What are the must-have features that could help to sell your home?

What are the must-have features that could help to sell your home?

With fresh research revealing the top 20 must-have features for buyers, Tepilo examines which features could be most beneficial for sellers.

When selling a home, it’s crucial that you understand the main wants and desires of prospective buyers. So any new information about the must-have features that buyers require from a property is likely to be extremely helpful.

Fortunately for all you property sellers out there, new research carried out by Gocompare.com (the comparison website with the love ‘em or hate ‘em opera adverts) has revealed the things that buyers prize most when it comes to purchasing a property.

Central heating topped the list of must-have property features with 69% of the vote, closely followed by double glazing (68%) and a garden (65%). This suggests that warmth, energy efficiency and space to entertain when the summer months hit are all important attributes for the majority of buyers.

Other major priorities include secure doors and windows (61%), to help give people peace of mind over security, while a driveway or dedicated parking space is a must-have for 54%. This is matched by a desire for lots of electrical sockets (also 54%) and local shops and amenities (50%).

As you would expect, a good, reliable broadband connection - strong enough to stream films and TV programmes - is now a must-have feature in this day and age (49%), while friendly neighbours are still deemed as very important by most (47%).

Buyers are now also more likely to expect ‘two toilets’ (46%), a bath (46%) and a good energy efficiency rating (46%). A new boiler/central heating system would also be welcomed by 45% of people, while a reliable, clear mobile signal is also a vital consideration (44%). The rest of the top 20 must-have features list was made up by a shower cubicle (40%), a garage (39%), a cavity wall insulation (38%), a landline phone (38%), a living room large enough for a big flatscreen TV (37%) and a dining room (35%).

By contrast, several must-have features from the past failed to make the top 20 this time out, including the presence of highly-rated schools nearby, open-plan kitchens/living areas and period features. For a while, the inclusion of period features was somewhat of a craze among home buyers, but this research suggests that ship has now sailed.

In addition, buyers are now more concerned with having a decent garden rather than a more established feature such as a conservatory or extension, so investing big money in such projects may not actually help your chances of selling.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the top 20 list, though, was the omission of good local schools, with only 13% of those surveyed outlining this as a key, must-have feature when it comes to buying a new home.

None of this is cut and dried, of course, but this study should at least give you an idea of what buyers are broadly looking for. As we’ve said many times before, it’s never wise to tailor your home specifically to particular buyers, but certain features are bound to have wide appeal: for example a decent-sized garden, a driveway/parking space, good local amenities and a fast, reliable broadband connection.

Most buyers would now probably expect homes to have central heating and double glazing as a given, but if you have recently installed a new boiler/central heating system or worked in some way on improving the insulation and energy efficiency of your property, don’t be afraid to point this out during viewings.

Generally speaking, practical, functional features are taking priority over aesthetic ones – with efficiency, security, warmth and connectively more important than grand period features, loft conversions, conservatories or stylish porches. A new boiler, a more modern and effective insulation system and plenty of electrical sockets (for all those tech items and gizmos) are just as likely to get your home sold for a higher price as traditional selling points such as a conservatory.

When it comes to selling a home, the research also found that small changes to décor – even if it doesn’t fit your own personal tastes – can have a positive effect on buyers. In the majority of cases, neutral, subtle and unobtrusive colours will work best, but as summer time approaches warmer, fresher and more secure décor may be particularly appealing. Think earthy colours rather than greys, blacks and metallic tones.

While it’s a surprise to see traditional features such as good local schools and conservatories slipping out of the top 20, this reflects the willingness of buyers to compromise if enough of their other priorities are met. People are also increasingly mobile in the modern world, with cars and public transport making it possible to travel further distances to reach schools and places of work, so the need for a local school to be on the doorstep isn’t as high. Conservatories, meanwhile, just aren’t as on-trend as they once were, and have been replaced by an increased desire for more practical features such as gardens and new, more efficient boilers.

As a seller, it’s important you move with the times and react to changing trends as much as possible. If you do, your chances of selling will be much improved.