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First-time Buyer

The 20 features which should sell your home

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

You’ll be surprised at what buyers are looking for in a property, and what doesn’t impress them.

Central heating, double glazing, home security and a garden top the nation’s list of top 20 ‘must-have’ property features, according to GoCompare Home Insurance.

The comparison site also found that a reliable broadband connection has moved up into the top five home essentials from 8th last year, while a clear mobile signal and a good energy efficiency rating are both in the top 10 for the first time.

However, ‘friendly neighbours’ (9th last year) and access to a dedicated parking place (5th last year) have both dropped down the list.

Other property features on buyers’ ‘must-have’ lists include plenty of electrical sockets and easy access to local shops and other amenities.

Top 20 property must-haves

1. Central heating 82%
2. Double glazing 80%
3. Secure doors and windows 74%
4. A garden 69%
5. A good, reliable broadband connection sufficiently strong to stream films and TV 59%
6. Plenty of electrical sockets 59%
7. Local shops and amenities 58%
8. A driveway or dedicated parking space 53%
9. A reliable, clear mobile phone signal 53%
10. A good energy efficiency rating 52%
11. At least two toilets 52%
12. Friendly neighbours 51%
13. A bath tub 50%
14. A shower cubicle 49%
15. Cavity wall insulation 46%
16. A living room big enough for a large, flat screen TV 42%
17. A garage 41%
18. A dining room 40%
19. A landline telephone 39%
20. A new boiler or central heating system 37%

At the other end of the spectrum, fewer buyers considered a conservatory (19%), wood floors (13%), good local schools (13%), open plan living spaces (9%) and period features (5%) a high-priority in a new home, with all of them failing to make the top 20.

Ben Wilson of GoCompare Home Insurance, said, “Buying a home is the biggest financial commitment most people will make. So, before viewing properties it is helpful to have an idea of the type of area and property you’d like to live in and think about your real ‘must-have’ priorities.

“Connectivity and energy efficiency are two massive factors for anyone thinking about a move at the moment, while the number of electrical sockets is now more important than access to local amenities. Likewise, a broadband signal fast enough for streaming, and a reliable and a clear mobile phone signal are deemed home essentials today and sellers need to be wise to these new priorities.

“Once you have found a property you wish to buy, you take on legal responsibility for it on the day you exchange contracts, not the day of completion.

“After that date, you are liable for any damage to the building, for example, if it’s damaged in a fire or a flood. So, to avoid the property being uninsured, it’s advisable to arrange buildings insurance cover from the day you exchange contracts.”