With house prices growing at the fastest rate in 15 years, one Newport estate agency has revealed it has the secret formula to ensure homes sells quickly, and for more money.

Open House, based in Stow Park Circle, Newport, opened its first office in the city two years ago and has been 'turning heads' in the sector since then.

Director Mark Nicholls said the formula they use to secure a quick sale, at the highest price, is all about staging the seller’s home, and creating a sense of urgency in the buyers.

He said: "House builders and property developers have known about home-staging for decades.

“They can spend up to £50,000 on the look inside their show homes to give buyers the best impression possible.

“They’re not selling sunsets; they are selling houses at the top price.

“The average estate agency might just ask you to tidy your home before they take photos, but customer-focused agencies go that one stage further, and bring in a team of experts and stylish accessories to maximise market appeal and attractiveness of your home.

“We, for example, have a warehouse full of artwork, home furnishings and ornaments, and we also purchase the latest on-trend interior accessories that we use to make homes look the most desirable it can be to prospective purchasers.”

Fellow Open House director Jonathan Hollins said their approach is simple, but effective.

“It’s no secret that show homes sell faster, and for more money. So we recommend to sellers that they only use an agency which gives them the show home look.

“This process also involves the use of creative professional photography to maximise buyer interest. We really wouldn’t dream of taking pictures on a phone; that just won’t get the level of interest sellers deserve.”

Open House also promotes a novel approach to viewings; they only offer a select number of viewing appointments to motivated buyers, and do them all on one day.

Jonathan said: “This ‘open house’ approach creates a sense of urgency - a fear of missing out - and viewing slots are quickly snapped up. More importantly it’s better for the seller; they only have to have one viewing session at their home – and then it’s sold.”

Mark says that this sense of urgency should continue when it comes to accepting offers on the property.

Bobbie Windsor sold her house in Malpas, Newport, using the advice from Open House.

She says she was bowled over by the approach.

Ms Windsor said: "I’ve sold a few homes over the years, and it can be a nightmare, especially having to keep the place perfect for multiple viewings stretching weeks, even months.

“I really don’t want monthly reports telling me about the website hits they’ve had but no offers. I don’t want to have weeks on end of viewings, I just want it sold.

“So meeting people who agreed was a breath of fresh air. They came in, staged and styled my home and managed the open house day. Twenty-four hours later, they came back with five offers, three of which were above my asking price.”

Open House is based in Stow Park Circle, in the Handpost area of Newport.