Top Ten: tips for selling your house

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Selling your home can be a daunting experience; it is after all the most valuable thing you own. Most potential buyers make a decision on whether or not they like a property within the first seven to ten seconds of stepping through the door. So in order to ensure your home presents the best of itself, here are our Top Ten Tips For Selling Your House.

Clean-Up But Not Too Much: It might sound like an obvious one but the truth is you need your home to be clean and sparkly when potential buyers walk in. But you don't want to make it look too sterile, like a hotel. So get rid of all those old newspapers that have piled up, remove clutter from surfaces and give everything a good scrub. Retain those personal touches that make it a home, but make sure its clean!

Start A Conversation: We all do quirky little things to our houses to make them unique to us. Maybe that is a particular piece of art, a playful duvet cover or a hugely impressive vinyl collection. Do not be ashamed of these things. If nothing else when prospective buyers come to view the property it will start a conversation and they will begin to see things they can do similarly, so to put their own stamp on the place.

Get Rid Of Photos: That's right, that photo of your happy wedding day that you're oh so proud of needs to go. Sounds unfair right? But it's the cold hard truth. People want to be able to envisage the home as their own when looking round and if there are constant reminders of the fact it is someone else's home this isn't going to fly.

Ditch The Dog: This is not animal cruelty, it's good sense in the long run. Because people either love or hate animals, and some are allergic. So if your cute little pet is padding around potential buyer's feet they're either going to be more interested in the animal than they are the house, or their influence is going to be soured by a needy animal they dislike or worst of all; they're going to leave your house in a sneezing fit; not exactly ingratiating your home to them. When buyers arrive, go all Fred Flintstone on the pets and put them out for a few minutes.

Get Green Fingered: If you are lucky enough to have a garden there is nothing worse than it looking like something out of The Day Of The Triffids to prospective buyers. They'll see all the weeds and mess and worry it will become a project they will have to undertake. So cut the grass, trim the hedges, throw-out that rusty shopping trolley and show the best of your garden; a place of outside tranquility, rather than a place you need a machete and a Satnav to negotiate.

Brighten The Place Up: It sounds obvious but the little things can make a big difference. So if your curtains look tired and stained chuck them out. It will make the house look like a home; lived in and loved the way they will want to keep it once they've handed over lots of money to you. Flowers can really help on this, fresh ones of course, with all their petals still in place rather than scattered around the room. It brings a nice smell and gives the subtext of "life thrives here".

Vinegar, No Salt: This one is out of left-field but it really works. If you have lingering smells in your house then invest in a big bottle of vinegar. Place the vinegar in dishes around the house and leave it for three days. Yes, the house will smell of vinegar while they are there but once you get rid of the dishes it will have killed those worrying lingering fish or cigarette smells.

Tone It Down: Yes keeping your character is great and everything but if your character has made you paint your house purple throughout that's going to be off-putting for all aside from similar minded people. Think about painting everything cream or white, or where possible keep it unobtrusive, and where possible bring a brightness to the house.

Home Improvements: Does your home have scope for a conversion? Or an extension? Think about doing it now. The average cost of something like this is roughly £35,000 which might sound like a lot but if it adds an extra room to your house it can add up to £150,000 to the value of your property. If you cannot afford that, think about applying for planning permission anyway. It will allow you to tell prospective buyers that the obvious improvements already have the green light if they so wish.

The Price Is Right: This is one of the key factors in selling your house. If you go greedy and price your house too high you won't sell it. Instead it will sit there and you will have to eventually lower the price anyway. When you make that move, anyone interested will see it and know it's only a matter of time before you do it again. If you price too low though you will wonder if you could have got more. It is a balancing act but remember; anything in this life is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

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