More real estate agents and home sellers are displaying the walk score of their property as a way to promote it to prospective buyers. The fact is, homes that have a higher walk score typically sell for more money than homes that are considered car-dependent. In addition to the walk score, similar metrics such as transit score, bike score, and crime grade are also good indicators of the area of a home.
It is helpful to understand what a walk score is and how home sellers can use it to their advantage within their real estate listing. Displaying the walk score in your real estate listing is a great way to separate your home from other similar properties, potentially allowing for a faster and more valuable sale.
What Is a Walk Score?
A walk score is a patented system by Walk Score that measures how walkable an address is. The higher the walk score a home receives, the easier it is to carry out daily errands and activities on foot. A lower walk score indicates more errands require the use of a car.
The main factor of a walk score is the proximity to nearby amenities. Amenities that are within a five-minute walk receive the highest possible walk score, and the score decreases based on how far away the closest amenities are. Amenities that are outside a 30-minute walk radius do not factor into the score.
Walk scores are given a final grade between 0 to 100. There are different categories, which include:
- Walker’s Paradise (90-100) – Daily errands do not require a car
- Very Walkable (70-89) – Most errands do not require a car
- Somewhat walkable (50-69) – Some errands require a car
- Car-dependent (25-49) – Most errands require a car
- Car-dependent (0-24) – Almost all errands require a car
Each address has its own walk score, although it is not uncommon to see the average walk score for cities or neighborhoods advertised as well.
How They Affect Real Estate Listings
Redfin and other listing services have discovered that homes with higher walk scores are more valuable than similar properties with lower walk scores. Many home buyers appreciate the idea of purchasing a home that is an area where nearby amenities are more accessible by walking or biking. The air is cleaner and the neighborhood is often safer. Areas where traveling by car is required are often less desirable.
For homes that have nearby amenities that may attract prospective buyers, providing the walk score and other metrics into the real estate listing can help buyers feel better about a purchase, and it can add a sense of transparency to the listing.
The most notable way in which walk scores can improve your real estate listings is that they highlight how convenient the location of a property is. Many properties that sit on the market for longer than expected are not marketed in an ideal fashion. Specifically, the nearby attractions and amenities are not highlighted well enough in many instances.
By displaying the walk score and discussing the amenities that are within walking distance, home sellers can help prospective buyers imagine what their daily routine might look like and how convenient it can be while living in the home.
Promotes Neighborhood Safety
In addition to the walk score, the company Walk Score also provides a crime grade using their patented calculation system. The crime grade indicates the risk of crime and violence within a neighborhood.
The system draws data directly from police departments, and they provide grades to addresses based on the data. You can find the neighborhood grades on Walk Score’s website. The grade factors in per capita crime rate and scores are separated into four different categories, which are:
- A – Safest 25% of neighborhoods
- B – Safer than the average neighborhood
- C – Average crime area
- D – Least safe 10% of neighborhoods
If your property is in a safe neighborhood, then displaying the crime grade as well as the various other Walk Score metrics is a great way to make more prospective buyers feel more secure purchasing the home.
Improve Your Real Estate Listings with the Katie Zarpas Group
A well-crafted real estate listing is essential to selling your home fast and for optimal value. Oftentimes, the longer a home sits on the market the more challenging it is to sell. Our team is here to help you improve your real estate listings and sell them.
The Katie Zarpas Group can help you further understand the benefits of walk scores and ultimately improve your real estate listing. We have a skilled and experienced team of real estate professionals, who understand the real estate market in the Virginia Beach and Hampton area. We encourage you to reach out to us today by phone at 757-685-4400, or by scheduling an appointment online for more information on how we can help you through the home selling process.