A little imagination can sell your place faster for a higher price.  

Experts say that a little work preparing your property for sale can add thousands to the price you receive, as well as converting viewings into offers much more quickly.

Remember those nightmare properties you once visited?

Where you could barely get to the front door for the jungle of vegetation and overflowing bins? Where the smells of nappy and damp fought for your attention as you squeezed past bikes, discarded shoes and junk mail into a kitchen so dirty you could have graffitied your name in the grease?   

Think back to how you wanted to walk out but gritted your teeth for the full tour, making polite noises, but closing your heart. Your decision was already made. There was no way you could possibly have contemplated living in that place.  

 Now, look around your own place as a buyer. 

Take yourself back to the moment when you saw it. Think back to the features you loved, the potential you saw. You’re not just selling a property, you’re selling a lifestyle. 

Make a good first impression

Clear the pathway, hide the bins, tidy the garden, clean the windows and freshen up the paintwork.   

It’s the clutter that kills 

A 2014 study revealed that a decluttering single square foot of space brought in about £238, while removing bulky items of furniture pushed the sale price up by as much as 11%. 

The clutter problem reaches its peak in the kitchen and bathroom – rooms which can make or break a sale. So, tuck away the toaster and its friends. Bury the shampoos. Get your buyers dreaming of taking a shower and preparing their own meal straight away. 

And elsewhere? What about Aunt Agatha’s huge cupboard? Put it in storage for a few weeks. Send off the knickknacks and family photos while you’re at it. Without your stuff in the way, potential buyers will be able to dream their own stuff, their own lives, into your place.  

Why should your buyers mend the things you broke? 

Buyers want to move straight in. Every item which rings its ‘This is going to take time/energy/money’ alarm bell makes it less likely they’ll choose your place. So, fix everything: damp, dirty grout, dripping taps, faulty lights, broken doorknobs, chipped tiles … The list may go on forever, but tackle everything you can. 

Will other people like your walls? 

You love your decor, but will anybody else? A fresh coat of light, neutral emulsion makes a space feel bigger, lighter, cleaner and more open. Crucially, it lets potential buyers see your place at its brightest, lightest, cleanest and most spacious best.  

Turn up the style 

Now you’ve got your place looking so good, how about going a few steps further? Make your viewers fall in love with it. Containers of flowers in the front garden, carefully chosen lighting, a strategically placed mirror, an elegant piece of art? 

It’ll take a bit of time. It’ll cost a little, but you’ll claw back every penny on the sale. 

Interested in selling? Read more of our advice to sellers in Canonbury, Highbury and Islington.