Estate Agents

When you decide to sell your home, your estate agent will stress the importance of making a good impression by cleaning up and putting your property’s best features on display. However, according to new research, homebuyers are far more interested in function than form when it comes to picking a property.

New data from GoCompare.com identifies the ‘Top 20 ‘Must Have’ Property Features Homebuyers Want’. Designed to give sellers “a steer on what buyers are after”, the results suggest that how a property looks is far down on a standard buyer’s list of priorities.

The top scoring answer was ‘Central Heating’, followed by ‘Double Glazing’. This focus on heating and energy efficiency continues down the list, with ‘A good energy efficiency rating’ and ‘Cavity wall insulation’ coming in 12th and 17th, respectively.

Boiler

At third place, gardens were more sought after than dining rooms or garages, although having a driveway or dedicated parking space still came high at number five. Reaching number 19 on the list, living rooms were a desirable feature as long as they were large enough to accommodate a big television.

“While most of us will only buy a house if it 'feels right', our survey should hopefully give those looking to sell their home a steer on what buyers are after,” said Matt Sanders, Commercial Director for Emerging Products at GoCompare.com.

“Many potential buyers are prioritising efficiency, security and connectivity over aesthetic features.”

Indeed, not a single spot on the list was taken by aesthetic features, whether they be recently decorated rooms, windows with good views or even period features. “Security” even came higher than location on the list of priorities: while ‘Local shops and amenities’ came in at number seven, having ‘Secure doors and windows” came higher at number four.

Top 20 'Must Have' Property Features Homebuyers Want

  1. Central heating
  2. Double glazing
  3. Garden
  4. Secure doors and windows
  5. Driveway or dedicated parking space
  6. Plenty of electrical sockets
  7. Local shops and amenities
  8. A good, reliable broadband connection strong enough to stream TV and films
  9. Friendly neighbours
  10. At least two toilets
  11. A bath
  12. A good energy efficiency rating
  13. A new boiler/central heating system
  14. A reliable, clear mobile phone signal
  15. A shower cubicle
  16. A garage
  17. Cavity wall insulation
  18. A land line telephone
  19. A living room big enough for a large, flat screen television
  20. A dining room

Garden

“This suggests that modern buyers are buying with their heads rather than their hearts and that investing in things like a new boiler, additional electrical sockets or modernising your home's insulation could be a smarter investment than traditional selling points such as period features or conservatories.”

The results of the survey also put a big emphasis on modern utilities. Respondents put having ‘A good, reliable broadband connection strong enough to stream TV and films’ at number eight on the list: higher than having good neighbours or a bath! Landline telephones still seem to be important, having come in at number 18. However, having ‘A reliable, clear phone signal’ still came in higher at number 14.

Living Room

Respondents also put an emphasis on bathrooms. Number 10 on the list was that the property have ‘At least two toilets’, a place higher up than having a bath or shower. For people looking for shared properties, such as families, having multiple bathrooms will be an absolute necessity. Many homeowners go out of their way to supply this, with services like Saniflo installation having become much more popular in recent years.

Interestingly, the emphasis on energy efficiency could actually point to a lack of awareness on the subject. Number 13 on the list was that a property had to have have ‘A new boiler/central heating system’, while features which would have more of a direct effect on a home’s energy efficiency such as cavity wall insulation came lower down. Meanwhile, some of the most effective options such as loft insulation failed to make an appearance at all!