The number of homes on the property market has slumped to its lowest level since 2004 - yet buyer demand is rocketing.

Those plumping for a new pad are seeking out good value homes and, at the same time, are unwilling to fork out more cash than they think they need to.

Chestertons estate agency, which has a branch just across the River Thames from Canary Wharf in Greenwich , said homeowners now need to up their game if they wish to sell their period property amid a landscape where house sales are low.

Manager of the firm’s Kew branch Daniel Killick offers 5 top tips for a speedy sale.

First impressions count

He said: “First impressions are the most important, so ensure that the exterior of your property is looking shipshape.

“Invest some time tidying and grooming the entrance to the property – there’s nothing more off-putting than an overgrown and unkempt front garden.”

All the mod cons

He said: “Many homeowners are modernising the interiors of their period properties to suit their modern lifestyle.

“Almost 30% of UK residents recently surveyed by Chestertons revealed they would pay up to £5,000 extra for a property with smart technology, so consider upgrading some of your features to ensure the property is fit for purpose.

“Smart technology is becoming increasingly popular and only set to get smarter, so now’s the time to get onboard with the trend.”

Interior decoration

He said: “Refresh any tired looking interiors with a lick of paint and some simple accessories.

“It’s a simple and effective way of bringing a room up to date and injecting some life back into dull spaces.

“The Pantone signature colours for 2016 have recently been revealed as Rose Quartz – ‘a warmer embracing rose tone’ – and Serenity – a “cooler tranquil blue” – so incorporating these colours into your property is a sure-fire way of being ahead of the trend.”

Spring clean

He said: “No-one wants to be faced with rooms full of clutter when viewing a property. Make time for a clear-out before viewings commence to get rid of any unwanted items which might dominate a room. Prospective buyers need to be able to visualize their own furniture in the property, which a neat and clean room definitely facilitates.”

Warm up

He said: “Period properties can be large and lofty buildings commonly known for dodgy heating systems. Make sure this isn’t something prospective buyers are turned off by and put the heating on when any viewings are expected. A cold property may give the impression that the boiler isn’t up to scratch and that it might need replacing – a costly job.”