When it comes time to market a property, there are no shortcuts to a great price.
A lot of preparation has to be undertaken, therefore, to make sure your property hooks and pulls a potential buyer in. When a buyer sees your property online or in person, she or he must
think, “that’s the one”.
Photographs of your property are one of the main ways to draw in a buyer. They matter because they are the first point of contact that a buyer has with your property. Therefore, it is essential that you present your property in the best possible way. Excellent presentation and high-quality photographs seduce a buyer into a home.
Photography and presentation go hand-in-hand. If you’re preparing a property for photos, that’s exactly the way it should appear for each and every open home, for each and every buyer inspection, and throughout the marketing campaign.
- Declutter. Declutter. Declutter. Clean. Clean. Clean:
A pristine, glowing home says, “I care about this home. I’ve looked after it. So the person who purchases this home is going to benefit from the love, care, and attention I’ve given the home during my ownership.”
- Think about who you are appealing to:
Think about who you think will want to buy the home and make the surroundings appeal to that potential buyer. Market the home to suit the purchaser creating the atmosphere for your potential buyer.
– Is it a single person’s apartment?
– Is it designed for couples?
– Is it a first homebuyer’s home?
– Or is it a family home?
- The front of the home must create a strong first impression:
Most buyers, particularly women, make up their mind between getting out of the car and about 30 seconds after walking through the front door. What buyers see in the photographs on the web have to match with what they see when they get out of the car.
You have to make the impact. Photos should focus on the strengths and minimise any potential weaknesses.
Make sure the front yard is clean. Lawns should be manicured and lush.
Hedges and edges must be trimmed, neat and tidy. Clear out the cobwebs, get rid of peeling paint and grime. Sugar soap or wash the gutters, eaves, fascias, weatherboards and Colorbond roofs. The front of the house must be pristine.
With tiled roofs ascertain whether it is actually worth the investment of getting it refinished and resprayed. Generally, in most cases, it’s not going to be too obvious in photos but it may become an issue through a sales negotiation.
Declutter the verandah. Make sure nothing is on there that doesn’t actually belong there. Paint the doorjambs in a high gloss.
- Present the home to suit the purchaser:
Once inside the home, minimise the amount of furniture in the rooms and utilise the furniture that’s going to make an impact, that’s going to create the scenario, the kind of emotions that you’re targeting in your buyer.
If you are marketing a home to a family, keep the chalkboard and some posters in a child’s bedroom because you want to create that family ambience. In the living room, leave the Xbox controllers next to the TV.
Declutter. A fridge should not be noticeable – it should be white, silver, or neutral. Remove all personal items – the pen-stands, the sunglasses, the phone chargers. Add a few touches, depending on who you are appealing to. Add a fruit bowl or fresh flowers or a plant.
Clean. Clean. Clean. Clean that stainless steel, give it a good scrub-down. All surfaces must gleam. Remove the personal touches, whether it’s kids’ report cards or the magnetic stickers from the fridge.
Remove the tea towels, remove the pet bowls, and remove the rubbish bin from the shots and the dirty dishes!
- Lounge room:
If you have any kind of view from your lounge room over the backyard, the beaches, or the hills – maximise it. Clean the windows and be careful about window treatments. Remove lace curtains as they date the home and minimise what the photographer can do to show the views. Photographers will lift those blinds up, pull back the verticals, so the backyard, the views, the deck, and the outside entertaining areas can be seen.
The bathroom is one of the greatest challenges, because the bathroom is always a work in progress, particularly for family homes. This is one room that should be cleaned by professionals. Bathrooms need to feel clean; they need to be almost clinical. You want to be able to see through the shower glass so that it doesn’t impact upon the atmosphere you’re creating for the rest of the bathroom – it has to be absolutely translucent.
Polish the mirror. Make sure that any cobwebs or the dust on the exhaust fan, for instance, has been removed. Any chrome items must be given a nice good polish. Tiles will show off any marks or grease, simply by the characteristic change in whether it’s a shine or a matte reflection.
Bathrooms also are challenging because there are so many bright, shiny reflective surfaces. The quality of the photographer is revealed with shots of the bathroom. Any failure to catch every scrap of grime or dirt or streak will show up in a photo.
Decluttering is most important in the bathroom. In such a small space, any clutter is going to be far more obvious. Take the toilet roll off the hanger. Take out the toothbrushes and any other personal items that may detract.
Declutter and clean and turn on the bedside lights as they create a beautiful glow. Contrasting bed linen and the wall treatments work well but be careful. Assess the view out of the bedroom windows – if it’s not a particularly attractive view, take the focus away from the window with a nice big painting, photo or something else that will draw the attention away. If you want to focus the attention on a hill view or a beach view, or just a nice outlook, take away any objects that will
distract the eye from the window.
- Entertainment areas:
With these areas, try and create a certain ambience or vibe that will appeal to your buyer. Think about the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Whether it’s the deck, the verandah, a balcony, how does it integrate with the rest of the atmosphere you’re trying to sell. So if it’s an inner-city property, you want to be able to show that balcony set up with a barbecue, for example.
- The pool:
Make sure you give some attention to the pool – it’s got to be sparkling before it is photographed and when the house goes on the market.
Make sure all utensils associated with the pool – the empty chlorine bottles, the chemical containers, the pool cleaners, the brooms, the kids’ boogie boards and the floatation rings are all packed away.
Make sure it remains like that for rest of the marketing campaign.
- Keep the lights on:
Lights are essential. Even in daytime, you’re always going to be shooting with lights on. Most professional photographers are going to create an ambience somewhere between using their flash equipment and utilising the available sunlight as well as the lights.
- Replace all the faulty globes:
Make sure they’re fresh, and if the property is vacant make sure the electricity is on.
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