the whole, is one extraordinary city. But step in for a closer look, and you’ll see it’s made up of many incredibly unique towns, villages and neighbourhoods, all intricately linked. There's a fine art to knowing how each place relates to all the others.

When you’re selling a property in the Capital, the first thing you should do is book a valuation. If you book it with Foxtons, we’ll send around an expert on the local market. They know exactly what brings buyers to your area, what should bring buyers to your area, and how your property fits in with what's on offer in the current market. This information is more valuable than you can imagine, especially in London.

Every local market in London is unique

Each patch of London has a unique blend of amenities (schools, shops, parks, theatres, transport, sports arenas etc.) which create its distinctive community. Over time, as the amenities change, so does the area – Notting Hill in the 80's was worlds apart from today’s Notting Hill.

Because London has expanded so rapidly over such a long period of time, there is also a great deal of planning permissions, listed architecture, parking regulations, building trends, etc. that affect the property you'll find in each area. For instance, you'd never find high rise apartment developments in Westminster, even if there was the space, because they'd never be allowed to build something so tall. The kinds of homes that can exist in the area influence the people who want to live there, creating personalities like Hackney's trendy vibes for young professionals or Richmond's lovely family-friendly scenes.

Thomas Brooks is the Operations Director/Head of Private Office, leading a team of Foxtons most experienced managers brokering London’s most exceptional properties. Thomas explains London localism like this, “The classic example is that people walk into our Mayfair office and say ‘I want a detached house where my family can spread out and relax, in the heart of Mayfair,’ and we say, ‘Sorry, the Saudi Embassy is not for sale.’"

Mayfair cornerThomas continues, "If you want that architecture, you’re not going to get it in Mayfair. We can get you an unbelievable bilateral flat, because that’s what Mayfair does brilliantly, or if you want the detached house, we’ll bring you to St John’s Wood. But 90% of the stock in Central London is over 100 years old, and that’s not going to change because there are incredibly restrictive planning laws.”

The power of local London

Not only are all London’s different local areas unique, they are all treasured. In our experience, localism is a key factor for most buyers looking for London property. (By localism, we mean when a buyer prioritises a local area they know well or a specific local community in their property search.) This could be an international family renting an apartment in a neighbourhood they’re familiar with for their child studying abroad. It could also be first-time buyers sticking to an area their parents raised them in, or young families prioritising neighbourhoods that are well-known for child-friendly communities.

"We move buyers all around London, making the best connections between their ambitions and our vendors' properties."

At Foxtons, we help our buyers expand their searches. Thomas Lebbern, our South East Sales Director explains:

“Let's say that a buyer wants to live in Battersea because it’s close to their work in the city with Clapham Junction, a great community for the kids to grow up in, good schools, nice coffee shops and around Clapham Common and Northcote Road you have those beautiful period homes everyone wants in London."

"Battersea is such a well-known area for buyers with those priorities and demand may be so high that this buyer is struggling to find the home they're dreaming of in that market."

"No problem! We can show them an area like Earlsfield, which has similar local amenities and community, excellent transport through the Overground - just one extra stop to get you to Waterloo, beautiful period homes, but it's a bit further out so maybe a bit more of a hidden gem compared to Battersea. We move buyers all around London, making the best connections between their ambitions and our vendors' properties. It takes a real comprehensive understanding of what each area of London has to offer.”

Ready to get started? Book a valuation.

Step one: book a valuation

You'll see all this local knowledge first-hand when you have a property valuation. A good valuer knows what buyers will admire about the area better than the buyers themselves. And if you're getting a valuation with Foxtons, we recommend you bring your questions – take advantage of the fact that you've got an expert there to understand the process. Also, don't forget to register on My Foxtons, so you've got all this information organised in your account.

Learn what happens at a property valuation.

Step two: put that knowledge to work

Once you put your property on the market, the Negotiators who show buyers around should also know all the benefits to the local area, so they can demonstrate the full value of your property. That's why we invest in 150 hours of blended training for each Negotiator. We ensure our Negotiators are well acquainted with a home and its area before they ever conduct a viewing in it.

Learn how to set your property up for success in viewings.

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