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22nd March 2001


The old adage, 'less is more' has never been truer for UK house sellers as Brits go back to basics in their bid to impress potential buyers.

Half of all home owners reveal that purging their homes of unnecessary clutter such as sofas and coffee tables is the best way to clinch a sale according to new research from, the UK's leading property portal.

And, it's more than a last minute vacuum or tidy up. Some sellers (23 per cent) will even go so far as renting storage facilities to hide their shabby or surplus furniture while their house is on the market, to help create that spacious look.

Said founder and managing director, Mark Desvaux: "home decor and styles are always changing and often buyers fall in love with the way a seller appears to live rather than the property itself. For example, an uncluttered and immaculately designed home may imply a lifestyle of stability and order that is both attractive and aspirational to certain people. Therefore, sellers are placing more importance on projecting the perfect image of their home and in effect their life to prospective buyers." Creating an image of the ideal living environment is such a high priority that five per cent would be prepared to hire a house doctor or image consultant. A further three per cent even admit to eradicating the house of kids and pets by paying a baby sitter or dog walker when hosting viewings.

Mark Desvaux said, "As we move into the key property season, sellers will go to extraordinary lengths to complete a deal and are prepared to spend money and time doing so.

Our survey illustrates that one in six sellers spent over 1,000 on extra services to assist their sale on top of the usual removal company, solicitors and estate agent costs. This increases the appeal of selling property privately as customers can save money during the expensive house moving process by avoiding third party commissions."

Aesthetic style is just as important outdoors as it is indoors according to the study from, which allows homeowners to buy and sell property directly over the internet, with nearly half of those surveyed opting to perform cosmetic work on their gardens to make their property more sellable.

However, although the old faithful selling methods of baking bread or brewing coffee before a visit are still very popular (41 per cent), one in ten sellers would prefer using Feng Shui techniques throughout the home to guarantee a sale.


For further information, please contact:

Mark Desvaux, Managing Director

Tel: 0845 003 0720



Notes to Editor: charges a flat fee of £40 (plus VAT) to advertise a property on the site. has recently launched the Service Centre, a free, independent service that organises all the products and services needed when moving house and for home improvement. See the Service Centre in action on the website:

Current services available on the site include: Mortgages, Home Insurance, Life Assurance, Personal Loans, Solicitors, Surveyors, Valuers, Conveyancers, Relocation Agents, Removals, Storage, Home Security, Central Heating. has launched a new Virtual Tour service called the V~Tour which provides a 360-degree, walk around video tour of sellers' homes. The premium V~Tour (£199) service includes a virtual tour on the site, one photo, a property advert and a tour in e-mail format. The standalone tour in e-mail format is priced at £152. (, the property portal, is the UK's premier web destination for anyone buying and selling or renting property.


Launched in May 1996, created the online private sales market for homeowners allowing them to directly sell on the Internet, saving an average of £4,200 in fees. The site also includes comprehensive guides covering everything from first mortgages to finding a dream home. Whether a first-time buyer or housing professional, is an indispensable resource packed with properties, information, news, advice, discussion forums, web directories and financial services. receives over 100,000 visitors each month and has won numerous awards and accolades, including 'Top Property Site' from Internet World. It is also featured in the Lycos and BBC Online Web guides. is owned by HouseWeb Ltd, a privately held company based in Cambridge, UK.

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