Ready, steady, sell…

Simon Bradbury, a partner at Fine & Country Cambridgeshire

It’s that time of year again. The blossom is out and so are the buyers – so put a weekend aside if you want to impress them, says Simon Bradbury, a partner at Fine & Country Cambridgeshire.

The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to improve your home without spending anything, just by good planning. Here are my top tips for giving your home the edge on the competition:

* Get cleaning – that means windows, woodwork and anything else viewers might notice. Have carpets cleaned professionally or borrow rugs to hide grubby marks

* Clear up the garden – put rubbish bags out of sight, hide children’s plastic toys and store bicycles in the shed

* Be pet aware – you love your dog but not everyone else will so put away bowls and bedding and make sure there are no lingering doggy smells. Ask a neighbour to take Fido for an hour or put him in the car (unless it’s a hot day)

* Use a fresh eye – ask a friend to pop round and be honest about how the place looks and what else you can do

* Don’t cheat – it’s a cliche about putting the coffee on. Buyers might think you are trying to hide the smell of damp

* Edit rooms – most rooms have too much stuff in them. Invest in some cheap storage boxes and put away as much as you can do without for a while

* De-personalise – one or two family photos are fine but too many will put people off imagining themselves living there

* Think ahead – if you find viewings trying, the kids will too and a screaming baby is stressful for everyone. Try to organise an outing for them or ask a friend to have them while viewings are in progress. Having as few family members as possible in the house during viewings will also make rooms appear more spacious.

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