How to help attract a quick sale and the best price with your garden this September 

The Long Barn – Rutland

FINALLY, summer is here… we think! September has started off beautifully and looking at the weeks ahead, it does look like the season is starting a little later than usual this year – fingers crossed! 

Like us, you’ve probably been battling garden growth over recent months however, as the combination of humidity and rain has created an ideal set up for everything to bloom and grow. If you’re planning on selling your home this September then it is really important you are keeping on top of your lawns, weeds and plants for viewings as well as for when it’s photographed by your estate agent. After all, you want to achieve a quick sale and the best possible price! Gardens are a huge priority for people now, with some of the best ones attracting a premium, so you need to ensure your photographs are looking amazing wherever your home is being promoted – whether that’s on portals, your estate agent’s website, shop window, brochures and press! 

Whether you do it yourself or give your gardener a list of instructions, here are a few things we encourage our sellers to think about before we send the photographer round… 

The Old Stables – Pipewell

Mow the lawn (s)

Mow, mow, strim and mow – but don’t overdo it otherwise you’ll kill the grass. Fill in any holes your dog has dug up (yes this happens to us!), and remove any weeds or moss growing in the middle of your lawn. If you’re lucky to have multiple lawns, ensure you do this for all of them. 


Regularly remove weeds wherever you see them – borders, flower pots, flower beds, hanging baskets, paving cracks and so on are the most common places for the little rascals to thrive. 

Water, deadhead, prune and cut

Buyers will want to see your garden in all its glory at this time of year as it could be theirs one day. With this heat you’ll need to water everything to stop them from dying – imagine how off putting that could be? Meanwhile deadhead and prune to help keep things tidy, and don’t forget to cut back creeping brambles and overgrown hedges and trees. 

Tidy up

How are buyers supposed to imagine what life in your garden would look like if everything is messy? Neatly tidy away anything that doesn’t need to be out – think gardening tools, children’s toys, dog toys, rubbish etc. Clear up after your dog, sweep up, jet wash patio/decking areas if you need to and arrange your gardening chairs around the table. 

Church View House – Elton

Home stage 

With al fresco dining at the top of a buyer’s list now it’s worth dressing any outdoor seating areas with rugs, throws, a table cloth, cushions etc. This can help reinforce to buyers that your home offers a fantastic spot for entertaining outside or to enjoy a romantic night out at home. 

Do repairs 

If your fence, shed, side gate, summerhouse, green house and so on is looking a little battered, it’s worth repairing them as anything broken will be noticed by buyers. Don’t put them off!

Find Out More

For more advice about maximising your garden’s appeal in order to sell your home this September quickly and for the best possible price, do contact Jan and Ildi on 01780 750 200 or e-mail:

The benefits of selling your home via open house

Open houses are a hugely under-utilised tool in the industry for selling a home, but we really believe in them as there are many benefits for sellers. From saving time and managing viewings more effectively to selling quickly and attracting bidding wars, here are a few reasons why it’s one of our favourite ways to sell a home in Rutland, Stamford and South Lincs…

Bank House attracted 12 viewings and 4 offers via open house

Save time

If your home is highly attractive and sensibly priced, the chances are you are going to have plenty of viewings booked in. However, having to ensure your home is looking its very best several times in the week can be exhausting and time heavy – especially if you lead busy lives. Cleaning, dusting, tidying away…. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do all of this in one go to minimise disruption to your life and get back to ‘normality’ quickly? With an open house, you can!

Maximise interest

We tend to find that properties advertised as an open house allows our sellers time to whet buyers’ appetites, generating a good sense of urgency and interest. We therefore encourage properties to have two to three weeks between launch and the open house date to ensure interest has absolutely peaked before we invite potential buyers round. Thus ensuring maximum exposure and creating some healthy competition on the day!

Glenville attracted 8 viewings and 2 offers via open house

Attract serious buyers only

Open houses allow enough time for us to vet each buyer so that we can ensure the only people viewing are in a proceedable position. This helps increase our chances of selling the house at the end of the day.

The potential to attract higher offers

Open houses usually create competition amongst buyers, which generates multiple offers. These are often (but not always) over the asking price.

