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As we enter a New Year Nick Churton of Mayfair Office suggests some easy ways to make your property more saleable in an increasingly competitive market.

For many people the New Year will mean a new home and even a new start.  It is an exciting prospect, even if it is a little daunting.  Moving home is a big step.  Plus this year both buyers and sellers will have to contend with a market that is still suffering from the recessional hangover and austerity measures.

Buyers will have to ensure that they are in a good position to obtain a mortgage at a time when lenders aren’t doing much to help.

But sellers can do much to help themselves in making their property as attractive as possible.  Some thought and action before going on to the market and some small touches when receiving viewers will make a big difference both to saleability and to the eventual sale price.

So here are some simple tips to help make the first step to a successful move.

To get top price for a house or flat it must tick a number of boxes.  Nothing can be done to improve location, and increasing the space is a bit radical and expensive, but price and condition can always be made more attractive to buyers.

First, property should seduce the senses by appealing to the nose, the eye and the ear. Would you prefer the smell of fresh flowers, freshly brewed coffee and baking bread or the odour of somebody else’s pungent cooking and unaired bedrooms and bathrooms?  Best to take spicy foods off the menu for a while and open some windows.  Buy an expensive aromatic candle or two and light them up before a potential buyer arrives.  Then they will be delighted to follow their noses.

De-cluttering is vital to make the space look as large as possible.  There should be a place for books, magazines, clothes, kitchen utensils, etc. and all these things should be in their rightful places.  Removing just one piece of furniture from a room can make a big impact to the sense of space.  Clashing colours may be some people’s idea of great interior design, but many buyers would run a mile.  Repaint in white – it looks clean, offends no one and makes rooms look larger.  It will be worth some time with a roller and the relatively small cost of trade emulsion.

Does your property sound good?  Is there loud music blaring or an off-putting television in the background?  Turn them off.  Are there young children screaming?  Turn them off too.  Let peace reign.  Or if there is intrusive noise from outside like traffic or aircraft play some soothing music to please the ear.

Don’t forget the first impression.  Most unkempt front gardens imply an unkempt house.  Cut the grass.  Prune the plants. Hide the dustbin.  Store away the red plastic children’s slide that has faded to pink in the sun.

Finally your property should appeal to a buyer’s pocket.  Price it to sell.  Follow these rules, gird yourself for cancellations, no-shows and less-than-tactful viewers and you will be on the way to sweet smelling selling success.  Woe betides the seller down the road who lives in overpriced mess within an overgrown garden.  You will have moved to a new life long before they wake up and smell the coffee.