Sarah Beeny's Top Property Selling Tips

Some really simple things you can do to make sure your property has the best chance of selling...

1) Be realistic on price

As a general rule everything has a price - the chances are if you have not had any viewers or had viewers but no offers, it's probably on for too much money. If you really want to sell you need to drop the price, but not by a tiny bit. I would advise in a falling market you get below the market - you are far better off with several buyers all banging the door down to buy, than with no interest at all. At least then you have a decision to make as to whether you actually sell for that amount or not. Currently, I believe we are bumping along the bottom, so now is certainly not the time to overprice if you want a sale.

The two ways to value are to find out how much a home like yours recently sold for and/or look at what you can buy at the level you think you should be selling for - ie if you think your 2 bedroom flat should be worth £130,000 but there are lots of 3 bedroom houses at a similar level - you are unlikely to achieve your price.

2) Clean the whole house

If you smoke, stop smoking inside and clean all ashtrays - if you have pets, wash their beds. Pet and cigarette odour are the two smells that come up most often in ‘put off' smells list. Look at your kitchen and bathroom from an outsider's point of view - if they are really manky do something about it - often it only requires bleaching the grout and cutting out and re siliconing - get in behind the basin and loo and get scrubbing there, too . Deal with outside - start on the street - what do you see - potential viewers will stand and pause just there too and it's their first impression. Don't argue with neighbours about who is going to do what - check if they don't mind and get on and clean it up yourself. Outside space is a real luxury and one that should be cherished, especially in an urban setting. Give it a clean - get a few cheapie pot plants and look out for an inexpensive table and chairs to show you can use the space.

3) De-clutter

As if you haven’t heard it before, but use this as the perfect moment to move the piles of stuff you don't use to a charity shop - if you do a good clear out in one go you will be better about getting what you don't need to a suitable recycling unit or charity shop where someone might actually use your silly unwanted nonsense. You are then able to clear surfaces - this will give a much greater sense of space and almost more importantly, less of the feeling that the house is rather hard work to live in, in a tidy way. Like small gardens, it's rather more important to dress small rooms well, otherwise people may not be able to really envisage how the room could work. Try to avoid putting things just inside the door of a room - you ideally want to be able to get inside a room before you trip over something.

4) Don’t wait to get your house on the market

Traditionally there are busier and quieter times of the year for house selling. These are based on what much of the population is doing. December is quieter as everyone builds up to Christmas but the market tends to pick up in the new year - equally August tends to be quiet. However in these more uncertain times, I personally recommend that you don't wait, as despite what you endlessly read, the truth is nobody has any idea what is actually going to happen in the market. If now is the right time in your life to sell, get on with it asap. If the market falls lower by the ‘suitable time economically' you will kick yourself. Equally, if now is a good time in your life to sell, sell now, as you never know, the market may have moved down if you wait.