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The media are telling us that house prices are falling again, so what can you do to make your property stand out if you really need to sell?

TV’s Restoration Man George Clarke has been giving his advice in the Mirror on easy ways to improve your home while keeping costs down, to create a good first impression.

Some of the easiest tips include just tidying up, inside and out. Your outside space  is often the first thing buyers will see, so spend a bit of time tidying it up, and that includes at the front of the house as well as the garden. The front door can have a major impact on prospective buyer, so if yours needs a lick of paint, do it.

Inside your home, try to make sure you have ‘de-cluttered’ and also get any grubby carpets cleaned. Generally you may just need to freshen everything up a bit. Also consider your lighting and how your home looks at different times of day. Lighting doesn’t have to cost loads and the choice is vast.

Do what you can to be energy efficient – apparently three quarters of house buyers say that a property’s green credentials are something they consider.

Regarding makeovers, the kitchen is definately worth spending a bit of money on, but buy the carcasses from your local DIY store to keep costs down. Then you could spend more on doors etc and maybe even get bespoke doors, with unique handles. Another re-vamp could be to put in a new kitchen worktop. This can give a whole new look to the room but without costing lots. See our Mitering Worktops project and our Using a Worktop Jig project for practical advice.

A bathroom makeover is also something to consider, and again to keep costs down, buy cheaper items and more expensive fittings. Keep it all light and bright and make sure it is kept uncluttered by considering storage solutions.

Consider if you have any extra space such as a basement, which might not be currently utilised. If you are considering a basement conversion, you will need to look at damp proofing, ventilation and light. At the other end of the house, there are loft conversions to consider. This can be a pricey option with many regulations and permissions to consider, but it can add real value to your home.

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