How many images or photographs does it take to interest a potential buyer? Sales particulars now contain photos of the interior and exterior of a property, EPC graph, and maybe a map of the property's location.
You may not know, but in the 1980s I was a Wedding Photographer. I took hundreds of photos which were then whittled down to be made into an album for the happy couple. The bride and groom generally chose about 100-150 photographs. Yes, it was the time before digital photography when I used to worry that the films developed in a professional lab would not come back properly exposed, due to my misreading.
I whittled down the final photographs for the Wedding Album and generally, by the time I had disposed of the photos where the bride or groom had their eyes closed (for the wrong reasons) or someone was pulling a face in the background – I had a perfect set of photos to present.
And so it is with property photographs - which help to attract interest in viewing your home and its eventual sale. Taking a variety of photos is important to show your property to its best advantage.
It took me several years and lots of practising to be able to handle a Bronica SQL and a NIKON 35mm camera – changing the lenses, working out apertures, lens speeds, making sure my tripod was steady, checking the light, posing the bride and groom, and wedding parties, 'bribing' little bridesmaids and page boys to stand still.
Fortunately you don't have to do that to take pictures of houses, but there are fundamental errors you can avoid.
Basic training is a must – and simple tricks include:
a) time of day - check the best time to get fabulous photos
b) changing seasons - a photo taken in winter is unlikely to entice buyers if it's now spring
c) weather conditions - grey skies - wait for a blue sky day
Professional Photographers achieve perfectly exposed photos. Browse the property portals, and you’ll see instances of good and poor property photos. Without much effort, you’ll soon see the ones that were taken several weeks ago (before the leaves on the trees came out), Property photos are meant to create desire for a potential buyer or tenant to view the property.
The skill and experience of the photographer are important – it should never be a rushed job, and hopefully he'll have talked to you, his Client, about 'staging' your property before starting the photo-shoot.
Putting aside the problem of camera-shake (a tripod is always a useful tool) there are lots of things you can do to increase the chances of achieving the best images of your house to ensure you not only do it justice, but also allude to indicate the kind of lifestyle that a buyer can aspire to.
Here are my simple tips to create picture perfect photography:
1. Clean, neat and tidy – leave rooms with clear, uncluttered surfaces and floor spaces, and make everything sparkle-clean. Light and reflected shine show off the size of your rooms to their best. (I caution against using a wide-angled lens, as it can make rooms appear bigger than normal and may mislead a viewer.)
2. Stage your property - imagine one of the TV House-Doctors (Phil & Kirsty, maybe) is coming to call - and get some great ideas from the many magazines about making your home look inviting and saleable. You can shop for staging accessories very inexpensively and hide them when your viewers have gone. Another great way to get ideas is to visit New Homes developments in your area - where 'in season' colours and decor is 'du jour'.
There are loads of ideas available on the internet - just type in 'How to Stage your Home' and you'll be amazed at how many simple tricks there are. For starters, think about
• Croissants & Coffee
• Champagne & Flutes
• Fruit – one type per bowl and I think strawberries, limes and green apples look great
• Rustic board of artisan breads and cheeses
• Flowers – to suit your home style (I love the suble scent of freesias, but lilies can look impressive on a piano or sideboard)
• Reed diffusers can provide a subtle touch of aroma
• Church candles in fireplaces
• Flowering plants in pretty pots
• Lifestyle magazines and coffee table books
• Fluffy white towels and bathrobes
• Luxury spa-style toiletries
• Reed diffusers
• Flowering plant for patio table centre
• Pretty tealight holders or church candle lantern
Callaways Estate & Letting Agents have produced 'How we market your Property - Picture Perfect' - the first step to marketing your property effectively.
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