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What is the optimum colour to paint your home if you are planning on selling? Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told Ideal Home: ‘Personally, I think it’s always better to make a statement than opt for something blander, because that will generate a response from the buyer. It is good to generate a response, even if it’s the buyer saying they don’t like the lime green walls.’ However, he does advise some caution: ‘One colour doesn’t fit all, and it’s more a question of choosing a design or colour scheme that fits with the age and type of property you are selling. If you have a big room, you can be a bit more adventurous, but in a smaller space, be conservative. If you have a small, gloomy room, then painting it in a dark colour for example, is not going to help.’

The average cost of a home in the capital is now £537,250, which 0.1 per cent higher than this time last year, according to the Halifax. Jeremy Leaf told The Evening Standard: ‘At the sharp end, sales are still being agreed but are taking longer, not least because there’s more choice of stock. Looking forward, we don’t expect to see a dramatic change as we enter the key spring period for the housing market.’ He expanded further in Bloomberg: ‘Falling mortgage rates and expectations that the worst for the economy may be behind us have tempted buyers and sellers out of hibernation.'

If there are several buyers interested in your home, it’s tempting to go for the highest bidder, but this can be an error. Jeremy Leaf told The Sun: ’Ask to meet buyers in person to find out if they have a genuine desire to buy the property. If that isn’t possible, make sure your agent has checked full details of the mortgage offer, proof of deposit, whether they’re in a chain and their broker and solicitor’s details.'

The average price of a UK home rose by 5.5 per cent in the 12 months to February, slowing from 6.5 per cent in January, according to the comprehensive yet slightly dated data from the Office for National Statistics. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Mail: ‘Worries about inflation persist and buyers want to see value so are flexing their muscles before making decisions.’

In terms of asking prices, these again in March, driven higher by soaring rents, according to Rightmove. Jeremy Leaf told City AM: ‘What we are seeing in our offices is that when it comes to the crunch those buyers who are either equity-rich or have a ready-to-go mortgage are negotiating hard in order to get what they want. First-time buyers in particular are seizing the opportunity in increasing numbers to flex their muscles and get the best deals they can, in order to escape inexorably rising rents.'

Meanwhile, the number of property transactions in March increased by 1 per cent on February due to a stand-off in the property market, according to HMRC. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Mail: ‘Inflation and falling real incomes remain a concern, which is resulting in more hard bargaining and protracted sales.