Be sustainable

As well as being an efficient use of time, it is also a more green way of selling a home because it removes numerous trips back and forth to a property. This helps us as a company to reduce our carbon emissions – a small part, but every little counts right?

Glasshouse Farm attracted 7 viewings and 4 offers via open house

Structured appointments

We organise timetabled appointments which allows us to control the situation and flow on the day. This ensures that it remains a personal experience for our sellers as well as the buyers.

Things to bear in mind… 

Be patient. The waiting from launch to open day can be torturous but trust us – it is worth the wait. We have an excellent track record to prove it! But timing is key, jump too soon and you will fall, too late, and you will miss the boat.

Open houses can be perceived by some buyers as unfair, because the high demand means that those not in a position to proceed right away are at a big disadvantage. As a seller, this however streamlines the process, ensuring that there are only serious contenders on the table.

Oak Road was a huge success selling via open house

Find Out More

For more information about selling your home this way, please do contact Jan and Ildi on 01780 750 200 or e-mail:

Your Guide to Moving Home the Right Way

Moving house not only requires a lot of organisation and planning but it is also an emotional experience. Fine & Country Property Staging reveal their top tips for a smooth move.

For many, it can be an exciting time to be moving into a new property, often your dream home, but for some, when moving is prompted by bad news, such as a divorce or bereavement, the process can be stressful, to say the least.

We have helped move a large number of clients, many in different situations across the country, and we advise on how to make your move as stress-free and efficient as possible. We know all too often there can be hiccups with moving dates and significant delays and that is why planning early is key.  

Source a reliable removal firm

Sourcing a reliable removal firm should be one of the early ‘to do’ tasks on your list. It is important that you find a company that has the right-sized vehicles to accommodate the number of items you are moving. Find out if there is any additional help they may be able to offer, too. For example, some firms will help remove headboards from the walls or remove curtain poles. This could be a big help in the long run.

Start packing early

If your removal firm is not packing your boxes, then it is best to get started early with this. Equip yourself with a permanent marker pen, plenty of brown packaging tape, and lots of packing materials such as bubble wrap and newspaper. Boxes can be sourced from a number of places. Amazon has a good selection of sizes at a reasonable price. We recommend using ‘double walled’ boxes as they are stronger and more likely to hold a heavier weight.

Do not forget the garden

It is amazing how many items you can accumulate in your garden over the years, such as beautiful plant pots, furniture and ornaments that all need to be packed. It is worth moving the items you plan on taking with you into one section of the garden, so it is clear. This is a great opportunity to clear out any things you no longer need, as sheds and garages can be a great place for harbouring clutter. eBay and Facebook selling sites are an easy way to list and sell old items which you will no longer need in your new home.

Pack an ‘essentials’ box

Clearly label a separate box and fill it with everything you will need for the first few days in your new home. This can include valuables, phones, chargers, and television remotes. If you have children, think about schoolbooks and their school uniform, as it can be a hassle if these things are difficult to find quickly. If you have pets, make sure their pet food is not too far away.

Remember to pack the kettle last. Moving house is thirsty work and you will be ready for a coffee when you move in.

The key here is starting early. Even before you have an exchange date, you can begin sorting through your belongings, whether by room or perhaps certain areas of your house. It will help you to have less clutter to sort when you are packing.

Contact us today

Fine and Country Property Staging can help you with every step of your move from the staging to the moving. Get in touch at

How To Prepare Your Home For Sale this Spring

Langley House – Upton

To achieve optimal results when putting your home on the market, it is important to stand out from the crowd. Jan von Draczek, Director of Fine & Country Rutland, Stamford & South Lincolnshire gives his top tips on how to showcase the highlights of your home. 

There are a number of techniques to selling a property, but fundamentally, they all point to the same base fact: sellers need to focus on showcasing their home’s best features to gain a competitive edge and realise the property’s true sales potential.

Selling a home at the best possible price within the preferred time frame takes more than luck. It’s about having the right real estate professional in your corner with the right tools and a few tricks up your sleeve.

