Top 10 tips for selling your home

Resigned yourself to the mercy of the housing market? There's no reason why you should. Some careful planning and preparation can add real value to your house, make it more attractive to potential buyers and help you to achieve a top price. Here are our top ten tips for selling your home...

1. Disassociate yourself with the property - don't think of it as your home, think of it as a product to be sold. This will help you to depersonalise the house. Remove toys, family photos, unusual ornaments and religious or political items.

2. Target your market. What kind of buyers will be interested in your home? Do your research and present your home accordingly. If for example young couples are your primary market, consider turning the box room into a study.

3. Avoid strong odours. Don't cook strong smelling food like fish or curry within a couple of days of viewings. Freshly baked bread and freshly brewed coffee are often said to be welcoming, but keep it subtle!

4. Clean up and spruce up. Finish any small DIY jobs, de-clutter and make sure your property is looking clean, fresh and bright. It's highly recommended to add a fresh coat of paint.

5. Sell the strong points. Some of the things to emphasise to potential buyers are successful local schools, great neighbours, good transport links, parking and any newly installed features, such as central heating or double glazing.

6. Don't forget that first impressions count! Spend some time working on the front of your property - does the grass need trimmed, the door need repainted or the path need weeded? Now's the time!

7. When selling your home, remember that the bathroom often makes or breaks a deal. Coloured suites are a no-no at the minute, and the money you spend replacing one will often be reflected in the house value.

8. Choose your estate agent wisely. You want someone who's a good communicator and knows a lot about the area, but avoid anyone who comes across as pushy.

9. All rooms should be designated with a specific purpose. When selling your home, make sure that rooms are clearly planned and that their purpose is clear (e.g. is it a guest room or a study?)

10. When showing your property, be businesslike but friendly. Make viewers feel welcome (offer tea or coffee for example) and don't overload them with details.

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