Whether you’re selling your house or renting it out for holidays, getting someone to pick your property can have a lot to do with your pictures.
Anyone looking at property online – or in an estate agents window - can be easily wowed by the right images, which is why professional photography is so important.
Whoever you have taking the photographs of your property (and if you’re in Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire, I know someone who can help), there are things you can do before the photographer arrives to make sure you get the best photos.
Staging Your Space for Success
Even if you – or someone else – is living in the property you’re photographing, it’s important to present it so others can see themselves in that space. You’re not looking to create a blank canvas, but somewhere welcoming.
These tips will hopefully guide you to make the most of your space, showing off its best bits while (perhaps) hiding those elements which viewers don’t want to see.
1. Before You Even Open the Door
Think about how the outside of your property looks.
Taking cars from the front of the house will give a better view.
You should also hide any bins and put away the washing line, hoses or any garden toys.
If you have outdoor furniture, consider setting it as if it’s being used – cushions in place, maybe something on the table, but normally without the parasol up or you’ll only see half the garden. This is all about welcoming viewers in.
2. Bright and Beautiful
Make sure all light bulbs are working and lights are on, even in the middle of a sunny day your house will have shadows and having the lights on will make the property seem much brighter and warmer.
Similarly, all curtains and blinds should be open. Again, creating light in the space is essential and having as much natural light as possible is certainly a preference.
3. The Heart of the Home
Let’s move into the kitchen and make the most of it.
Make sure any bins are hidden and there’s no clutter on the surfaces – that’s tea towels, oven gloves, kitchen roll or chopping boards.
Make sure the sink is clear – hide the soap, draining board and washing up bowl.
Remove personal clutter, including magnets, notes and planners. We’re trying to encourage someone to imagine themselves in your space – not wonder where your aunt stayed when she sent that postcard from Barcelona.
This includes pet clutter. Food bowls, beds and toys should all be hidden – the buyer (or renter) won’t be sharing with your Buddy and might even be put off by animals (obviously, it’s just because they’ve never him).
Empty your washing machine and tumble drier – then hide the washing instead of hanging it out, of course.
And, make sure cleaning products – cloths, sprays, all of it – are also hidden (just think of all the fun you’ll have finding all these things once the photographer has gone!)
4. The Smallest Rooms
Well, whether they’re the smallest rooms or not, bathrooms will still need to be in order.
Make sure they’re clean and tidy – this may seem obvious but sometimes the family bathroom is used mostly by children and, well, it might need some attention!
Clear things round the sink and bath (yes - flannels, toothpaste and brushes, shower gel and even rubber ducks), remove mats, used towels and make sure the toilet seat is down.
Again, hide the cleaning products, and the bin too.
5. Sitting, Dining, Sleeping Spaces… Everywhere Else!
Clean and tidy is obviously what we’re aiming for!
Get rid of clutter including personal pictures and rugs which can make your room seem smaller. You may even want to consider hiding those extra pieces of furniture which, when gone, will suddenly make the room seem much bigger (the cat’s favourite footstool or the extra table which keeps your tea always in reach).
Take throws from sofas and make sure cushions are tidy.
Do you want flowers to brighten the space?
Are desks and tables tidy? You may want to present them as ready to use – as long as they aren’t cluttered.
Make the bed – and make it look great, think about the colour of the bedding and how it looks in the room. Do you have extra cushions or throws? Again, we need to be tidy not cluttered!
Are there things under your bed? On top of your wardrobe? Piled on the bedside cabinet? Left on the floor? Of course not – you’ve hidden it all (I know your cupboards are getting full, just wait ‘til you start the proper clear out!)
Are you ready?
The right photographs will make your property stand out, get more interest – make more money. The right staging is an essential part of that process. Your property is probably one of your biggest investments – it’s worth your time to make it look as good as you can.
And, of course, when you’re investing in professional photography for your property pictures, you want to make sure you get the best results.
Do you have any other tips about presenting your property? Or any stories about interesting things you saw when looking round someone’s place – we won’t tell, promise. If you’d like to talk about presenting your property for sale or rental, get in touch – I’d love to help.