Don’t beat about with carpets if you want a sale

House prices in Scotland are set to rise at a slower rate than the rest of the UK.

House prices in Scotland are set to rise at a slower rate than the rest of the UK.

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First impressions count and nowhere more so than when it comes to trying to sell your home.

And what is the biggest no-no with prospective buyers as soon as they walk through the door?

Well, if you’re trying to sell, you should be looking to what’s underfoot as a new survey has carpets as the top offender.

According to the poll of estate agents carried out by home improvement experts Wickes, carpets are the biggest turn-off for potential house-buyers, with stained carpets (61 per cent) and 1970s-style carpets (53 per cent) coming top of the list, even above Artex ceilings (49 per cent) and woodchip wallpaper (49 per cent).

The survey was carried out to get a better understanding of how buyers react during house viewings and how vendors can increase their chances of a quick sale.

Old and dirty carpets are deemed to be so offensive to potential buyers that over two-thirds of estate agents have urged vendors to have them professionally cleaned (68 per cent), or to replace worn or stained carpets (67 per cent).

Other common reasons for sales falling through include old lino flooring in kitchens and bathrooms (45 per cent) and non-integrated kitchens (36 per cent).

Estate agents often go to extra lengths in a bid to improve the impressions given to potential buyers, with more than a third admitting to making an unmade bed (35 per cent), vacuuming (30 per cent) and doing the washing-up (21 per cent).

A third (32 per cent) even said they had hidden away ‘inappropriate items’ left lying around in the seller’s bedroom.

As well as increasing the chances of a sale, research also found that good quality flooring can add more than £2500 to the value of a home.

Mitz Vaghji, flooring category manager at Wickes, said: “While the top tip to help sell your home is painting interior walls in neutral colours, a beautiful new floor can easily help to transform your home and increase your chances of selling.

“Having good quality flooring consistently throughout your home has been proven to add value, and with the affordable ranges available at Wickes, there is something to suit every home at a great price.”

See www.wickes.co.uk for its flooring range.

Top 10 tips to help sell your home:

Paint walls in neutral colour

Have carpets cleaned

Replace worn or stained carpets

Replace old kitchen cupboard doors

Fix squeaky floorboards

Put mirrors up to increase sense of space and/or light

Remove bulky furniture

Steam clean floor tiles

Take down family photos

Have new wood flooring installed in main living areas.

Top 10 turn-offs for potential buyers:

Stained carpets

1970s-style carpets

Artex ceilings

Woodchip wallpaper

Old lino in bathroom or kitchen

A non-integrated kitchen with free-standing appliances

Squeaky floorboards

Patterned/flock wallpaper

Strip lighting

Pine panelling.