Preparing for photography is time well-spent as the same preparation is required for selling or renting your property. Following the suggestions below will help to enhance the image of your property enormously – and will, therefore, help to sell or rent your property. It is a good idea to imagine that you are the potential buyer or renter. If you can see things that would put you off, it will probably put off your potential buyer or renter. So you will need to take action!
Please do this in good time, before we arrive. Remember, if we have to undertake any significant amount of tidying and preparation before photographing, it may increase the time spent at the location – and therefore, the cost. If it’s really bad, we may have to cancel the shoot.
For holiday cottages, we may take some ‘detail’ shots, so make sure there are some fresh flowers and other ‘nice touches’ that your potential guests will love.
Let’s start with the outside. We will want to take exterior pictures of the front and rear of the house. When selling, kerb appeal is HUGELY important. Many people will take a drive-by prior to arranging a viewing. If the outside has ‘kerb appeal’, there will be a viewing. If it doesn’t, there probably won’t. The exterior images will probably be the first images to be viewed online – so a good impression is very important.
- Smarten up by power-washing/sweeping drive, paths, decking, patio.
- Move cars off the driveway.
- Remove weeds or dead plants.
- Hang easy-to-read house numbers
- Plant / refresh blooming flowers and fresh greenery in hanging baskets, pots etc.
- Mow the grass, remove grass cuttings and trim any bushes.
- Wash the windows, particularly at the front.
- Make sure the front door and paintwork is clean. Clean or repaint if necessary.
- Fix any broken fencing etc.
- Tidy any clutter/rubbish away.
- Put children’s toys, outdoor games and the bins away or out of sight
- Clean or put away plastic garden furniture
- If you have a patio, place a table and chairs (with cushions) to showcase an extra ‘outdoor room’.
- Stand in the road and look at your property. Would you like to view it? What would put you off? Consider changing anything that looks damaged/broken/untidy/defective. It’s worth it!
Moving Inside .. The interior should be scrupulously clean, airy, as light as possible with as little clutter as possible and as neutral (depersonalised) as you can make it. You may like to remove all family photographs if you don’t want them to appear online. Make sure all your lights are working. Replace any blown or missing bulbs.
- Move from room to room, cleaning, vacuuming, de-cluttering and depersonalising.
- Tidy the rooms. Straighten the furniture. Arrange the lamps etc. Hide wires.
- Fix any obvious cracked/flaking plaster, peeling wallpaper, damaged kitchen or bathroom fittings, door and window furniture and anything else which may show up on the photographs.
- Open blinds and curtains to let in the light.
- If you have a pet, remove all evidence (e.g. bed, toys, bowls).
Hallway / Entrance
- Clear hallway of any unsightly clutter (e.g. shoes, boots, umbrellas etc.)
- Remove any excess furniture blocking or cramping the available space.
- Move toys or sports items to hidden storage area.
- Store away out of season coats, hats and shoes
- Remove clutter from surfaces – papers, post, keys, mobile chargers, etc. (From a security point of view it’s always worth hiding keys/wallets etc.)
- Re-arrange furniture to give an ‘open’ view of the space.
- Remove, sell or store any excess furniture to make the room feel larger
- Clear floors of clutter to create more visible floor space
- Tidy and clean shelves, coffee table, etc.
- Dust surfaces, lampshades and fittings
- Get rid of newspapers and clean the fireplace
- Reduce the amount of ornaments, kids toys, DVD’s and books or magazines on display
- Draw curtains right back to allow as much light in as possible – fit tie-backs if necessary (and set aside the net curtains!)
- Clean carpet (use professionals if necessary). Vacuum thoroughly.
- For wooden floors, dust, vacuum, polish.
- Remove scruffy throws from sofas
- Arrange cushions to look smart and tidy
- Set dining room tables
- Remove rugs, especially where you have wooden or tiled floors
- Fresh flowers help to breathe life into a property
- Declutter, declutter, declutter!
Kitchen / Utility Second to the exterior, the kitchen is probably the next most important image for potential buyers. The kitchen (and utility) must look clean, hygienic and appealing.
- Clear all worktops and make sure there are no tea towels or chopping boards on show.
- Clean worktops, tiles, cupboard fronts, skirting.
- Polish taps and shiny surfaces.
- Move bins out of sight
- Reduce number of worktop appliances
- Close all cupboards
- Hide all fridge magnets
- Clear the sink (no dirty dishes!)
- If you have pets, hide their food bowls and beds
- Declutter and de-personalise (e.g. photographs)
- Mop / clean / sweep / vacuum / polish floor
- If you have a table & chairs, arrange them neatly and decorate the table with a bowl of fruit or flowers for a splash of colour.
Bedrooms All bedrooms must be clean, neat, tidy and relaxing.
- Make the bed neatly and choose bed clothes that compliment the room.
- Anything stored under the bed should be completely out of sight
- All drawers and wardrobe doors should be shut.
- Put away your clothes and personal items.
- Declutter and de-personalise, particularly photographs.
- Open all curtains and blinds fully.
- A stylish collection of scatter pillows and other soft furnishings can improve the look of a bedroom
- Make the rooms look as spacious and inviting as possible.
Bathroom / Toilet As with the kitchen, people expect bathrooms and toilets to be scrupulously clean, shiny, uncluttered and totally hygienic. Cleanliness is the key factor here. If the bathroom suite is stained or chipped, consider replacing it.
- Clean / Scrub tiles, paintwork and floor.
- Clean toilet, sink, shower, bath. These must all be spotless.
- Polish taps, mirrors, shower screen and any shiny surfaces.
- Ensure towels match decor. It may be worth purchasing new towels. Fold neatly.
- Declutter & de-personalise.
- Hide any floor mats.
- Toilet seat down.
- Remove toilet roll for photography.
Some of these measures may seem a little extreme and ‘de-personalising’ your home may feel wrong somehow but your buyers will need to be thinking about how they can see themselves relaxing in your property. It’s easier to do that when the rooms are more neutral.