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Ten Big Mistakes That Will Lose That Property Sale

If you are serious about selling your home, you probably go to a huge amount of effort when you show potential buyers around your property. You clean the bathroom until it sparkles; vacuum the carpet; brew coffee or bake bread; maybe you even banish the kids to their grandparents, but did you make one of these Ten Big Mistakes that can lose the sale - but are so easy to avoid.

1) You forgot the outside: While you were busy cleaning the inside you didn't notice that the lawn needed a mow, that the pots and hanging baskets were wilting or that the wind had blown litter onto your drive. Get outside and look at the first impression your buyers will get of your house.

2) You forgot the outbuildings: You swept the path and weeded the garden, but you forgot that the garage was full of junk and the garden shed was cobweb city. These go with the house and they could be a deal-breaker.

3) You tidied up - but filled the cupboards to bursting: Buyers want to know how much storage the property has, so make sure that any built in-storage such as cupboards, wardrobes or closets are empty enough for buyers to gauge the size. If it is supposed to be a walk in wardrobe, there must be room to walk inside it.

4) You didn't notice the aroma of your house: If you have animals your house will probably smell of them. You don't notice it, but your potential buyers will. Don't cook spicy or garlic laden meals shortly before a viewing, and avoid deep fried food or takeaways. Also remember that air fresheners smell cheap and synthetic, look like you are trying to hide something and many people are allergic to them. If your house makes someone sneeze, they won't buy it.

5) You still had your scruffy clothes on when your visitors arrived: To make the best impression on the potential buyer you want yourself to look good too, so remember to change out of your muddy gardening clothes before they arrive. You don't have to wear a suit like the estate agent, but you should look clean and neat.

6) You didn't do your homework (1): Buyers want to know about the area. What are the local schools like? How close is the railway station? How much are the local taxes?

7) You didn't do your homework (2): You need to have good answers to crucial questions so that they roll off the tongue with ease - especially if they are not completely accurate. 'Why are you moving?' and 'What are the neighbours like?' are the two that you must have good positive answers to.

8) You left pest control items visible: If you use mousetraps, poisons, ant powder etc, even if they are just a precaution, hide them from your viewers. They won't buy a property that appears to have an infestation.

9) The same goes for a dehumidifier: They won't buy a house that appears to be damp either.

10) You let your mouth run away with you: I once viewed a house where the rather chatty owner mentioned that she had recently had an attempted break-in by an ex-boyfriend. Funnily enough we didn't make an offer on that one.

Jacqui O'Brien is the owner of, the directory of UK Private Seller (FSBO) property websites where you can also list your own home webpage for free.

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