There’s no need to completely revamp your property or embark on a costly, time-taking renovation project to make a sale. It’s about finding ways to highlight your home’s key features. This can be in the way you present your home – uncluttered, curtains open to let light in, suitable scents and the like, but there are also a few subtle changes that can make a big difference. A few well-chosen tweaks can update your entire home, giving it a fresh look and feel – and without squandering your savings. A lick of paint and a thorough scrubbing is the ideal place to start to ensure your home is in tip-top condition. 

Here are a few more ways of making sure your home is in top form on show day:

Neville House, Rutland


The kitchen is fast-becoming one of the most important areas of the home. For many buyers, it can be the deciding factor. An updated kitchen increases the perceived value of a property and leaves a lasting impression. Take a good, hard look. Is your kitchen well-loved and a tad worn? Refurbishing the countertops and cupboards can quickly reverse that trend. Updating large appliances also breathes new life into the space. Depending on the space, it may be worth adding an island to increase the room’s aesthetic appeal and boost counter space.


Not much needs to be done in a bathroom for it to feel different. Changing the taps or adding a mirror can freshen up the look and alter the space. Lighting can also change the feel of the room and breathe fresh life into an outdated area.

Storage and organisation

Depending on the layout of the property, installing additional storage space can be a practical way of creating an additional selling feature. Buyers tend to look for homes with ample storage capacity, so pantries, utility cupboards and the like can be a selling point. Building in under-stairs storage can be a good way of turning an unused area into functional space.

Neville House – Rutland


If the home has carpets, they should be in good repair and professionally cleaned. If the carpets are not in a good state, depending on what’s underneath it might be worthwhile having them replaced. You never know, there may be some beautiful original wooden flooring underneath the carpeting, which can be sanded and revarnished. Wooden floors are a timeless feature that are constantly in fashion. The right kind of flooring makes a room appear larger and it can revitalise a tired room. 

If none of these options are feasible, smaller house hacks include things like replacing door handles, replacing soft furnishings or removing some of your excess furniture to make rooms appear spacious. Your agent can advise on what is likely to add to the appeal of your home.

For advice on selling or buying property, please contact Fine & Country Rutland, Stamford & South Lincolnshire on +44(0)1780 750 200 or email

National Housing Market Update by Fine & Country

The housing market proved one of the highlights of the economy in 2020, defying expectations and staging an extraordinary recover. As we head towards spring 2021, market conditions are beginning to soften but with lifestyle change continuing to drive demand, the market remains busy.

Here’s the latest National Housing Market Update by Fine & Country, which includes a summary of key stats, market overview, house prices, transactions, availability and time to sell.

The Rutland Postcode Districts Property Buyers Have Fallen In Love With The Most In the Lead Up To Valentine’s Day

Our Co-Director Ildi Toth shares her thoughts on Rutland’s housing market, as latest data confirms buyer demand is the strongest it has been since we came out of ‘lockdown one’… meaning now could be an excellent time to be putting your home on the market.

One of the many stunning homes we have sold during the pandemic. It sold within a month of launching to market

Despite households being forced to spend Valentine’s Day at home this year, love is in the air across Rutland as house selling weather forecast, PropCast, has revealed which postcode districts home buyers have fallen in love with the most since the property market reopened following ‘lockdown one’ – bringing hope to thousands of local homeowners amidst COVID-19 uncertainty. 

The study examined the percentage of homes for sale that were under offer or subject to contract in July 2020 and now, to see which properties were located in a hot sellers market where it’s easier to sell, and which were in a cold buyers market where it’s harder to sell. PropCast then worked out the percentage differences for each between the two time frames to see what effect the pandemic has had on buyer demand levels, and therefore the potential for house price growth, the most. 

Despite being in the midst of a pandemic, February’s data shows all postcode districts in Rutland currently sit in a hot sellers’ market, which suggests buyer demand is very strong, and it’s easier to sell. Whereas in July 2020, 88% of postcode districts in Rutland were in a sellers’ market, and 12% in a buyers’ market. 

NG33 recorded the highest market heat temperature at 69°, meaning 69% of homes for sale are currently under offer or subject to contract. This is followed by NN17 (67°), LE13 (64°), PE9 (61°), LE15 (59°), LE7 (59°), LE14 (58°) and LE16 (57°). 

