House prices: If your kid makes a mess, your home is worth less


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The Independent Online

How problematic is your teenager's messy bedroom? It's about £8,000-worth of problems if you are trying to sell your house, according to a survey by ING Direct. Judy Reith from gives us her tips to saving a fortune.

Step 1 Try to create a team atmosphere (not a nagging one) by calling a family chat and then appealing to a teenager's interest in money. Say: "We need to show the house off to get the most money." Then make clear you will be cleaning, too.

Step 2 If they don't get out the vacuum cleaner and duster, up the ante. Say you'll clean (and root around in) their room if they won't. Children are suprisingly privacy-conscious, so this usually does the trick.

Samuel Muston