Selling up? Twenty ways to make your home a hot property

A home thats going to stay warm and be energy efficient, is a priority for many buyers. Photograph: Toby Williams
A home thats going to stay warm and be energy efficient, is a priority for many buyers. Photograph: Toby Williams
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The property market can be tricky to read, so if you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale, either now or in the future, how do you know how “saleable” it’s likely to be?

What’s hot?

Gocompare.com quizzed more than 2,000 people to find out what they want from a property.

For most of them, a home that is going to stay warm and cosy, and be energy-efficient, was the top priority – with central heating and double glazing coming right at the top of their wish-list. Many people also cited a new boiler as being a priority.

With many valuables tucked away around the home, security is high on people’s minds, with secure doors and windows appearing in fourth place on the top 20.

Technology is also a key factor. The research suggests many home buyers will want to make sure their home will accommodate their gadgets and keep them connected to the wider world.

Plenty electrical sockets impressed potential buyers, as did a good broadband connection and a living room big enough for a supersized TV.

What’s not?

Despite adding character, period features failed to make the list, suggesting some buyers may be willing to forego charm in favour of practicality when it comes to property searches.

While nearly two-thirds of people were concerned with having a garden, a conservatory also failed to make the top 20.

Open-plan kitchens and living areas, and proximity to highly rated schools, also didn’t make the cut.

Matt Sanders from Gocompare.com Home Insurance says: “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.”

How to make your home a ‘must-have’ property

The findings suggest a new boiler, extra plug sockets and modernising insulation could be a smarter investment than more traditional selling points if you’re looking to sell your home. But there are steps you can take to broaden your property’s appeal to buyers even if you don’t want to plough more money into it before selling up.

Sanders suggests: “It’s worth making small changes to the decor when it’s time to sell. Making your home seem warmer, fresher and more secure could have a positive effect on potential buyers.”

Here are the top 20 “must-haves” people want to see in a property, according to Gocompare.com:

1. Central heating

2. Double glazing

3. A garden

4. Secure doors and windows

5. Driveway or dedicated parking space

6. Plenty electrical sockets

7. Local shops and amenities

8. Broadband

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 mobile signal

15. A shower cubicle

16. A garage

17. Cavity wall insulation

18. A landline telephone

19. A living room big enough for a large, flat-screen TV

20. A dining room