Selling your housequickly is often key to taking your next step on the property ladder.
And while a bustling market can often mean a fast sale, markets where buyers hold the aces can result in lengthly frustration for sellers keen to move on.
In that kind of market, it could be fine margins and small differences that make your property stand out from the crowd.
And that can mean you bag a quick sale while the competition remains frustrated.
Here are Martin & Co's top-10 tips for securing that dream fast sale...
Selling your house quickly
1. It's all in the presentation
Start with the front of your house. Look at it from a buyer's perspective... would you buy it?
If not then it could be time to spruce things up a little. Set about making a real first impression on your buyers when they arrive for a viewing.
Make sure your front garden is tidy, the lawn mowed and edging detailed, jet wash your path or driveway and remove any weeds.
Clean the windows and give the frames a lick of paint if required.
You want buyers to know the house is well looked after and cared for.
2. Stage your home
Home staging might feel like a relatively new and sometimes unachievable process for the everyday property owner.
But literally anyone can stage their home for sale with a little bit of elbow grease, a small budget and a keen eye for detail.
Firstly, have a tidy up and remove any clutter from the living area of your home. Be careful not to remove every single thing that is personal to you (as many selling guides suggest) as your buyers won't want to see an empty shell.
Then, lay your table as if you were having people round for dinner and plump up any cushions on your sofa.
Switch on corner lamps, even in the daytime, and put some fresh flowers out alongside a pleasant room fragrance.
Make up all the beds and dress them and then give all rooms a final clean.
3. Set the temperature
It's not just the visual appearance of your home that will have an instant impact on potential buyers.
It's also how the property makes them feel.
So, if you've left the heating off and opened all the windows to remove the smell of last night's dinner and your viewing is in the middle of January, your property will feel cold and unwelcoming.
Equally, if your viewings take place during a summer akin to the one we have just had in 2018, having all the windows closed in such searing heat will make your home feel uncomfortable and stuffy.
4. Display your rooms as they are meant to be used
If your home is a three-bedroom property and you have advertised it as such, make sure you have three bedrooms on show when buyers arrive for viewings.
Many homeowners often convert a bedroom into a home office, wardrobe space or simply use the room as storage.
If a buyer is viewing your home, there's a strong chance their requirement will be the number of bedrooms you have, so make sure all these rooms are shown off as 'bedrooms'.
5. Do a job on your decor
Most people like to put their mark on a property and bring out parts of their personalities in their homes.
We're all for that.
But when it comes to selling that home, those splashes of personality can be off putting for a buyer.
The best thing to do is paint over any bold, bright walls with white or cream and add those bolder tones to the room in the form of cushions or flowers.
The same goes for wallpaper, which is a bit 'Marmite' when it comes to decor - some people love it and others hate it.
Consider replacing any deep patterned wallpaper with something a little less brash, or even take it off and opt for a neutral paint instead.
6. Freshen up your carpets or flooring
If you're lucky enough to live in a period property with traditional wood flooring, you'll want to show it off in all its glory.
But there's a chance it's been worn down by traffic so try stripping it back and applying a fresh coat of varnish.
If your house is floored with carpets that have seen better days, consider replacing them before putting your property on the market.
New carpets can make a huge difference to bagging that all-important quick sale.
But even if your carpets are in good condition, bringing in a professional carpet cleaner can also pay dividends when impressing buyers.
7. The big selling point - your kitchen
One of the first things buyers look for these days is a fully functioning, modern and spacious kitchen - a real heart of the home.
While fitting a new kitchen can be costly, and should only be done if you know your property's value will increase, there are things you can do to liven up your space without breaking the bank.
New worktops can make a big difference to a kitchen and can provide a clean and fresh appeal to buyers.
Or you could paint your cupboard doors the colour of the moment and replace the handles.
Alternatively, have your kitchen re-tiled. Tiles can easily date a kitchen space but replacing them doesn't have to be costly.
8. Clean and pristine in the bathroom
Closely behind the kitchen, buyers will be looking for a functional, low maintenance yet relaxing bathroom space.
Bathroom suites are very affordable if you know where to look, so if yours has seen better days, consider replacing it with a modern white suite.
If you can fit in a bath and shower, this will appeal to buyers - it's amazing how many people only like to take one or the other!
Away from big changes, most bathrooms can be given a new lease of life with an intense clean-up.
Consider bringing in a cleaning company for this, especially if the grime has built up over a period of time.
9. Get a good estate agent
This sounds like an obvious one, but even though all estate agents will tell you how good you are, how do you really know?
While the commission you pay to sell your home is often the tipping point between one agent or another, take some time to explore each agent's marketing techniques.
Do they market properties on all the major online portals, for instance, and do they have a strong list of potential buyers to pitch your property to?
Ask them about their experience in selling properties like yours in the area. A good agent will have a solid track record and know your area inside out.
10. Market your property yourself
'But that's what I'm paying an agent for'?
You are correct, but you can support the estate agent's role in selling your home by actively promoting your property on social media.
Most of us use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so why not drop in a few posts featuring pictures of your house and link to the estate agent's website, or Rightmove, Zoopla or OnTheMarket?
You never know... one of your Facebook friends might share your post and find the news feed of someone else who is looking for a property just like yours!
If you are ready to put your home up for sale, why not get a free instant online valuation to find out what your property is worth.