SEBASTIAN Hipwood, head of Savills Cirencester, explains why lateral thinking is key to a successful property search.

The rhetoric of location, location, location being the most important factor when purchasing a property is still true, with most buyers looking for a home close to good schools, commuting distance to work, or both.

However, the value of keeping an open mind must never be underestimated when it comes to buying a property.

It is fairly common to see a buyer give us a set of key requisites at the beginning of the house-hunting process, but by the end these tend to be very different from the attributes of the house they buy.

Our Cirencester team live and work in the area, with the majority of us having spent most of our lives here.

It is our job to know the patch inside out and we are often able to suggest alternative locations based on an understanding of clients’ wants and needs.

For example, a station that looks far away on a map but is actually better for commuting links.

Talking to your agent can often open up your search, perhaps in an unexplored town or village that would have otherwise been disregarded.

There are certain parts of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, for example, that buyers are automatically drawn to.

Indeed, many buyers start their search in the most well-documented hotspots.

However, it is well worth looking beyond the usual suspects and our team can guide you.

Schools are crucially important and sometimes the only motivation for moving in the first place.

It’s not unheard of for buyers to base their search on a particular school, only to be pleasantly surprised by the choice of private and state schools in other areas.

The standard of education in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire is so well renowned that buyers are never too far from a good option, no matter where they choose to buy.

Another aspect about which buyers often change their minds is type of house.

At the outset of their search, they generally fall into two camps: those who want old and those who want new.

For some, period features will always trump the convenience of new build, but others may be persuaded by new as they start to engage with the practicalities of purchasing an older property.

It all comes down to lateral thinking and compromise.

Location is still key – it's just that it might not be the location you were expecting.