They say a picture paints a thousand words but actually, when it comes to selling your home, a picture could make you thousands of pounds.
In the UK, 92% of homebuyers find photos extremely helpful in making buying decisions and research from the US revealed that your property will sell 32% faster with good photography – and the faster it sells, the closer to the asking price you are likely to get.
With property photos being the first marketing touch point with potential buyers in print and online, it’s important you make your home as visually attractive as it can be.
So, how can you get your property Instagram-ready while striking the right balance between selling a lifestyle and creating a sterile home devoid of personality? Here’s our top 3 pointers:-
- Declutter inside and out
An exterior image is often the lead on any property listing, so you must try to give the best possible first impression.
If you own a house and its grounds, it’s much easier. Tidy up any debris and mess, including children’s toys and bikes, move bins out of sight and cars off the driveway. Replace dead hanging baskets with fresh ones, and give the windows and doors a good clean. Mow lawns, weed flower beds and trim shrubs for extra neatness.
If you live in a flat where the exterior is not your responsibility, try to ensure photos are arranged for just after the windows are cleaned, bins collected and gardens tended to.
Inside, put as much clutter away as you can – basically anything that signals day-to-day living. Piles of shoes and drying umbrellas inside the porch are a no-go, as are coats on the banister, laundry in the utility room, toys and week-old newspapers on the arm of the sofa.
Temporarily clear away small kitchen appliances like toasters and kettles, and ensure kitchen clutter, such as tea towels, oven gloves and cleaning products, are safely stored under the sink (ideally along with your fridge magnet collection).
Upstairs, ensure beds are made, yesterday’s washing is out of sight and your animal print eye mask is hidden under your pillow. In the bathrooms, wipe mirrors free of dried toothpaste and neatly fold towels – preferably ones that complement the colour scheme. Only leave out your smartest toiletries and ensure your loo brush is hidden, or at least clean.
- Maximise space and light
There is only so much jiggery-pokery photographers can do when it comes to light manipulation and angles, so you need to do all you can in advance to give them the best canvas to work with.
A quick win to maximise the light and create a sense of more space is to open all the internal doors, and ensure all curtains and blinds are fully open. This not only shows the flow of the property but natural light will do wonders in any room. If your spaces are quite small and dark, try adding a few mirrors around the home.
Consider moving furniture around or putting it away in the loft if you think a room looks too cramped – especially kids’ chairs and beanbags. Push dining tables up against a wall for example, or remove the chaise lounge shoved at the end of your bed that you never use but always wanted.
The final point is to take the pictures at the right time of day. No one can guarantee the weather and the powers of editing allow for some flexibility, but you want to avoid night time and rainy days if you can.
It is recommended, however, that bright sunny days aren’t the best either as over exposed images are harder to correct than dark ones. It will, of course, depend on the position of your property too and how it absorbs light at different times of the day.
- Don’t forget the details
After a complete spring clean and declutter, don’t be let down by a few last minute blunders. Walk through the entire property ensuring all cupboard doors and drawers are shut, toilet seats are down and shower curtains are closed.
Straighten rugs, neatly fold throws, plump up cushions and turn the TV off too – no one wants to know what you’re currently binge-watching. Even a washing machine drum full of wet clothes can spoil a photo.
Then look at where you might be able to add some character. This may seem contradictory to decluttering but carefully positioning a few choice items can be the difference between a bland property listing and selling a lifestyle. In today’s home working climate, make sure any dedicated study or home office is propped to illustrate its purpose, with a desk, office chair and a filing cabinet, or artfully leave a laptop and notepad out where you’ve been working – maybe at a breakfast bar.
Although cliched, a vase of flowers or bowl of fresh fruit will add colour and character, while a strategically-placed hat, handbag, pile of classic novels or a houseplant can give that lived-in look without overcrowding the space.
And remember – keep it up!
Try to keep your home photo-ready throughout the viewings process, as no potential buyer wants to discover your home standards have slipped when they pull up outside and cross your threshold. Get in touch if you need guidance – we can show you some examples of houses that have sold well thanks to their fantastic photos.
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