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People choose to place their home on the market for a number of reasons. Whether it is time to upgrade, downsize, or in some cases perhaps struggling to maintain those hefty mortgage repayments, it’s always a good idea to consider making certain changes to help attract buyers. It could also be the difference between thousands of pounds in terms of a valuation or achieving the asking price.

It may seem tiresome and a waste of money on your home when you’re looking to sell anyway, but it really couldn’t be further from the truth. A little extra work and you could be reaping the rewards in no time. However, having said this, you need to begin by finding out the maximum potential value of your home. There are many ways to find out, through looking at recent property sales in your area or even speaking to a local estate agent. Either way it’s crucial, as you don’t want to be spending more than you can make back.

Consider the time of year you choose to sell your property also, as research suggests that the property market has peaks and troughs; slowing down during the festive season and towards the end of summer. So don’t be surprised if you’re not gaining interest if you have started advertising in November!

When you do get that all important interest and an appointment for viewing, you really need to be ready for your potential buyer. First impressions are everything and an unkempt lawn, peeling wallpaper and a dripping tap aren’t likely to bag a sale. Not at the asking price anyway.

So consider tidying up any loose ends, perhaps a lick of paint and replacing any loose floorboards or leaky pipes. It’s not always necessary to go out picking a new fitted kitchen but certainly consider new handles or doors if your existing units are looking tired. Have a look in reclamation yards or local house clearances. It’s surprising what you can find that could make a huge difference to your property.

Buyers like to visualise themselves in a potential new home, so avoid personalised items by removing photographs or pictures. However don’t be afraid to add a little colour or character to avoid your home looking bland. You need to stand out from any other contenders. In many cases it is simply common sense, but we all need a reminder from time to time.

A visitor would rather walk in to the smell of home cooked bread or an aroma of fresh fruit on the table than wet paint. So just think carefully when preparing for viewings and you will be fine.

It’s also a good idea to have information to hand regarding energy bills, council tax, even local events, schools or anything else you think may be helpful. Remember to be calm and welcoming, offer your guests a drink and make them feel at home. Because essentially that is what you hope to achieve. And lastly, don’t forget to ask friends or neighbours to take care of any pets or young children. The last thing you want is a dog barking or a toddler screaming in the background.

by Cormac Henderson

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