When comparing July 2020 to February 2021, PropCast has noted buyer demand has risen for all postcode districts in Rutland, with LE14 seeing the highest growth at a staggering 93%, followed by NG33 (+77%), PE9 (+69%) and LE15 (+64%). 

So what are our thoughts?

I am not surprised that Rutland has seen the biggest rise in buyer demand since July last year. Our properties have been flying off the shelves during this pandemic, as buyers tap into the appeal of this lush green county. Rutland has a relaxed, rural character and vibrant community spirit, with a wide range of lifestyle-enhancing options available to residents, with water activities being incredibly popular. Often, the county is compared to the Cotswolds due to its rolling countryside hills and cute stone villages. Being centred in England, Rutland also has excellent road and rail links offering easy access to the North and South, and boasts some of the country’s finest schools to include Uppingham and Oakham, with easy access to Witham Hall and Oundle too. Given how quickly our properties have been selling through all three national lockdowns, it is very clear to see that lifestyle options like these are now just as important as bricks and mortar. If the first lockdown has anything to teach us it’s that buyer demand does not diminish in a lockdown, it just gets deferred causing a further spike when restrictions are lifted.

Considering selling? 

If you’re considering selling, now could be the best time to be putting your house on the market – it’s not just Rutland we are seeing record high levels of buyer demand. You can contact Jan or I on 01780 750 200 for more information about how we promote homes to the widest possible audience with our award winning marketing services, and/or to arrange a no obligation market appraisal. 

Thinking Of Selling Your Home This Winter?

Putting your home on the market this winter? Our Director, Jan von Draczek, suggests these six tips to tempt buyers into making an offer… 

1. Let your home shine

Let as much light into you home as possible. Throw open your curtains and blinds and turn the lights on to achieve a bright, airy feel. If you have a fireplace, get a fire burning to bring a warming glow to the room. 

2. Turn up the heat

Temperature plays an integral role in determining the feel of a home. In winter, this is particularly important. The heat should be just a few degrees higher than in summer to warm property viewers up after being outdoors. This will leave them relaxed and comfortable for the viewing – you may want to offer to take their jackets at the door so they don’t end up overheating, though and whatever you do, don’t heat your home up like the Bahamas and leave your potential buyers sweating.

3. Warm neutrals

A paint refresh is often a good idea before selling ­– we become blind to the scuffs and marks of everyday life, but a potential property buyer will see every imperfection. A fresh paint job eliminates this concern. Go with neutral colours to achieve that blank canvas feel, but use light creams and warmer whites, rather than brilliant whites that can feel cold. Carry this through your soft furnishings if possible too, with a warm throw on the sofa or plump cushions in neutral shades.

4. Use sense with scents

Be very careful with the scents you choose and opt for something subtle. Our sense of smell differs; that Jasmine scent you love may be cloying for your potential buyer. Try and stay with natural scents – think pine cones, citrus and cloves. 

Remember, too, that your pets, adorable though they may be, are not odour-free. The last thing you want is the smell of wet dog permeating the house. Try and keep animals out of the way during viewings and give your home a good airing out beforehand, leaving plenty of time to warm it up again before the viewing starts.

5. Outdoor impressions

There’s no denying your garden is not going to be at its best in winter, but even at this colder time of year, your outdoor space can be a selling point, so it needs to create a positive impression. Make sure you clear any fallen leaves, keep the lawn neatly trimmed and prune any hedges. Deadhead hardy flowers and remove weeds. Make sure your outdoor storage is tidy and there are no toys scattered across the lawn. If you have exterior lighting, keep it on throughout the viewing to highlight your outdoor space. 

Would you like to speak to a professional sales agent? 

If you would like to take advantage of the increasing numbers of buyers looking for a new property in Rutland, Stamford and South Lincolnshire at the moment, the team at Fine & Country can help advise you on every step of the selling process. To speak to Jan or Ildi, please call us on 01780 750 200, and we would be happy to assist you. Alternatively, click here to book your free, no obligation property valuation.