Thursday 10 November 2011 7:24 pm

How to lock into a new market

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GETTING a property with top quality security is now more important than ever. Not only for safety, insurance and peace of mind, but because it is really important to the wealthy international buyers coming in from abroad. So if you intend on selling your home to one of these security-conscious foreigners or simply like to feel safe, here are London’s estate agents’ tips on what to look for. 1. GATED COMMUNITY The most sure-fire way to kee your home protected is moving into a protected compound or private road. Mark Pollack, the director of North London estate agent Aston Chase, says if that’s not possible, many people add value to their property by clubbing together with their neighbours to hire their own security patrol. 2. DIRECT LIFT ACCESS Direct lift access from the garage directly into the flat has long been desirable to Russians buyers, but now it’s catching on. Jo Eccles, the director of property search, says: “I showed a Chinese client a flat without direct lift access and we discussed the possibility of paying to have the communal areas and the lift upgraded to allow for direct access.” Be warned, though. This security measure can scare others. Eccles says her Lebanese clients are “nervous” of the idea. 3. BUILT IN SECURITY Inbuilt security is more common nowadays. More properties than you would think are set up with CCTV that allows you to monitor what is happening both internally and externally at your property. Modern technology also allows you to monitor the cameras and shutters while you are away. Pollack says this makes for a “great deterrent” for thieves. 4. CONCIERGE Buying a place with a concierge service is not only a property owner’s luxury, it is also prevents unwanted visitors. Pollack says they shouldn’t let anyone in who hasn’t been pre-approved by the owners, giving added peace of mind. 5 TIME-CONTROLLED LIGHTING Mark Andrews, the associate director of John D Wood, says simple additions to your home can also attract buyers. “Purchasing a timer that will turn on your lights automatically when you’re away is a great idea.”