Alliance & Leicester stacks up estate agents vs consumers

07 November 2006
Consumers differ dramatically from estate agents over what will boost the value of a property, according to new research from Alliance & Leicester.

Consumers tend to think in terms of "leisure add-ons" where estate agents emphasise maximising space and improving decoration.

Almost three-quarters of estate agents said the best single way to maximise home value is to add living space downstairs, whereas only 50 per cent of homeowners saw the value of this work.

Meanwhile, five per cent of homeowners put their faith in the property-enhancing impact of a hot tub or pool, while less than one per cent of estate agents agreed.

Under-25s were particularly confident that the hot tub would facilitate a quick and profitable sale, with 19 per cent rating this luxurious addition.

Homeowners' 'improvements' can backfire, too, with 65 per cent of estate agents citing poorly fitted cupboards and kitchens as a deterrent.

"Estate agents are the experts when it comes to what helps or harms a sale," stressed Alliance & Leicester's Richard Al-Dabbagh, senior marketing manager for loans.

"They know that, while you may be proud of your carpentry attempts in the kitchen, they will deter most potential buyers," he observed.

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