Despite national stories of a shortage of available properties to buy, buyers are still viewing an average of ten properties before making a decision. And when they do finally put in an offer, it's usually well below the asking price. If you are considering selling your home and want to achieve a quicker sale at a decent price, here's some basic rules to consider...
Kerb appeal - You get just one chance to make a first impression so the front of your house is a good place to spend a little extra time and money. Plant flowers, trim bushes, pick up leaves, repaint your door, replace tarnished house numbers and buy a new doormat.
Clean - Clean your house from top to bottom and having a weekly cleaning service while selling is probably a good investment too. Make sure your windows are clean inside and out.
Fix – Dripping taps or cracked tiles will send the wrong message to potential buyers so replace or repair them before any viewings.
Bust the clutter - This is a difficult task as clutter usually reflects our memories, hobbies and values, but sadly clutter makes homes seem smaller and disorganised.
Neutralise - Potential buyers walking through your home want to imagine themselves as the owners. If you use styles or colours they would never select, you'll put them off so neutralise walls and furnishings where possible.
De-personalise – Pack away items that viewers won't be able to identify with. Collections or religious items or lots of family photos may turn off whole groups of buyers, because they cannot imagine your home as their home.
Pets – Not everyone is a pet lover, so try confining yours to a specific area. Pet smells can be offensive, so eliminate lingering odours in furniture or flooring through cleaning before you sell.
Accessories - By using the right accessories, such as mirrors to reflect light and space, and plants and fresh flowers to bring rooms to life you can greatly enhance your surroundings.
Cover up - Lots of different floor coverings makes an area seem smaller. If you can't stretch to replacing all of your flooring, concentrate on main rooms but remember to keep the doors closed until showing each room in turn. Professional carpet cleaning can also revitalise older carpets.
If you need help with any of these areas, ask the experts on our Homes & Gardens page!