Trend Spotter

House doctoring – the naked truth

As a seller, you need to know you’ve done everything in your power to get the best price for your property; if you don’t, you’ll kick yourself. So stand back, take a look at your property as though you’re seeing it for the first time, and invest some time and money in polishing it up.

New paintwork and carpets sound like a big investment, but if either are looking tired, they should make a significant difference to the price you achieve. Arguments about buyers being able to see past these elements don’t wash – the overall impression is what counts, and the impact you can make with a relatively conservative outlay is enormous.

Suspend some elements of your own lifestyle if necessary. If you’ve crammed a double bed into a single bedroom, then dress the room properly as a single. Overcrowded rooms, furniture that’s too big, and too much furniture make your property look small and don’t show off its best features. Hire a storage unit if necessary. Lay the property out like someone would like to see it rather than how you need it.

Dress your bookshelves. Cull, tidy, and arrange obsessively.

Flowers sound like a cliché, but they really do make a difference. Short stem roses in small vases last for ages; and lilies have the added benefit of a beautiful smell. Take out the stamens though so potential buyers don’t get pollen all over their immaculate white shirts.

Make sure that every single light bulb in the house is working. Ignore eco for the time it takes to sell, and opt for the maximum recommended wattage for the fitting.

If you have a good view, or windows that let in light, then allow them to work their own magic. Keep window dressing to a minimum, don’t let curtains or blinds block out any available light, and keep the glass scrupulously clean, inside and out. And don’t clutter window ledges – let every available inch of glass do what it’s meant to do; let the outside in.

Dress the garden. Take out the trampoline, mend fences, jet wash the patio, put cushions on the chairs, put up an umbrella, and make the garden look like it’s ready for its sundowners.

If your child’s buggy lives in the hall, banish it to the car for every viewing. The presence of any large piece of essential kit simply draws attention to the fact that there’s nowhere in the property to put it!

Regrout your bathroom and kitchen tiles. Remove all clutter and replace with aspirational bathroom products.

Take everything off the kitchen work tops and surfaces and find a home for it, whether that’s the bin or a cupboard. If you must, you can put the kettle, toaster and coffee machine back. You will be astounded at the improvement it makes.

Invest in beautiful bedspreads, cushions and new lampshades. Take inspiration from interiors magazines for an instant bedroom facelift.

Bella Tellwright, resident House Doctor