As soon as you mention that you are trying to sell your home, people around you light up with helpful suggestions. From arranging a room in a certain way to what smell to waft through your hallway, everyone has an idea of what is best to win over a potential buyer. The reality, though, is more complex than that.
Rather than rely on outdated advice or trust urban myths, we ask: what do house-hunters actually like? And what should or should you not be doing to make your property as attractive as possible?
Here are five things that, despite common misconception, are not guaranteed to sell your home.
1. The smell of coffee and bread
The smell of freshly baked bread and just-brewed coffee are the traditional failsafes for all house viewings, designed to create a homely, warm atmosphere. While they may work for older properties, though, homebuilder Millgate found that the aroma did not help to shift new build units. Instead, working with ScentAir, they discovered that the optimum scent is a blend of white tea and fig, creating a welcoming but clean feel.
2. A garage
After bedrooms and bathrooms, garages are often the next-touted feature for a home: after all, who does not need somewhere to park a vehicle? According to a survey by GoCompare, though, gardens are more popular than garages, with 68 per cent considering a green space out back as essential compared to just 41 per cent requiring a garage.
3. Living near a school
The postcode lottery of the UK education system has led to a culture of school-hunting as well as house-hunting: being near a good school is always thought to be a selling point for a home, with listings trumpeting the fact as a priority. According to the price comparison website's research, though, amenites outrank education: 52 per cent of buyers said that they primarily wanted to be near local shops, while just one in five said they wanted to be near a good school. If you life near an impressive educational institute, mention it. if you live near shops, though, shout it from the rootops.
4. A bath
When was the last time you had a chance to take a long, relaxing bath? Neither has your potential buyer, according to GoCompare, whose survey confirms that the busy nature of modern, always-connected life means people have fewer chances to soak in a tub. As a result, just 52 per cent of house-hunters said a bath was vital - far below the 61 per cent who felt a shower was a "must".
5. A clean house
Cleanliness is next to godliness, but who feels worthy of living like a god? Sometimes, a little mess or clutter can create a more inviting lived-in feel - a useful step towards helping your buyer to imagine themselves living there as well.
What other urban myths have you heard will help sell your home?