24 June 2010

The best way to improve the chances of selling a home are to give it a good clean, a survey indicated.

Estate agents rated cleaning a property as the top way of boosting its saleability, followed by tidying up any clutter, according to property group movewithus.

Other small steps people could take to make their home sell quicker include freshening up the paintwork and tidying up the garden.

Structural damage was seen as the most likely factor to devalue a home, followed by extreme mess and damp.

The 200 estate agents questioned also thought poor or personalised decor, strong and unpleasant smells and an overgrown garden would led to a home sitting on the market for a long time.

The survey found that people who hope to add value to their property through more substantial improvements should consider adding an extra bedroom, as this was seen to boost a home's price by an average of 8.8%.

A property's value was also expected to rise by around 7.1% following a loft conversion, while adding an extra bathroom boosted it by 6.1% and installing a new kitchen added around 5.8% to its price.

Installing central heating, having off-street parking, putting in a new bathroom and adding a conservatory were all seen to lift a home's value by around 5%.

Robin King, director of movewithus, said: "The summer of 2010 looks like being the busiest quarter for the housing market since 2007.

"However, many people fail to realise the top price for their property because they don't appreciate what buyers are looking for."


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