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Hard sell or easy sell

01:00 Thu 24th Jan 2002 |

Ravenhair recently asked for tips on how to sell a property fast while still getting a good price.

According to the latest figures the housing market is showing little or no sign of slowing down and no shortage of sellers preparing to put their properties on the market. So how can you make your home stand out from the crowd....

Q.� What about the outside of the property

A.� There is an overworked cliche in estate agent circles that 'you never get a second chance to make a first impression'. This is not strictly true as you are liable to have the chance to make a first impression on more than one prospective buyer, but the moral of the tale is to make the most of it.

We often forget that with a lot of choice out there buyers will often drive or walk around to look at the outside of a property before deciding if they even want to make an appointment to see inside, and that decision will be partly based on what they see. It's called 'kerb appeal' in the trade.

A good starting point is to go across the street and look as objectively as you can at the outside of your own home. If you don't like what you see then you should tidy it up.

If the exterior paint is flaking and discoloured it is worth getting it done again. If you haven't the time to do it yourself get someone in to do it. You may not recoup the cost but a well cared for exterior will attract buyers.

Clear the front garden of weeds or rubbish, hose down the path and see if the front door or exterior window frames could do with a lick of paint. Make sure any exterior lights are working, the doorbell rings and the windows look clean.

Q. And inside

A.� Get cleaning. Bathrooms and kitchens should be particularly spotless, so use this as a long overdue excuse for a spring clean.

A certain amount of clutter makes the place look lived in and homely, but too much can obscure good features and make it difficult for the viewer to imagine where their own stuff would go.

Then there are general basics like making sure light bulbs are working, making beds, letting in as much daylight as possible (clean windows inside and out) and fixing any broken appliances which don't take long but pay dividends.

Q.� What about setting the right tone, smells and the like

A.� The smell of freshly brewed coffee or baking bread trick is wearing a little thin (if you've got time to bake your own bread the house should be immaculate anyway) but it is certainly preferable to stale fag smoke and last nights chip oil. At the minimum give rooms a good airing and why not put some fresh cut flowers around the place.

In winter lighting fires, whether real or fake, gives rooms a homely appeal and turn off the telly, it can be very distracting.

When showing people round let them enter rooms first and try and stick to the margins so not to make the space feel crowded and try and be relaxed and honest even if you are desperate to sell.

Try not to talk about money, you are selling your home, let the estate agent handle selling the bricks and mortar.

If you've got a question about your home or garden, click here.

By Tom Gard

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