Homeowners harbour misconceptions about selling

The research, which questioned householders and property valuation experts, also revealed the smaller jobs around the house which can help homeowners to sell their property.

More than half (55%) of property valuers said that the No1 way to increase a property’s chance of selling quickly, and for a healthy price, was to de-clutter. Tidying the garden, repairing paint chips or wallpaper will improve your house-selling chances.

However, more than two-thirds (69%) of homeowners thought cleaning the windows would be worthwhile, compared to just 39% of the property experts. In addition, while 65% of the experts said that repainting or varnishing a front door would make a difference, only 26% of homeowners recognise this.

Householders should also worry less about putting rubbish bins out of sight or washing the car, and concentrate instead on repairing old fences and gates.

Stuart Beattie, Head of Mortgages at HSBC, said: "Our survey shows that many homeowners have spent the recent Bank Holidays making home improvements.

"While work such as replacing windows or redecorating will make your home more attractive to prospective buyers, it is often the small, last-minute jobs like painting the front door that can make all the difference. First impressions really do count."

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