Bring out the best in your property before buyers view it
WHILE image isn’t everything, there’s no denying that first impressions count when it comes to marketing and selling property and so the collaboration between estate agent and vendor to present the property in its best light is crucial.
This is the time of year when, with extended daylight hours, homes will probably look their best both inside and out, so many agents who have taken on instructions over the winter months which have not sold yet, will be looking to see if a new set of summer photographic images will give a value-for-money boost to the marketing.
In the premium homes market, high-end estate agents commission professional photographers when the instruction is taken, whatever the season, and there are specialist property photographers who know how to get the best out of a property in any weather.
With specialist equipment and lighting, these photographers can frame a room as if it’s a studio shot. But there are strict rules to which they adhere in terms of how a property can be represented in images and brochures and websites and so it really is the case that the camera can never lie in this instance.
What a professional approach can do is bring out the best in the property and vendors play their part in this professional presentation too, especially when it comes to the great outdoors.
There’s no denying that gardens look at their best at this time of year and can be presented as an extra room outdoors and they do add value to a property. First impressions of a property are vital – it is thought that people make up their minds within the first 30 seconds of a viewing so having “kerb appeal” is crucial. Make sure the front of your property is looking fresh, clean and welcoming. A lick of paint on the woodwork and buffing up the metal work can make a real difference.
With the rest of the garden, it’s a question of scale and appropriateness to the property and its target market. A small, well-maintained garden can be just as attractive as sweeping lawns and a pony paddock to the right buyer, but tidiness is the watchword. In a family property, the garden needs to show how it complements the home with defined areas for play equipment and a separate area from which the grown-ups can relax and supervise. Gazebos, paddling pools and hot tubs do not impress in a postage-stampsized lawn. Rusting barbecue kit or neglected garden furniture are also a no-no. Sheds and fences must look secure and well maintained. Pet deposits should be removed from any areas where viewers might tread. If it’s winter, there should be no piles of rotting leaves.
Within the home it is sometimes easy to overlook the clutter and personal knick-knacks. By defining the rooms as to their original use and taking away any unnecessary furniture or accessories, a potential buyer will be able to visualise more easily how the property could be adapted to their needs.
The same goes for bright colours and unusual tastes. If your living room is painted bright green with lemon coloured furniture, you might want to think about toning down the wallpaper and neutralising the space.
While your ancient poodle might be part of the family, not everyone likes pets, so make sure you keep them under control during a viewing. Don’t forget to deodorise any doggy smells and de-fluff all the furniture.
Remember that kitchens and bedrooms sell a property. A bedroom adds more value than a study or storeroom so make sure every bedroom includes a bed. Likewise, if you have bulky furniture in a small bedroom, consider replacing it to create a sense of space. You can hire replacement furniture to match your colour scheme if you don’t want to invest in new. The key to property presentation is to capture it looking its best.