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How to sell your house faster: 10 things buyers are looking for

Research reveals the property features to shout about if you're looking for a quick house sale

How to sell your house faster: 10 things buyers are looking for

In contrast to recent years, it’s now a buyers’ market in many parts of the country – so how can you make your property stand out from the crowd?

There are 17.5% more homes for sale in the southern regions – including London, East of England, the South East and the South West – than the same time last year, meaning those buying in the south can afford to be choosier.

The number of homes for sale in the northern regions of the UK, meanwhile, has shrunk by 4.3%, data from Rightmove shows, shifting the market in favour of sellers and nudging up prices.

But no matter where you live, if you’re hoping to sell your home quickly and for the best price you’ll need to make it as appealing as possible to buyers.

Below, we reveal the key characteristics that buyers are currently looking for, plus tips on how to sell your home faster.


What are homebuyers looking for in a property?

Property portal Zoopla has released a list of the top terms buyers are searching when they use its website. So if you can ensure your property listing contains these words, you could attract buyers who wouldn’t otherwise have found your home.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, spacious homes were most in demand, with the word ‘detached’ topping the list of most common search terms and ‘annex’ and ‘garden’ also featuring in the top 10. Similarly, terms suggesting the countryside – including ‘cottage’, ‘acres’ and ‘rural’ – all proved popular.

People were also concerned about their cars, with both ‘garage’ and ‘parking’ popping up in the most sought-after terms.

Interestingly, a high number of people searched for a ‘bungalow’. These properties make up just 10% of all British homes, according to the last British Housing Survey, and only a small number are being built – meaning bungalow owners could be sitting on a popular commodity.

‘Freehold property’ also proved popular, as buyers become increasingly aware of the pitfalls of buying leasehold homes.

The top 10 search terms for buyers using Zoopla are as follows:

  1. detached
  2. garage
  3. bungalow
  4. parking
  5. annex
  6. garden
  7. freehold
  8. cottage
  9. acres
  10. rural.

What do buyers want in each region?

Some features and characteristics were in demand across the UK – garages and detached homes, for example. But some search terms were unique to specific areas.

In London, a significant number of buyers searched for houseboats, while flats with a balcony were also on the wish list.

Buyers in the East of England were in the market for barn conversions, while those in the North West hoped for a cellar.

Conservatories proved popular in four regions – the North West, West Midlands, East Midlands and Yorkshire & the Humber – while sea views were particularly desired in Wales, the South West and the South East.

You can hover your cursor over the map below to find out the top 10 property search terms in your region.

How to sell your home faster

The key to selling your home quickly is understanding the local market.

If your home has features that are valued by buyers in your area, and there aren’t many similar properties available, you may be able to sell for a premium.

On the other hand, if there are plenty of homes like yours for sale and only a handful of buyers, you may need to lower your expectations of asking price if you want to move sooner rather than later.

As a general rule, when setting an asking price you should consider:

  • What other similar homes are on the market – and how much are they on for?
  • What sets your home apart or, potentially, detracts from its appeal?
  • How much interest is there from buyers for property in your area, and specifically property like yours?
  • What type of buyers would your property attract, and is it set up in an appropriate way for them? (Eg a family might want an extra bedroom rather than a study.)
  • Are there any local developments that could affect your home value – either positively or negatively?

It’s a good idea to ask a few local estate agents to give you a valuation, too, as they’ll be clued up on the local market.

You can find out more in our guide to what your house is worth.

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