Spruce up your home - tips for getting that sale

There is no denying that the property market is facing further tough times in the months to come but there are still buyers available. If you are keen to move and having trouble selling your current home, here are a few tips to help you get that sale.

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First impressions
Your home may be stunning on the inside but if the lawn is overgrown, the fence is falling down and the guttering is left hanging, the chances are viewers will be put off before they even get to the front door. Be sure to stay on top of lawns, hedges and the exterior of the house so that your home seems inviting.

Clean and clutter-free
If you know a buyer or estate agent is coming round to view the property, you will of course ensure that the house is clean and tidy. But someone looking for their dream home will notice the details - if possible, get the carpets cleaned to remove odours (particularly if you have pets), ensure the windows are clean inside and out, get rid of those cobwebs and if you have the time, it's well worth bleaching off-colour grout and keeping the taps and tubs sparkling.

Nothing puts a buyer off quicker than a room full of clutter - pack away those knickknacks and ornaments, clear surfaces where possible and remember, buyers have a tendency to open cupboards and wardrobes so put things away neatly. If you've accumulated unnecessary furniture consider moving some of it to temporary storage. Clear rooms will appear more spacious to the buyer so less is most definitely more!

Freshen up
Hopefully you will have the finances to give your home a little lift before it goes on the market. Minor repairs such as leaky taps, sticky doors and long-forgotten, unused wall fixings should be sorted out prior to viewings. Ditch worn-out rugs and towels and replace with fresh ones (even if you have to borrow them) as it will create a better impression.

For those of you who have really gone to town on bright wall colours, it is well worth investing in some good ol' magnolia! Many buyers will baulk at the thought of having to do too much work when they move in, so a blank canvas is always a better bet than your funky designs, no matter how fabulous they are. Get as much light into the house as you can - clean the windows (you'll be surprised what a difference it makes), open curtains wide or invest in lighter drapes.

The sweet scent of home
Rumour has it the aroma of freshly-baked bread is a surefire winner when it comes to selling your home. But even if you're not the baking type, it is still important to ensure that your home doesn't smell of wet dog and last night's takeaway! Invest in some plug-in air fresheners or essential oil burners which will keep nasty odours to a minimum and, on days when viewings are expected, a vase of scented flowers may just add that finishing touch.

Let go
No matter how long you've lived there your home is, well... just that. But if you're desperate to sell up, it is important to view your house as a product that must be attractive to potential buyers. While you appreciate having your personal items and photographs around you, a buyer needs to see themselves living in the property in order to really take a shine to it.

Try not to get too emotional about putting your bits and pieces away... after all, it's only temporary.