Time to sell?

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Make your home more valuable and help it to sell faster, with our essential tips

Preparing your home before putting it on the market (or ‘home staging’) will not only help your property to sell faster, but can also add thousands to its value. Interior designer, Amanda Hanley, has put together some useful advice to help you present your home in a way that will attract as many potential buyers as possible.

Clean and de-clutter

The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Clutter won’t sell a home - it will make it look smaller and untidy.

Distance yourself from your home and look at it through a viewer’s eyes - potential buyers will find it difficult to imagine themselves living in a home if it’s full of other people’s belongings. Personal photographs, collectables and clutter need to be removed and put into storage, and replaced with some tastefully selected table top pieces that will dress your home perfectly. 

Have a good spring clean! Deep clean bathrooms and kitchens, remove limescale and clean tile grout, clean windows inside and out, make any minor repairs, wax wood. A sparkling floor will give instant appeal and a proper clean will make your home smell fresh. 

Bad smells are the biggest turn off for potential buyers so ensure you do everything to eliminate them - clean drains, wash bins, sinks, toilets, showers, damp patches, air the house and wash all bed linen.

Make a good first impression

First impressions count. Most buyers form their first impressions of a house within seconds of walking through the door, therefore spend time grooming the outside of the house – do some planting, repaint the front door in an eye-catching colour, keep the path/drive swept and tidy up the garden: this might not add much value to your home but it makes it more likely to sell as people can see themselves enjoying the garden.

The kitchen is the most valuable room in a house and therefore worth paying attention to when planning to sell, as it can make the difference to an unsure buyer. Re-facing your kitchen cabinets is a much cheaper option than a brand new kitchen and often as effective.

Wonderful aromas make a property instantly inviting. The smell of fresh bread and coffee will be enough to entice people into the kitchen, and scented candles and diffusers will create mood and increase the appeal of a living room or bedroom. 

Plants and fresh flowers bring colour, life and light to a room and smell wonderful - fresh orchids will liven up a room and beautiful silk flowers are a fantastic choice for a year round display that will never look faded.

Think about redecorating

Think about the impression that your home décor is giving. Neutral colours won't put any buyer off. Giving your walls a fresh lick of neutral paint will make your home seem lighter and bigger and will allow viewers to imagine how they would adapt the rooms to their lifestyle. 'Chalky Downs 3' Dulux Trade is a fabulous grey that you can use all around the house.

If you want to create a wow factor in a key living or dining area, a stunning feature wall with beautiful wallpaper can transform a room without too much expense.  

Wall mirrors make a room look much bigger and lighter, particularly in smaller rooms or hallways. You can also use large mirrors to bring in more light.

Make sure the windows are properly dressed with blinds or curtains, as naked windows make a space feel impersonal and drab. You can have dress curtains made up with the latest designer fabrics relatively inexpensively - these touches will add a new dimension to your home and help it to look stylish and current.

If your carpets are looking very tired you may consider a new one to increase value and appeal - Westex Twist 'Major' will give an give an extremely luxurious feel and will last for years.

Ensure that your lighting works well - lamps in dark corners and a soft lamp in the bathroom can create a warm glow. A light and airy room feels bigger and makes the property more attractive. People need to be able to envisage living in your house, so make it easy for them to see all the fantastic living space your home has.

www.amandahanley.co.uk