Buying or selling your home? Find out the top 10 ‘must-haves’

Buying or selling your home? Find out the top 10 ‘must-haves’ that can make or break a sale – and the three features to ditch

Buyers now expect more from their homes with more than a third (36%) of Brits not making an offer – or cutting the amount they are prepared to offer – on a home unless it has at least five of the non-negotiable features on their wishlist, new research has revealed.

With the experience of living in an average of five properties during their lifetime, it means Brits have a strong sense of the must-have features that make a house a home and the home furnishings or room layouts that are a turn-off. Buyers are now using this experience by approaching home viewings – whether virtual or in person – armed with their list of positives and no-nos.

Top of the list of must-haves is double glazing, followed by central heating, an outside space, a driveway or parking spaces included and plenty of natural light.

Also in the top 10 list of essentials, according to the research by Barclays Mortgages, is a downstairs toilet, spare bedroom, radiators, good storage options and a garage.

Researchers also highlighted other features that buyers are keen to find on their wish list. Listed below from 11th to 20 place for items buyers are looking for are:

Ensuite bathroom

Energy-efficient home


Separate toilet and shower

Power shower

Separate utility room


Entrance hallway

New/recent boiler

Tiled bathroom

The good news is that many of these features can be easily found across many of the brand-new homes currently on the market at Take for example Elm Court in Wisbech, in Cambridgeshire – where you can buy a bungalow with double-glazing, garden, parking and two bathrooms including an ensuite – or Chatswell Stables near Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, where a four-bedroom detached house includes a garden, parking, garage and ensuites.

Meanwhile, expect new-build apartments on to all be double-glazed, with many including must-have features such as energy efficiency, power showers and high-spec finishes.

According to the research, sellers who are marketing properties that feature items on the ‘non-negotiables’ list can find that buyers might pay up to 10% over the asking price to secure properties with these non-negotiable features. So, with the average property in the UK valued at £254,624, it could add over £25,000 to the purchase price.

What is more, first-time buyers will pay even more – as much as 20% over the asking price – for a home that ticks all the boxes, so more than £50,000 on a typical home sale.

But there is some room for compromise, with almost half (49%) of buyers accepting a property so long as it doesn’t contain more than three features they don’t like.

The top three turn-offs for buyers are:

• Carpeted bathrooms (21%)

• Single glazed windows (21%)

• A weird layout (20%)

Claire MacPhail, a mortgage expert at Barclays, has this advice for buyers viewing a property:

1. Make a list of all of your non-negotiables; splitting them into ‘must have’, ‘nice to have’ and ‘flexible’, so you don’t get distracted when on your property search.

2. When looking around a property, be open-minded. Remember, a property can be anything you want it to be, so don’t focus on what the rooms currently are. Remember, you can move things around once you move in.

3. It’s OK if your preferences change over time: something that might have been non-negotiable may no longer be the case in your next home.

4. Stick with your gut reaction when viewing a property – you will know when you have found ‘the one’. While there may be features you would prefer to have or not have, trust the feeling you get when you imagine living there and making the property your home.


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