Tips on How to Prepare Your House For Sale and Real Estate Photography
by Alan Goddard from omniimaging.com.au
decision to sell has been made its time to “let go” and “move on” and be totally
to getting a fast sale .Its extremely important to sell very soon after listing or the property will get
“stale on the market”. Potential buyers will become suspicious and stay away. Worse still they will
make ridiculously low offers well below the asking price because it’s not selling. The first listed date
is always visible and often the first thing buyers look at.
achieve a fast and higher priced sale you have to be prepared prior to
listing and you have to
make sacrifices to your lifestyle by moving/storing a lot of much loved items. I know you love your
Che Guevara poster above your bed head and your travel souvenirs from Bali, but its time to pack
them away now so they won’t slow down your sale. You can always get them out again in a few
months in your new home. Look on it as getting an early start on the packing.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”.
Remove everything you have
accumulated over the years that is not absolutely necessary
to day to day living. I suggest you rent a small storage unit off site to put all the boxes in
after you have filled them up. Usually costs around $150 per month. Tea chest size boxes
are easier to move than really big ones and cost around $4.00 each and are available from
storage unit providers (e.g. Storage King). It’s not enough to simply store them in a
cupboard as a potential buyer will open every door and think there is not enough room
to store all his items then. Remember commitment now will achieve a higher selling
price and a faster sale.
*Incredibly all the photos I
have used to demonstrate how not to do it are actually
taken from current listings on a popular real estate web site .
The above photo could have
been improved dramatically by removing the clutter.
Imagine how much bigger and cleaner it would look if the butter, breadboard
green lamp, tea towel, fridge magnets, kitchen scales, cutting boards ,knife set,
oven mitts plants , cookie jars etc were removed. Less is more in this case.
No clutter, bright and simple accessories.
Take down and pack away all family photos, ornaments, posters, souvenirs, sporting
awards .No pet bowls, kitty litter or anything to do with pets. The goal here is to allow
the viewers to imagine their personalities in the home not yours. It needs to be free
from the owners “stuff”. Try and aim for the 4/5 star hotel clean open look.
above photo shocked me when I saw it. I wondered if a rental tenant was
slow down or prevent the sale by failing to cooperate. If so get rid of them before listing or you
will lose serious money like this. On the other hand if this is just a lack of preparation in an
attempt to “wing it” you have to ask yourself if you are committed to selling at all.
Spending a few hundred
dollars now sprucing up your home will get you thousands of
dollars more on the final selling price and expedite the sale to avoid the stale situation
I mentioned earlier. Buy a few new doona covers, accent cushions for lounges, bed side
lamps and fruit bowls Framed prints or paintings can be purchased from bargain shops
or second hand stores but must look new and fresh.
· ROOM by ROOM CHECK
Go thru each room and remove anything unnecessary or
old and tatty. Clean
all glass till it sparkles especially in bathrooms and toilets. Again the look to aspire
to is the 4 or 5 star hotel or fastidious owner type. The potential owner will feel
more comfortable buying from such a person than otherwise. Often you need to enlist
a set of “fresh eyes” as you may be looking without seeing the necessary changes.
The above photo has too much clutter! Everything must be
questioned and freshened
up or removed. Also LIGHT Levels need to be increased. Often changing bulbs to a
higher wattage will do the trick. Open blinds to get light in too to give the room
the light and airy look. Perhaps buy a bright new rug to brighten up the look of the room.
Again depersonalize, declutter and accessorize with a few new
items like a bright new doona
cover, matching lamps and a framed print over the bed .Remove the chest of draws side
table books etc .Straight into storage for the few weeks it takes to sell.
Now this photo is in need of serious TLC. Bathrooms are
usually small but the same
basic rules apply. Declutter and depersonalise and brighten. Here I would remove
the hanging plants, the sheer curtains, the washers, toothbrushes, shampoos and
change the shower curtain to a brighter colour new one and use a wide angle lens.
· USE WIDE ANGLE PHOTOSThis is a contentious issue at present, because they “make the place look bigger than
The photo above just isn’t wide
enough to tell the story of the room. The other
improvements necessary should be obvious to you by now.
If it’s cold inside during the” open house inspection” it will
deter the potential buyer.
So leave the heating on all morning before the inspection and don’t worry about the
bill just this once. Same goes for a little background music running to give it the home
not just a house feel.
Although they don’t show in the photos they can deter the
buyers you have tried so
hard to come thru your property with the correct preparation and great photos .
Use plenty of room fresheners on day open and again enlist the help of fresh noses.
Open windows if it’s not cold to let fresh air in.
Clean up outside to portray the well cared for look .Mow lawns
do the edges to give it
the picture frame look. Remove all rubbish and hide the hoses.
If you can do it yourself it can make a big difference to the
look and feel of a
property for very little investment. Change your bright coloured feature walls in
your bedroom and quirky lounge and kitchen colours to fresh clean neutral paint
colours. Don’t go stark white but keep it light and neutral so it looks bigger and
people can imagine their furniture matching in without colour clashes.
In a word forget it don’t even try it. As tempted as you may be to just get on
with the listing without worrying about the hassle of getting some furniture rethink it.
Photos of empty lounge rooms, dining rooms , kitchens and bedrooms look too bare
and uninviting to tempt visitors .You have to think of all the other listings on the
web with beautiful furniture that allow the potential buyer to imagine themselves in
a lovely warm home. Compare that to cold empty uninviting rooms that require
a stretch of the imagination to envisage what life would be like with some furniture.
My advice is to furnish at the
very least the lounge room, dining room, kitchen and
master bedroom .The best way is to hire some really nice furniture from furniture retailers
for the 2 months or so it takes to sell. Alternately buy a package deal from a discount store
or borrow some furniture from friends. You can even employ property stylists to come
and lay it out as well as rent you the necessary high end furniture and accessorize it
for you. That really does look sensational. Either way it will cost you more than just
leaving it empty but you will certainly achieve a much higher selling price and achieve
a much faster sale and ultimately be better off.
The best I could do without any furniture. Too bare to be inviting.
With some simple rented furniture, so much better.
Presentation is everything. A
little serious effort in this regard will yield tens of
thousands of dollars more on your final selling price .I hope this article helps
motivate you into preparing your home for real estate photography.