These days, photos sell houses. According to Forbes.com, over 95% of buyers turn to the internet when searching for their next home. Many of those potential buyers will make an instinctive decision to view a property (or not) based entirely on the listing’s photos.
So if you’re selling your home and want to speed up the process and increase the interest in your property, making sure you have fantastic pictures is a great place to start. Spending some quality time and effort preparing your home for your Estate Agent’s photographer is likely to reward you with more enquiries, viewings and a quicker sale. Stunning photos may even lead to a higher selling price.
But how can you ensure your property photos look their best and are there any Insider Secrets about what makes a great photo? One of the top Canary Wharf Estate Agents gives us their tips on staging a home before the photographer arrives.
6 Tips for Property Photos That Sell
Image is everything
Staging a home for your Estate Agent’s photographer is different to preparing for viewings by potential buyers. All that matters is how the house looks on camera. So you can leave the coffee-machine and fresh bread aromas for another day. You also don’t need to worry if cupboards are full or messy inside. As long as doors and drawers close properly and the room looks good in that single shot, you can prepare for curious visitors later on. In prepping your home for your photographer, focus only on what is visible, on how things look.
If you’ve lived in your home for any length of time, you will have naturally stopped noticing certain aspects or flaws. One trick for seeing your home with ‘fresh eyes’ is to use a mirror. Turn your back on the room and hold up a mirror to see it. It sounds like a crazy tip but it really does help you to spot things that you don’t normally notice. Using this trick, you’re more likely to realise that paintwork needs touching up, or those picture frames don’t hang straight.
Another way to see your home as potential buyers will see it is to take some photos yourself. Again, this can help you spot things that you don’t normally see. You may notice that your bedding looks really creased or that curtains aren’t level. These are small details but when you have only a handful of images to entice new buyers, attention to detail will elevate the quality of those images. And picking up on these things now will mean you are much happier with the photos your agent provides.
In the best light
Ask any photographer what’s the most important aspect of any great photo and they’ll all agree: the lighting.
Your Estate Agent’s photographer probably won’t bring additional lighting equipment, so it’s up to you to give some thought to the lighting in your home. Taking your own photos will give you an idea of which rooms or aspects look bright and appealing, and which corners could use a lighting boost.
You can improve the lighting with brighter bulbs, extra lamps and well-placed mirrors. Even just cleaning your existing light fixtures and fittings can increase levels of light. You might also want to review your window dressings. Are those swags and pelmets blocking the beautiful natural light that makes a room feel spacious? If so, it may be time to simplify or even remove some of your curtains or blinds.
What looks like a charming collection of knick-knacks in real life may come across in a photo as a messy and distracting clutter. You want potential buyers to see the home they are buying, not your ornaments and ‘stuff’.
So decluttering is an absolute must, to ensure your pictures are presenting your home at its best – look at using some clever storage solutions to keep your clutter hidden away.
You may not like the minimal aesthetic, and you don’t need to adopt it forever. But for the sake of creating beautiful photos to sell your home, it pays to embrace a simplified, streamlined and decluttered presentation style. Think clean lines, clear spaces and minimal objects on display.
However, be careful not to overdo it. A stark, soulless home can be just as offputting as an overstuffed one. You want your home photos to look like a lovely place to live, you want to present a homely feel. So do what you can to strike a balance between too much clutter and a bare, uninspiring shell. If this is not your forte, you can find lots of inspiration online or even hire a professional ‘house-dresser’ to help you.
Picture the scene
Once you’ve removed any clutter or mess and prepared a blank canvas, now you can get creative! A few well-chosen accessories can boost your photos’ buyer-appeal. Think of show homes and interiors magazines – what lifestyle are they trying to sell, and what accessories are they using to do that? It could be a blazing fire in the grate to sell a vision of cosy living. Or it may be fresh flowers on the windowsill. Or you may even want a freshly-baked cake sitting on the kitchen worktop to evoke the simple pleasures of domestic life.
Give some thought to who you think is most likely to love your home, and then design your accessories around their dream lifestyle. Your prospective buyers will have a picture in their mind’s eye of how they want to feel in their new home – if you can spark some of those feelings in your property photos, they’ll be much more likely to want to check out the vision in real life.
Hopefully, these tips have inspired you to give some love and attention to your home before the photographer arrives. You could be relying on your property photos to sell your home for some time, you may even be paying for expensive brochures to be printed. Taking the time to achieve the best possible photos of your home will give you the best chances of enticing eager buyers and selling your home quickly.