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9 things not to do if you want to sell your house

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Fri 02 Feb 2018

9 things not to do if you want to sell your house

Rod Stewart may be a superstar, but he shares one problem with many of us mere mortals. He cannot sell his house.

Rod first put Wood House, his 25-acre Essex mansion, on the market in July 2016 for £7.5 million. Nobody thought that price was serious so he dropped it by £550,000 that November, writes Fred Redwood.

When that cut didn’t prove to be deep enough he lopped another £1 million off, taking it to £5.95 million.

Everything about Wood House, Rod’s former home, screams ‘rock star’ — and that could be the problem.

Suzanne Sutherland, of Heatons Home Styling, believes vendors often put off buyers by over-personalising their homes.

‘You need to convey warmth without making people feel like intruders when they are viewing the property,’ she says. ‘Clear away personal effects, lay the table, but don’t over-dress it as if there’s going to be a banquet.’

So what are the major turn-offs when marketing a home?


If you have a purpose-built games room, fine. But in a reception room it tells the woman buyer that she can look forward to long nights waiting for hubby and his boozy mates to play ‘just one more frame’. Put the pool table in the garage.


There’s nothing wrong with having a man cave dedicated to fishing, bird watching, yoga, baseball or whatever. But it undeniably stamps your personality on that room and that could be a no-no.


These may re-kindle fond family memories, but they are your family memories, not the buyer’s. So be sensible and store them in the attic until the sale has gone through. If that leaves your walls looking bare, then invest in some tasteful pieces of reasonably priced artwork.


If you turn your living room into a nursery, with balls and trains and toys littering the carpet, then it will be a distraction to viewers trying to imagine what they would do with that space.


There may well have been days when you felt uplifted by the Be Awesome Today motto on your hall wall. Unfortunately, some viewers will think it’s plain naff. And if they question your taste over one thing, they are likely to look more critically at other aspects of your house.


Nothing brings out tribal instincts like football. Dressing out a room in Liverpool colours may bring a glow of pride to your elder son’s eyes. But if your sale depends on a visiting Everton supporter ... you see where I’m going. Take it all down.


Our houses are all personal spaces and no room is more personal than the bathroom. Nobody wants to know about what goes on in there, so put away the perfume, screw the tops on the toothpaste, take out a new block of soap, put the loo lid down and clean everything to a sparkle.


One pooch dozing in his basket creates a warm, homely feeling. Two or three Rottweilers call into question what the neighbourhood is like. Cats are acceptable but hide away rats, mice, spiders or snakes.


Wouldn’t they be happier in the shed? Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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