Scanning The Daily Telegraph yesterday my eye was caught by the following headline “The Bard’s labours lost to 16th-century Nimby”. Intrigued I read on. This was a story of how Lady Elizabeth Russell thwarted Shakepeare’s plans for a theatre in Blackfriars (ultimately leading to the foundation of the Globe Theatre) an early example of Nimbyism. The article reminded me of my own experience of opposing a planning application and started me thinking about the types of issues that can affect buyers opinions when looking at properties and consequently the issues that can make it difficult for home owners looking to sell. In my own case it was a new development directly opposite but other examples might include bars/ restuarants, petrol stations, industrial units, supermarkets, lack of parking or even a theatre! Each of us will have our own idea of what would be an unacceptable neighbour.
So if you are selling, or thinking of putting your property on the market, what can you do? The solutions will obviously depend on the nature of the issue that is the problem. Here are just a few suggestions.
If the issue is going to be temporary, for example, construction work, and the final result is unlikely to impact on the sale, you might consider delaying the sale until the work is completed. Have a discussion with your estate agent.
Is the issue a building/ structure that can be hidden with the use of suitable screening. Careful use of trees, shrubs, fencing etc can ensure that the unslightly problem is no longer in view.
If the problem could come from activity such as a bar/ restaurant or business do your research so that you have information available for potential buyers. The reality may not be as bad as buyers fear. Check opening hours, investigate whether there have been any complaints and if so whether action has been taken, keep a log. However, be aware that sellers are required to disclose negative features of their property not just positives.
Can you do anything to rectify or minimise the negative. I once sold a property that had off street parking for only one vehicle and was on a fairly busy side road that suffered from a lack of off street parking in general. I was concerned that potential buyers would see this as a negative so I had the drive widened so that it would accomodate two cars. Not cheap but definitely worth doing.
Presentation. If something about your property’s location is a negative then you have to work extra hard to ensure that it is presented at its very best. We all know (or most of us do) that unless we are extremely lucky we are going to have to compromise on something. If your home is looking its best so buyers fall in love with it then they might compromise on the problem issue.
If you are aware of a negative aspect then it is always worth having an honest conversation with your estate agent about its likely impact. A good agent should be happy to work with you to find options.
If you would like advice on how presentation could help overcome a perceived negative then contact us by e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org call us on 07745 876182 or send an enquiry via our contact us page. We’re here to help Cheshire and North Wales.