How To Sell Your House: Top Ten Tips From Ann Maurice, House Doctor®

07/02/2011 11:33 | Updated 22 May 2015

If you're thinking about putting your house on the market, read on - and benefit from the original House Doctor®, Ann Maurice's, years of property staging and selling experience to get the sale you need. And check out the before and after shots below to see the tips in action.

"If you're selling a property now you will know how tough the market is, so it's even more imperative that your house is presented perfectly and stands out from the crowd. Don't skimp on preparing it for the market - the effort you put in will be worthwhile.

Here's how to make sure your property is looking its absolute best:

1. Clear the clutter: Mess all too easily becomes familiar junk which we are used to having around. It makes rooms look smaller and sends unhelpful messages to your buyers. Tidy away family photos and books. If you can't find space to store the less personal stuff, take as much as possible to the nearest charity shop or dump.

2. Clean, clean clean: Elbow grease can add more value to your house than almost anything else. Clean, clean and clean some more. The kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms, but don't stop there. Dust every surface, ornament and lampshade you possess.

3. Make an entrance: Make sure all entrances are uncluttered, warm and welcoming. Mark the path to your front door with potted plants on either side. Make sure the doors open properly and aren't hampered by a row of coats or muddy boots behind. Check that furniture doesn't stop any of the internal doors from opening or shutting properly. Fresh flowers make a welcoming entrance.

4. Neutralise your walls: Potential buyers won't be able to visualise themselves living in your home if the walls are bright, patterned or just plain ugly. Paint them in light, neutral colours. You can introduce splashes of colour with rugs, cushions, throws, table runners and flowers.

5. Maximise natural light: You can make a world of difference to a dark entrance hall with a strategically placed mirror. Carefully positioned, it will add space and maximise the available light. Ensure that it is hung at eye level. Check your curtains and blinds are not blocking light by covering windows too much. If they are, use a wider pole or change your them completely. A carpet that is dark or heavily patterned dominates a room and makes it seem darker and smaller. Replace it. Make sure windows are cleaned.

Before: Clutter - every house seller's worst enemy. Pic: Courtesy of House Doctor

After: Looking lighter, brighter and twice the size. Pic: Courtesy of House Doctor

6. Restore & repair: Do all those little jobs round the house that you've always meant to finish. If you don't know what you're doing, get a handyman round to do it for you. Unfinished projects convey an air of neglect and signal to a potential buyer that there may be other, more significant aspects of the house that have been left undone. They are not going to love this house if you clearly haven't.

7. Define each room: Ensure that every room has a clear function and purpose. Play up the existence of a dining room by clearing away all the children's homework and games. A third bedroom could be a bedroom, a study or a dressing room, but not all three at once. Organise some storage systems so that the principal function of the room they are in remains clearly defined.

8. Maximise space: As well as certain carpets making rooms feel smaller, too much furniture, or furniture which is too big will also make a room feel cramped. Too many disparate pictures on the walls make a room feel cluttered. Move your furniture around and remove unnecessary pieces to get the most spacious feel.

Before: Not bad, but not to-die-for. Pic: Courtesy of House Doctor

After: Fresh, clean and colour co-ordinated. Pic: Courtesy of House Doctor

9. Ditch the dog: Be ruthless when it comes to dealing with your pets. It's easy to get used to their smell - so ask a friend to be brutally honest with you. Does your house smell? Before each viewing eliminate unpleasant smells and banish pets to a willing friend's while you are showing people round. Get rid of pet hair too - brush and vacuum until you're sure it's gone.

10. Sense appeal: Once everything looks wonderful add extra life and pleasant scents into your home with fresh flowers, green plants, essential oils and scented candles. Appeal to as many senses as possible; for viewings quiet calming music will help buyers feel relaxed.

If you follow my tried and tested tips you will create more buyer appeal for your property. Good Luck with your sale!"

For more from the House Doctor® team and to see more inspirational before and after shots, go to


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