Property portal The House Shop which recently rebranded away from its private sales offering as the Little House Company to include agents, has launched a property search function aimed at disabled home hunters
Nick Marr of The House Shop claimed estate agents are losing “valuable business” to the private sales market.
He said accessible sellers of accessible homes are turning to the For-Sale-By-Owner service on his website, after receiving negative feedback from agents. Some 10% of the UK’s population describe themselves as disabled.
Marr said: “Unfortunately, many estate agents are failing to recognise this.”
He said: “Disabled home owners are increasingly turning to direct sales or peer-to-peer selling to market their homes after failing to find suitable buyers through estate agents.
“Over the years we have had a number of disabled home owners approach us after being advised by their agent to rip out or downplay accessible improvements so that their property appeals to the broadest possible market.
“For home owners who have spent in some cases tens of thousands of pounds improving and adapting their homes, this is the last thing they want to hear.”
Conrad Hodgkinson, of specialist firm Accessible Property Register, said he supported Marr’s comments.
He said: “Until estate agents get the message that access is a plus and that marketing property that meets the needs of all increases the range of potential purchasers, not much is likely to change and disabled and older people will continue to struggle to find suitable property.”
Marr added: “Agents that use agency software should ensure that these companies also pass on any highlighted accessible features to sites like ours and other portals.”
On The House Shop and the Accessible Property Register, agents will now be able to pinpoint:
- Access to upper floor via stairlift
- Access to upper floor via wheelchair lift
- Adapted bathroom
- Adapted kitchen
- Entrance level bath or shower room
- Entrance level WC
- Environmental or SMART controls
- Fixed or tracking ceiling hoist
- Level access shower/wet room
- Level access to all main living floor rooms
- Level access to garden/grounds
- Level or ramped access to the property
- No steps on approach to property
- Off-street or unrestricted on-street parking
- Sheltered housing
- Supported living (warden or other assistance available on site)
- Wheelchair access
- Wheelchair lift
- Wide doors
- Wider-than-standard doorways