Homes across the region are being sold for less than their potential value. No, there isn’t a sudden epidemic of ‘sellers in a hurry’. Nor is there a new breed of ace negotiator, driving hard bargains and paying less than they should. There’s not even a juicy property market scandal. The simple truth is that many homes, valued for sale today, could be worth significantly more in just a few months’ time with a planning consent to extend or improve in some way.

Albright Dene is a property planning consultancy operating across Oxfordshire and the South of England. It helps people maximise the value of their properties by using in-depth knowledge of planning laws and processes. Over the last fifteen years, it has helped increase the value of client properties by, on average, a whopping 45% at point of sale. And in most of those cases, it has cost the vendors nothing other than time – something the firm achieves by going into a partnership with them to improve sale values. A kind of joint venture in which everybody wins. The business is able to take on the risk of the planning process because its practitioners know how to spot more unusual or challenging planning opportunities – and by knowing which applications, presented properly, are most likely to succeed. It also understands the commercial reality of planning consents – they are not all born equal.

So, how might the average home owner, without such expertise in planning law, assess their home for planning potential? A few factors to consider might include the following:

Does your property have land or garden areas around it?
Is it a single storey property, set among taller buildings?
Is it detached, but in a built-up area with space around?
Has anyone else in the neighbourhood developed or extended their property?
Have you got time to explore a planning project?

If you can answer yes to some of these questions, the chances are that you may have a property with value to add.

Of course, the pitfalls of the planning process with its frustrations, disappointments and delays are notorious. Which is why it’s always a good idea to work with people who deal with it every day and who know their way around. That’s also the best way of avoiding costly mistakes and protracted appeals processes. But the rewards of considering this smart way of adding value, before putting your home on the market, can be immense.