Top tips for selling your home

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Buying a new home is an exciting process, but even after you have found your dream property and decided to make the move, it can be held up by your existing property.

Sometimes a house can stay on the market longer than you hoped, for a variety for reasons, from a lack of interest and low bids, to complications in the chain.

However, there are some tips and tricks that can help to add boost buyer interest in your property, make it more sellable, and speed up your move into your new home.

First impressions count

Just like your first encounter with a person can shape your opinion of them, the same thing applies to your initial viewing of a house.

If you want potential buyers to be interested from their initial viewing onwards, it is vital that their first impression of the property is positive, so do all you can to tidy the exterior, which includes the gate, garden, drive and pathway.

The doorway is effectively the portal to the home, so wash down your doors and touch up any flaky paint. A hanging basket can also add an attractive touch.

Finally, put yourself in the viewer's shoes when they first walk in the door, and make sure there is no clutter or mess immediately visible and that all furniture and ornaments and are located in a way to make the room look as welcoming as possible.

Clean up that mess

According to research, it takes just eight minutes for someone to decide whether or not a property is right for them. Although it effectively goes without saying, a tidy home is a welcoming one, so make sure you have a quick trip around the house before viewers come to see it.

Research found that damp stains is the biggest put off for potential house buyers (69 per cent), while a dirty house accounted for 46 per cent of people being turned off -- so get cleaning!

If a housebuyer is to imagine themselves in the home, they will want the canvas to effectively be as blank as possible, so try to tidy away anything that could detract from that, including toys, clothes, accessories and anything else that is out of place.

Be neutral with your décor

Even if you are a fan of each room in your house being a different colour, remember that not everyone would like a purple kitchen, yellow bathroom and green living room.

Giving each room a fresh lick of paint before putting the house up for sale can help to make it far more welcoming, and feed into the previous point about enabling the buyer to visualise the room as a blank canvas.

Though they may sound like clichés, the likes of magnolia and white paint can be bought in large quantities and swiftly applied, to prep the house for viewers and to avoid deterring them with fuchsia, turquoise or lemon walls.

Fix that broken thing

Much like cats, people are naturally inquisitive creatures and, if left to their own devices, will tinker with switches, buttons, handles and all manner of attachments, particularly when viewing a house. To avoid any embarrassing questions about why the light switch/extractor fan/toilet handle does not work, make a checklist of small jobs that need doing around the home and try to fix them.

Even something as simple as tightening a door handle, straightening a painting on the wall and replacing a blown lightbulb can help to make a property more complete.

If you think it will help, this can even extend to adding cabinets or shelving to rooms that are lacking storage and generally create a fuller picture of your home.

Launch an assault on the senses

Sight is just one of the five human senses, and while it is important that everything looks good in a new home, consider how it smells. Research carried out by GoCompare revealed that smell is the second biggest turn off when viewing a home.

There is old adage that fresh coffee and baking bread can make a kitchen seem more attractive, while a nice, scented candle in the living room can add another dimension to the room.

Likewise, aftershave or perfume in the bedroom and the smell of cleaning products in the bathroom will not only tell the viewer that the house is clean but will help to create a truly sensory experience that could leave them eager to return for a second viewing.