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First impressions count – and you can make only one! Most people form their first impression within the first 30 seconds of seeing the property, and this time can be greatly reduced online. In fact in a survey conducted by RightMove, on average 30 seconds is spent on the first page, meaning your property effectively has 3 seconds to stand out.

The external photograph is normally the main image that people will see first as they conduct their searches online, and furthermore, most prospective purchasers will often drive past a property they have seen online before they take the next step and book a viewing. It is therefore important that you make the most of what your property has to offer, and spending a little time ensuring that the outside of your property looks clean and tidy can really make a difference.

Continuing with this theme cleanliness and tidiness should never be underestimated. Make your home really sparkle, especially on the day the photographs are taken, and pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms which need to be inviting and hygienic.

De-cluttering is also not to be underestimated. Whilst we understand that the clutter reflects happy memories, hobbies, and values, to the potential buyer it has the undesirable effect of shrinking your home, and also distracting them from all the positive qualities your home has to offer. This also has the welcome effect of making your property more anonymous, giving the potential buyers an opportunity to see the property as their potential home, not yours.

Fixing small things such as a dripping tap or a cracked tile is also a very good idea. These problems may send out the wrong message to potential buyers, and it is always worth remembering that negative points such as these relatively small problems can often stick in potential buyers’ minds. For example a hospital may carry out 100 operations, but the one everyone hears about and remembers is the one that went wrong, rather than the other 99 that were successful.

Freshening your home up can also make a big difference, but remember neutral colours are the best bet. They are very unlikely to put a buyer off, but will make the property seem really fresh and allow the potential buyer to see how they can put their stamp on the property, without having to remove yours first.

The first two weeks, following the launch of the marketing campaign to sell your property, are critical. Your property is likely to get twice as much interest in weeks one and two in comparison to weeks three and four. This means getting the price and presentation of your property right from the start is key so your property impresses the market and generates crucial viewings.

The best way to prepare your property for sale is to look at your property as a potential buyer. Enlist the help of family and friends, and of course your valuer, to determine the main positive points to really make the most of, and to note any potential negatives so you can be prepared for any questions.

Remember don’t get carried away, and avoid spending money where you can, but some freshening up of the property can make all the difference.