Cleaning up the kitchen and creating a pleasant airy atmosphere, especially in summer heat, can go a long way to making your house attractive to prospective buyers.

Although it’s still summer, most homebuyers at the moment are not in holiday mode, so sellers will need to stage and show their homes a little differently now in order to achieve a sale.

Indeed, notes a new property newsletter from mortgage originator Betterbond, what buyers are likely to be looking for now is a peaceful place to come home to after a hard, hot day, so it’s all about creating tranquil spaces.

The newsletter then offers the following expert seasonal staging tips:

* Make an impression outdoors. There’s nothing so soothing as the sound of cool, running water, so water features or fountains should be turned on for viewings or showdays. If there is a swimming pool, it should be spotless and surrounded by manicured lawn and lush-looking plants and flowers – even if these have to be planted up in pots to achieve the desired look.

* Dress up the patio. If there is a shady patio, verandah or lapa, show it to best advantage by setting up a cool seating area perfect for sipping sundowners, or set a table there with pale linens and a jug of something icy.

* Make the interior a “retreat from the heat”. If there is airconditioning, set it to a comfortable level during showings so that prospective buyers will be cool while they view the property. Alternatively, open windows, doors to the garden, and curtains and put on ceiling or stand fans to create a pleasant, airy atmosphere.

* Clean everything until it gleams, and be absolutely ruthless about clearing away clutter, heavy curtains and surplus furniture. Crowded rooms and messy tables and countertops are not only distracting but inclined to make potential buyers feel hot, bothered and uncomfortable.

* Banish the dark. The impression you want to create at this time of the year is light and bright, so any rooms painted in dark colours should be repainted in pale neutral shades, especially if the flooring is dark.

And finally, the top tip for the year ahead is to stage any home for sale before it is photographed for print advertisements or online listings. - Saturday Star