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The 20 features that will sell your home

15 May 2017

Energy efficiency, security and good broadband top homebuyers’ property ‘must-have’ features.

  • Efficient central heating systems, double glazing, and secure doors and windows are top priorities for home-buyers;
  • House-hunters rate a good broadband connection over friendly neighbours; gardens rather than garages, and a good reliable mobile phone signal as opposed to a landline phone connection;
  • Good schools, open plan kitchens and living areas and period features all fail to make the property ‘must-have’ top 20.

Warmth, energy efficiency and security top homebuyers’ property ‘must-have’ features according to new research from Gocompare.com, while highly rated schools, open plan kitchens and living areas and period features all failed to make the top 20.       

 Rank top 20 'must-have' property features %
 1 Central heating 69
 2 Double glazing 68
 3 A garden 65
 4 Secure doors and windows 61
 5 Driveway or dedicated parking space 54
 6 Plenty of electrical sockets 54
 7 Local shops and amenities 50
 8 A good, reliable broadband connection strong enough to stream TV and film 49
 9 Friendly neighbours 47
 10 At least 2 toilets 46
 11 A bath 46
 12 A good energy efficiency rating 46
 13 A new boiler/central heating system 45
 14 A reliable, clear mobile phone signal 44
 15 A shower cubicle 40
 16 A garage 39
 17 Cavity wall insulation 38
 18 A land line telephone 38
 19 A living room big enough for a large, flat screen television 37
 20 A dining room 35


Several previous ‘must haves’ failed to make an appearance in the top 20 with the survey signalling the end of the period features craze. Likewise, more buyers were concerned with having a garden (65%) than a conservatory, suggesting that the traditional investment, may actually harm your chances at selling your home.

However, the biggest surprise was that only 13% of those surveyed said access to good local schools was an essential factor in buying a new home.

Matt Sanders from Gocompare.com Home Insurance commented, “Buying a home is a major investment and 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.

“We found that many potential buyers are prioritising efficiency, security and connectivity over aesthetic features. 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.

“If you’re not looking to invest further in the property in order to sell, then it’s worth making small changes to the décor when it comes time to sell. Making your home seem warmer, fresher and more secure could have a positive effect on potential buyers. So, even if it’s not to your personal taste consider opting for earthy warm colours over greys, blacks and metallic colours.

“It is surprising to see previous must-haves such as good schools and conservatories fail to make the top 20. However, our research shows that buyers are becoming more financially savvy and are willing to make compromises on the finer details of a property to keep costs down and avoid expensive work in the future.”

For more information, visit Gocompare.com.

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Notes to editors:

*On 27 March 2017, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2001 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists (1,275 were homeowners).  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.