We’ve all heard the saying “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, well it’s especially true when it comes to selling your home. If you want to achieve the very best price within a reasonable timeframe then the biggest asset you can have is a stunning set of advertising photos.
The easiest way to get the best images is to source a professional photographer. Access to a professional photographer differs from agent to agent and may require additional investment. The photos of your home need to attract and inspires buyers, that’s why we insist that every home we take to market has enhanced images.
Having a professional come round to take the photos will help, but to really show your property at its best, you need to prepare accordingly.
To get the very best photos, make sure the preparation is done prior to the photographer’s arrival.
- Consider the best time of day for light and inform the agent/photographer (ideal light being sun directly above you home)
- Check the forecast. Try to book your photos on a pleasant day. In case of inclement weather, allow the photographer to make the decision on whether or not to reschedule.
- Thoroughly clean the whole house
- Open all curtains and blinds allowing a flow of natural light
- Replace any blown bulbs (Make sure the bulbs are all the same temperature, for example, avoid mixing incandescent with fluorescent light bulbs)
- Turn off TV’s, computers and any other electrical items that could distract the eye
- Remove personal items, specifically photos. Replace with local landscape images
- Get rid of any clutter DVD’s, CD’s, coats, shoes etc.
- Removed any items stored under beds or on top of wardrobes as they will be visible to the camera.
The front external image is usually the first photo buyers will see. The one that compels them to click for more details or not. Make sure the first impression is a great one.
- Remove cars
- Remove bins
- Close the front and garage door
- Turn off internal lights (unless it’s a twilight photo shoot)
- Tidy the front garden (mow the lawn, trim shrubbery, sweep any fallen leaves)
- Revive, replace or remove any planters that need attention
- Remove a water hose if applicable
- Remove any other clutter
Usually placed at the end of the property listing. A chance to leave a lasting impression.
- Make sure your garden furniture is well cared for. Replace or remove any soft furnishing that are stained.
- Mow the lawn, pay attention to decorative borders and trim back any overgrown shrubbery. Overgrown borders and shrubbery will make the garden seem smaller than it actually is.
- Remove any toys, sports equipment or garden equipment
- Remove garden hoses
- Remove any bins
Set the Scene Inside
Making additional considerations for the time of year. In winter, light candles, lay out rugs and place blankets. In summer, open patio doors and set a jug of fresh orange on the outside table.
- Move or place furniture to make rooms look spacious and bright
- Assess the lighting in each room
- Place accessories that will help the photographer (bottle of wine, book etc.)
- Placing fresh flowers that are sympathetic to the room help breathe life into your home
Make sure the living areas are seen as places to enjoy quality time with family.
- Arrange cushions to be neat and tidy
- Light the fire
- Remove any DVD’s, CD’s, magazines etc.
- Remove toys
- Set the dining table (feature one centrepiece such as a bouquet of flowers)
- Turn off TV’s and computers
The kitchen is often seen as the focal point of a home.
- Clear worktops/worksurfaces
- Try to only have one small appliance out (coffee maker etc.)
- Remove fridge decorations such as magnets or finger-paintings
- Hide bins
- No dirty dishes!!
- Remove tea towels (unless they are purposely placed to add colour)
- Make sure cupboard doors are closed and properly aligned
- If you have pets, remove beds and bowls
Continue the great work upstairs!
- Choose light coloured bed sheets and pillows to match
- Make your bed, 5-star hotel standard (use Google and YouTube for the best tips and tricks)
- Shut all wardrobe/storage doors
- Depersonalise the children’s or guest rooms. Remove personal items and replace them with something generic (swap the family photo out for a landscape photo)
Try to give your bathrooms a ‘spa-like’ feel.
- Remove soap, toothbrushes, medicine, deodorants etc.
- Put hand wash into a dispenser that compliments the room
- Hide shower items. Shampoos, body wash etc.
- Bright shower curtains draw the eye with bathroom photos, so if you cannot remove it, replace it with a neutral one that can be tied-back
- Put toilet seats down
- Put in clean, neatly folded towels
- Remove floormats
- Remove beds, bowls and toys that may be scattered throughout the home
- Use a lint roller on your furniture
- Remove waste from the garden. The photographer (and agent!) might want to go down the garden to acquire photos, removed any surprises your pet may have left.
Finally, Share Those Best Kept Secrets!
Once you have made the above preparations, it’s not quite time to get your feet up. Have a think about the very best things of your home and put together a list.
What spot do you enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning?
Which window offers the best view?
How does the property look as the sun is setting?
These are the things that will inspire your buyers. Make sure you have an agent and photographer who brings them to the fore.
Matt Housley - Residential Sales
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