In guiding buyers in finding the best place to live I think many Realtors may have forgotten what used to be an important factor and that is to stress location, location, location.
If that house out in the burbs is 75 minutes into work each day, maybe those granite countertops and the tree in the front yard are not as important as the cost of gasoline to get there and your life frittered away in the daily commute. Realtors need to help clients do the math with gasoline costs and time costs. Out of 16 waking hours a day how long would be your roundtrip commute?
There is also a math trick with miles per gallon converting it to miles per dollar.
For example if you have a car that gets 15 miles per gallon and gas costs $3.00 a gallon, if you divide the second number into the first you get 5 miles per dollar. Every 5 mile marker you see, ka-ching another dollar. Steep bucks. In a Prius at 45 miles per gallon, you get 15 miles per dollar, much further for your hard earned bucks.
To help the math challenged, I've included a Miles Per Dollar calculator.
Besides sheer distance between point A and B, Realtors can assist clients with traffic patterns by knowing the bottlenecks and rush hours and where all those annoying long traffic lights are on the way to and from home. Also, how far away are the stores you frequent often? If you run up to the grocery store for another loaf of bread or some milk three times a week, that "little" six mile jaunt from the golf course community with no stores around it gets pretty annoying.
There's never a perfect location to meet everyone's needs in a new living situation, but a buyer should probably drive the traffic at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. from where they might live. It could be a real eye opener. Location is still very important in terms of schools, closeness to other family members, and desirability of neighborhood and its surrounding amenities. Don't be distracted by a potential new home by the goodies. See the forest despite the trees. Afterall you are going to live there for awhile.