General infomation
If you are going to be selling your home probably the best advice is to try to view it as a buyer will.

Once a prospective purchaser has received details of your property from the estate agent they will often carry out a "drive by" to assess the area and to also look at your home "in the flesh". Based on this they will decide if they want to arrange a formal viewing. It would be difficult for you to influence the area very much but you have total control over making your home look the best it possibly can. So we would suggest you carry out a "drive by" yourself. Sit in your car on the street and actually look at what you see. It is often quite surprising what you will notice when you carry out this exercise. We can all miss things on a normal day to day basis because we simply become used to them being there but for the first time viewer bad points can stick out like a sore thumb.

1. First impressions
First impressions are so important so make sure the front garden looks as good as it can including all your fences and hedges. If your property is painted make sure it is in good order and that windows and window cills are clean. Unless you answer the door quickly when purchasers arrive they are going to be spending some time looking at it so make sure the front door is in as good a condition as it can be and as clean as it can be. Make sure if you have a door bell that it is working correctly.

2. Inside the property
When it comes to the interior of the property we have all been advised to "declutter". It is good advice to try to do this as much as you can. Once again first impressions are extremely important so watch out for items cluttering the reception area. If you hang coats in the hall and put boots and shoes there it might be worth thinking about not doing this when you are offering your property for sale - keep it as clear as possible. It goes without saying that the decoration should be as good as you can make it and if needs be have the carpets professionally cleaned.

3. Creating the right atmosphere
The property should be fresh smelling, those with pets will need to take extra precautions in that respect. Not everyone likes or feels safe with dogs so if they can be removed for the viewing that will be a good policy. Kitchen worktops should be kept as clear as possible and bathrooms should be thoroughly cleaned. Try to get the temperature right and in the darker months have lighting on to enhance the appeal. Background music can create a very pleasant ambience but make sure it is appropriate for the viewers - we would suggest light classical is usually the best choice.

4. Outside the property
Outside get your garden looking as good as you possibly can, make sure at least the grass is cut. Don't forget that often shrubs which have grown too big can make your garden look smaller than it actually is. Many properties that are being marketed could be enhanced by their shrubs being pruned to instantly produce a bigger garden. However do be careful because most people do like privacy in their back garden so if you are pruning back then leave a screen between you and next door. Whilst your property is on the market keep thinking you are viewing your property, be very critical and by taking simple courses of action you can often enhance your chances of selling many times.

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