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Clean up when selling your home

The smallest room often makes the biggest impact on potential buyers.

With the long winter evenings drawing out and the warmer weather on its way, now is often the time of year people start to consider moving house. But before you start searching for your next potential dream home you should first turn your attention to your own property.

We’ve all seen the TV shows that promise boost your house value by thousands just by cleaning out the spare room or adding a lick of magnolia paint. However according to estate agent Your Move there is something to be said for a pre-sale spring clean.

Managing director of Your Move David Newnes says: “You might want to start with a spring clean just making a few basic changes to the presentation of your home to a potential buyer can make a world of difference to your house sale. There’s usually no need for any major changes, just a commonsense approach.”

According to Newnes, the kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms most likely to influence a sale, so pay particular attention to these. “Uncluttered worktops give a better impression and make a kitchen look bigger and don’t forget to check all your kitchen cupboard doors are hanging straight and close properly and if necessary, take time to repair them,” he says.

There’s no need for expensive repair or building work. Most problems can be resolved by a trip to your local DIY store and a bit of common sense. “In the bathroom make sure the grouting between any tiles is cleaned using special grout cleaners available from most DIY stores, make sure that freshly washed, sweet smelling towels are hung neatly and that new bars of soap are on show instead of old ones,” Newnes adds.

The idea is that your kitchen and bathroom look and smell clean, hygienic and tidy. An unclean toilet or dirty kitchen surfaces are unlikely to attract your buyer back for a second viewing. “Generally, cleanliness and tidiness can make a huge impression, so make sure all rooms are dusted and vacuumed and any cushions plumped up and curtains made to hang neatly. Don’t forget to repair any tears to wallpaper and spend a little time repainting chipped or marked paintwork,” he says.

Its not just inside that needs to look inviting: the first thing your buyer will see is the outside of your house. “Remember the exterior of the house,” says Newnes. “Kerbside appeal is vital to get potential buyers through the door. A neat garden, clean windows, and a clean and tidy front door with a bell that works are all simple things that present a well maintained image. “Finally ensure you know specific details about the house, for example mention any relevant guarantees such as damp proof courses or double glazing. And what about the heating and water systems? If you have low fuels bills, have some handy to demonstrate this. It’s definitely a selling point.”

If all else fails, bake some bread or put a fresh pot of coffee on, advises Newnes. “It is usually the simplest and cheapest jobs that can have the most influence over the final sale. A vase of flowers or the smell of freshly brewed coffee doesn’t cost the earth but can make a very positive impression.”

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