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House Doctor

Are you thinking of selling your house? In the current market, the last thing you want is for your property to languish on the real estate listings for months. So how can you attract a buyer quickly, with a minimum amount of spend? These ten tips below outline quick and cheap fixes to improve your property's saleability.

First impressions

Paint the door a smart, inviting colour like French grey or a subdued, sophisticated red. Buy a sample pot of paint from your local hardware store, which should be just enough for two coats on the outer facade. Fix broken doorbells and don't neglect to shine up the knocker, if you have one.

Make an entrance

A welcoming foyer or hallway works wonders. Add a mirror or hang a piece of art by the door. Don't forget the floor either. A brightly coloured runner can make the difference between dingy and delightful.

Paint the walls

For a new, clean look, repaint the interior walls. Pale creams, greys and warm stone hues work well. Stick to neutral colours and remember that although white does make a space appear bigger and brighter, it can also feel cold and unwelcoming. For the same effect but with more warmth, choose a light cream colour instead.

Flaunt it

You know the old saying "if you've got it, flaunt it". To improve your house and sell your property faster, look around for old features that would increase its saleability. Antique plaster ceilings can be touched up to look as new, old fireplaces cleaned out and period brass furnishings polished. These little touches add to a house's character.

Refurnish

Put Granddad's ratty armchair into storage for now, it's comfort and sentimental value doesn't really add to the increased likelihood of a sale. Reupholstering or repairing old furnishings like couches and cushions is a good way of getting a new look without having to buy a new whole new sofa set. Some companies rent out furniture for house viewings, which is a cheaper alternative to replacing your own.

Use space wisely

Select your furniture carefully. A small space should be filled with purposeful furniture, not the bric-a-brac you unearthed in the garage. Remember that less is more, and if a piece of furniture doesn't have a purpose in a particular spot then it probably shouldn't be there. Aim for cool, clean lines.

Let there be light

No one likes the darkness. Use the natural light available in your house to appeal to buyers, and prop upstanding lights in strategic corners. Mirrors add both light and space to a room.

Presentation is the key

When showing your house off, put away coats, children's toys, outdoor shoes, umbrellas and cleaning items. The less clutter you have, the more appealing and spacious the rooms will look. Needless to say, every room should be spotlessly clean.

Homely touches

Remember that you are selling a lifestyle and a home, not just an empty shell of a place. Accessorize your house with books, artwork, scented candles and fresh flowers to bring it to life.

Window treatment

Lastly don't neglect the windows. Use sheer roller blinds which maximise the light but create a feeling of privacy at the same time. A grand view should be framed with suitably dramatic curtains; an unsightly one screened from sight with roman blinds, which are a great budget solution as they use less fabric than conventional curtains.