Will handbag-sized property schedules set new fashion?

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WHEN it comes to buying a house, size matters.

The number of bedrooms? The sq ft area of the lounge? No, the real issue has to be the stature of the humble property schedule.

Typically A4 in size, and printed on flimsy white paper, sales particulars have remained largely untouched by innovation in recent decades.

But now one firm of solicitors and estate agents has broken ranks to produce sales details in a new compact format.

From this week Russell+Aitken will offer clients square, skinny or handbag-sized versions of their properties particulars.

While estate agents have long used glossy brochures for premium properties, the average urban home is not marketed so grandly.

Diane Paterson, property partner with the Edinburgh-based firm and a director of the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC), said: "The first thing most people do when they receive the A4 style is fold them in half or crush them into their pocket.

"We believe this new style is much more user friendly. It still has all the necessary information but the format is punchier."

Many predicted that property schedules would become obsolete with the rise of property websites. But the schedule has retained its place as a key plank of marketing a home.

"The purpose of a schedule is to get you to visit a property in the first place," said Ms Paterson. "It also acts as a reminder once you have left. If you have seen six properties in one night it can be difficult to recall all the details. And if there is a tatty schedule the memory can be a tatty property."