1. Have a clear out. You will want to create an illusion of having ample space and you need to create as much space as possible. Having messy piles around the house, although may feel cosy and homely to you, will indicate that you don’t have enough space and that your house is simply too small to accommodate you. If it’s too small for you it could be too small for your potential buyer. Also, without the clutter your buyer will be more easily able to imagine how their own furniture and belongings will fit and suit each room. If they can imagine this then your property will memorable.

2. Keep your house tidy because first impressions count. A messy or unclean house will make the house uninviting to live in. Remember people viewing your house must want to actually live there and spend tens of thousands of pounds on it. Unless your buyer wants to renovate or update a house, which is the minority of buyers, they will not want to imagine themselves living in an unclean house. Of particular importance, are the bathroom and the kitchen. They have to be sparkling, ultra-hygienic with no unsavoury odours. Each viewing is a potential sale and tedious though it may be, clean thoroughly before each one. Also remember that if you indicate any lack of care, buyers may quickly take the view that you have not cared for the property and therefore there may be maintenance problems lurking which buyers will not find attractive to deal with.

3. When you have a viewing take any pets out or leave them with the neighbor. Some buyers will not be bothered by pets and it may be a common interest but other buyers will certainly find this a turn-off. Pets can mean that dirt is being brought into the house, fleas could be around, lingering odours, hair and fur on the floor and furniture and even droppings (here we’re talking house rabbits, birds in bird cages, or pet hamsters and gerbils being petted out of the cage). The only exception is fish in a fish tank!

4. Get rid of any house smells. Scents are evocative and are remembered. Top smells to get rid of are smoke, pets and some cooking. Avoid using air-fresheners – they can have the effect that you are trying to hide something. Baking bread, cake and coffee smells are inviting and attractive to buyers as they evoke relaxation and general good times.

5. When you have a viewing insist that your agent accompanies the viewer and be sure you are out of the house. The potential buyer will then feel more relaxed and uninhibited. They will be able to talk freely and imagine themselves more easily living in the house. They will be able to sit down in the lounge and get a real feel of the house without feeling they are intruding. If they want to ask any questions of you, then that can be done at a later date. You will also avoid answering any difficult questions such as why you might be selling and in fact, some sellers are prone to point out the defects of their house! Of course, this needs to be avoided at all costs.

6. Most buyers apparently decide whether they like the property in the first 15 seconds. You therefore need to ensure that your property is inviting from the outside. Tidy the front, have flowers in pots and hanging baskets, move any car out of the driveway. Hide any unsightly bins and have any lights on if it is likely to be at all dark. Have a foot mat on the outside – it shows that you don’t want dirt in the house. Make sure it is clear that this house is cared for and well-maintained. Many potential buyers do an initial drive-by to check out the house before viewing it and you need your property to pass this initial test.

7. Time your viewings carefully. Avoid the school runs, market days, bin-collection days and any days where traffic could be a problem. You do not want the sale of your house compromised by factors outside your control.

8. Before your first viewing ask your agent for their opinion on how your house can be made more sellable. You can ask friends but having their opinion could be awkward and possibly unwelcome – it’s better to keep it to the professionals.

9. The best time of the year to sell your house is in the spring, and secondly the autumn. If you sell at the best time of the year there will be more buyers and so you’ll get a better price.

10. Ensure that the property details from your estate agent such as photos and descriptions do justice to your property. Many photos could be improved upon, descriptions can be wrong and can undersell your property. For example, a garden could be described as a courtyard, a bedroom could be described as a box room. Check your property details, do not solely rely on your agent and take the initiative to sell your property in it’s best light.

Spending a small amount of time to improve the desirability of your property will attract more potential buyers. You want them firstly to be interested in the property details, then at the outside of the property you want them to want to come inside. Once inside you want them to want stay inside and live there. You need to make sure that they are given the opportunity to imagine themselves living in your property. If they can do all of these things then you are more likely to receive an offer which should take you to the crucial sale.