Top 10 style tips for selling your house

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Home owners in Northern Ireland wanting to put their property on the market this spring are being offered ten tips to ensure a quick sale.

Many potential buyers are put off purchasing a house or flat because of simple “errors” that could be easily rectified ahead of a viewing.

Now Heather Craig, a “House Doctor” from the Belfast area – who, with seven other qualified advisors has formed The Northern Home Stagers - is offering her expertise to ensure a property is in the perfect selling state.

Heather and her colleagues – who are located in Cheshire, The Wirral, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Newcastle Upon Tyne – have been trained in their art by TV House Doctor Ann Maurice, and are all members of the Property Styling Network.

Heather said: “Easter is the traditional time when many people put their homes on the market.

“However, as the weather is still changeable, and gardens may be looking shabby after the winter, it’s important the interior is given serious attention ahead of any viewing.

“If home owners are serious about selling, and selling relatively quickly, they need to do some serious sales preparation, and that means both they and their house being ready for potential buyers.

“Below are ten useful tips to help grab the prospective owner’s attention:

1 Clear the clutter from your front door allowing it to open freely. Remember whole families view houses and first impressions count.

2 Make sure the stairs are clear and the carpet and banister are firmly fixed. They should lead invitingly to the upper floors.

3 Ensure kitchens are fresh and hygienic. In particular the floor should be spotless, if it’s at all worn - replace it with a new one.

4 Remove any evidence of where your pets eat or sleep - not all buyers are animal lovers!

5 Living rooms are key: Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living there. It’s time to remove your family photographs, trophies and certificates as they will only distract attention away from the room, so just pack them away.

6 If you have a dining room let it be just that. If in reality it doubles as something else, give it its true identity back. If the buyer wants to change its function when they move in there’s nothing stopping them, but a dining room is usually a more important tick in the box than an office, playroom or box room.

7 If your bed linen has seen better days you can disguise it with a new bedspread which covers the whole bed and reaches to the floor. Fold it around the pillows like they do in hotels and add two new cushions for a really smart look.

8 Flood the bedroom with natural light by cleaning the windows and having the curtains fully open. Open with window slightly if the weather allows and add some subtle scented candles.

9 Add some finishing touches with coloured cushions, rugs and fresh flowers. But don’t overdo it.

10 Finally - when you are asked why you are moving give a positive reason and say how happy you have been in the house and you are a little bit sad to leave. We all want to live in a happy house after all.

Heather added: “When it comes to selling, properties need to have an instant appeal with a prospective buyer. The key thing to remember is you are not selling your lifestyle; you are just selling your house!

“There are so many small things that can make a big difference, especially in the current market conditions. If you were doing a ‘drive-by viewing’, would the property’s exterior have potential purchasers reaching for their phone?”

“We will be delighted to help you prepare and sell your property quickly - and for the best possible price. Good luck in 2013,” she added.

For more information about preparing for sale is available from The Northern Homes Stagers website, found at: