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This is the time of year when home owners thinking about selling in the coming months are advised to take advantage of the lengthening days to prepare their properties to make the best impression on potential buyers from the outset, according to Shouler & Son’s estate agents.

More hours of daylight provide the ideal opportunity for sellers to look at their house in a new light. This, says the firm, is best done through a fresh pair of eyes belonging to, ideally, an estate agent if you are inviting a market appraisal.

First impressions count when it comes to an initial viewing by a potential purchaser so start with thinking about the approach to the house.

Does the front door need replacing, a fresh coat of paint, a replacement for a cracked pane, if glazed, or at least a good wipe down?

Even something as simple as a tatty front door mat or untidy shoe rack in an entrance lobby can make for a bad first impression.

If there’s a porch, is the guttering intact? Are there any ridge tiles missing from it causing drips when it rains? Of course, this applies to the roof too as this might indicate a more serious property maintenance issue that will need attention.

Take a few steps back and review any gates or fences, particularly in the front garden. Does the latch on the gate work? Is it hanging off its hinges? Could any fence panels do with a quick coat of paint?

If the front garden is gravelled to provide parking, are there weeds poking through? Does it need raking through or topping up with more shingle, ideally in in the same style as the original?

A small, well maintained garden as an approach to a house can be just as attractive as ornamental lawns or a sweeping driveway because it’s about appropriateness.

As with the rest of the property, it’s all about the scale of the house and the target market for buyers when it comes to that first approach to the property.

Professional estate agents will always do their best to present a property for sale in its best light and while image isn’t everything, there is no doubt that first impressions count.

To talk with Shouler & Son about a marketing appraisal of your home this spring, contact Shouler & Son, tel 01664 560181, email or see