Q. I am about to put my house on the market. What should I do to make its look its best in the property photographs?
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A. Buyers today expect to see a whole array of photographs illustrating every aspect of a property. But quantity isn’t everything. If the pictures are badly composed, ill-lit, or just plain uninspiring, a lot of buyers will simply switch off and move to the next property.
Of course, any estate agent worth his or her salt ought to be perfectly capable of taking pictures that will show your home to its best advantage. Nevertheless, you can certainly help, with a few simple preparations.
Outside, mow the lawn and make sure the garden is tidy, taking particular care to remove anything unsightly, like a rubbish bin. Also, make sure there are no vehicles parked on the driveway, or directly in front of the house.
Inside, it’s basically a question of keeping everywhere clean, tidy and uncluttered. So:-
1. In the sitting room, make sure cushions are plumped up, clear away any children’s toys, discarded newspapers, etc, and remove surplus pieces of furniture, ornaments or over-exuberant houseplants to create a feeling of more space. A carefully placed vase of flowers, on the other hand, can really add to the visual appeal.
2. If all else fails, try bribing your teenage offspring to keep their own rooms looking at least reasonably fit for human habitation
3. Make sure all beds are properly made and no discarded shoes or other items of clothing are lying around
4. Fold bathroom towels neatly on their rails and remove any unsightly collections of shampoo bottles, etc. Loo seats should always be down!
5. As far as possible, try to ensure that your kitchen looks as pristine as it did the day it was installed, and similarly free of any evidence of food preparation or consumption – other than an artfully-arranged bowl of fruit.
6. Check that all the lights work. They may be needed, since it is often better to photograph a room with the curtains or blinds closed, in order to give more even illumination and avoid too great a contrast with the bright daylight outside.
7. Finally, don’t be afraid to recommend the best angles for each shot - you will probably know what they are, and the photographer may be in a hurry.