Have you ever looked at pictures of a house for sale and thought: “What were they thinking?” There are some classic montages of “fails” online if you care to take a look but, believe it or not, in the frenzy of activity which often surrounds moving house, it’s actually quite easy to fall foul of the pitfalls and find you’re actually at risk of being on the list too.
Of course, we’re here to help and we’ll always do our best to make sure your home is seen at its best but, there’s no harm in being prepared either so we thought we’d share a list of dos & don’ts to consider ahead of a visit by the property photographer.
Pick the time of day
If there is a time of day when your home is presented well in natural light, try to persuade your chosen estate agent to get the photographer’s visit to coincide. It’s not much good asking them to come if half the house is in shade cast by trees or other buildings. Believe it or not, your house has a right time for its close-up so try to work out when that might be and have the images taken then.
Open doors & curtains
Equally, inside, your home can look a little dark if the photographer arrives when the natural light is fading. Try to get the images taken when the house is bright. Opening internal doors and curtains to their full extent can let in that little extra brightness and make a bit of difference too.
Declutter & remove stuff from tables, worktops
Before the photographer starts, just have a look around the house to make sure you’ve removed odds and ends which may detract the eye. You want a potential buyer to look at an image and be able to imagine themselves in it and not find themselves distracted by looking at coats slung over chairs or bits and pieces spread over kitchen worktops. Obviously, it’s not always going to be possible to present a blank canvas but ask yourself, does everything in the picture help to give an impression of size and space? If it doesn’t, move it until the picture has been taken.
If you’re honest with yourself, would any of the rooms in your home look a bit more spacious if you took out one or two bits of furniture? Is there a coffee table, an armchair which doesn’t quite match or a footstool in the living room you could remove until the photographer’s work is done? You don’t need to remove it from the house; just shift it so it’s not in shot.
Cover up marks and stains
You’ve been meaning to do something about it for ages but you’ve just realised the stain from the glass of red wine you spilled a couple of weeks ago is still there. If it won’t come out after 20 minutes scrubbing before the photographer arrives, would rearranging the furniture a little cover it? How about a rug? If that’s not going to work, just make sure the photographer knows it’s there and ask if they can work round it.
Tidy up outside
The outside of the house is just as important when it comes to images so, if you can, try to make sure the house is looking as presentable as possible. Move the wheelie bins out of shot, cut the grass and weed the flower beds, sweep up leaves and remove the car from the drive. Cleaning the windows and the front door can help too, particularly if your home fronts onto a busy road.
If it doesn’t look good, don’t use it
It may seem obvious but, if you get the opportunity to see the images before they’re published, do listen to your gut. If you don’t like them, don’t use them.
If you are selling property, we’d like to wish you the very best of luck. If you do have any other questions, you could always watch our “How To…” videos here http://www.esaleuk.com/how-to-videos/ but feel free to give us a call or drop us a line if you’d like some extra advice. Don’t forget we also offer free no-obligation valuations to get you started.