Disabled Homeowners Not Being Served Correctly!

  • 9 years ago
  • Uncategorized

Property website TheHouseShop.com have found a shocking lack of success from UK agents in marketing accessible or barrier free’ homes. The accessible
homes market is “severely underdeveloped and estate agents lack the means and
resources to properly advertise disabled-access properties” according to Nick
Marr of The House Shop. 

Part of the problem with effectively marketing accessible or
disabled-access properties is that there is no commonly agreed definition of
what makes a home accessible. Disabled peoples needs are so diverse, and the
range of accessible improvements available so broad, that many advertising
platforms simply do not distinguish accessible homes from regular listings.
This means that disabled house-hunters are missing out on hundreds of suitable
homes, with carefully thought out accessible improvements that will have cost
thousands of pounds to install.

Conrad Hodgkinson, of Accessible-Property.org.uk, has
been running a dedicated accessible property listing service for almost a
decade and has shared The House Shop’s concerns over this sector of the market:

            “Around 10%
of the population describe themselves as disabled and an ageing and less mobile
population will only add to the pressure for greater supply, identification,
and marketing of accessible and adapted property. Unfortunately, many estate
agents are failing to recognise this.

Estate agents blanket approach to marketing means that they
typically lack the specialist or niche marketing capability to properly
advertise accessible homes. Nick Marr of The House Shop believes that estate
agents are losing valuable business to the private sales market as accessible
homeowners turn to the For-Sale-By-Owner service after receiving negative
feedback from agents.     

“Disabled homeowners 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 homeowners 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 homeowners 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.” – Nick Marr


Conrad Hodgkinson supports Marr’s comments from his own
experience with Accessible Property Register:

            “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 is quick to point out however that estate agents are
not entirely at fault here, as they quite simply do not have access to a
marketing platform that allows them to distinguish between regular and
accessible homes. The House Shop now want to help agents effectively market
their adapted and accessible homes, free of charge.

The House Shop are the first property platform to have
created a listing system that allows agents to select accessible features that
apply to the property and distinguish them from regular listings. And from a
buyer’s perspective, The House Shop have also launched an Accessible Property
, that allows disabled house-hunters to filter out unsuitable properties.

“We have been promoting accessible homes for many years and
our site attracts an audience that seek these types of homes. Agents will
benefit from using services such as ours, and other niche property sites like
that at accessbleproperty.org, to target an audience in desperate need of
suitable accommodation.” – Nick Marr

On a practical note, Marr advises, “Agents that use agency
software should ensure that these companies also pass on any highlighted
accessible features to sites like ours and other portals”.

If a property meets any of the following requirements then
it should be classed as an accessible or adapted home and can be listed under
the Accessible Properties section on The House Shop and the Accessible Property

Access to upper floor via stair lift

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 

Find out more about
listing your accessible properties with The House Shop here:


Compare listings