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As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This saying also applies to photographs of property on a real estate agent’s website. These photos are the first thing a potential buyer sees, and that potential buyer will decide whether or not they want to see your home based on that first impression.
So whether you have a small studio in the heart of London or a large country mansion in the books of a estate agent in Essex, these marketing photographs must be good.
Let’s take a room-by-room look at how best to dress your home to make that first impression count.
We will start with the outside. Your front garden not only sets the tone for the interior of your home, but also for the surrounding environment. You might have the only poorly maintained front garden on the road and you’re lowering the tone of an otherwise upscale neighborhood, but if your potential buyers see only weeds and rotten fences, they’ll be wondering to what type of zone it is.
Keep cars away, mow the lawn or weed the patio, and sweep the path well. If your fence or wall needs sprucing up, give it a lick of paint. Likewise the front door.
Put away any toys, bikes or garbage from the back garden and hide them all in the shed or garage.
Your living room should make people want to live there without it seeming too obvious that you already do.
Straighten all the throws on the couch, stuff the cushions (cut them Ms. Hinch if you really have to), and turn off the TV.
If you have a fire or a wood stove, light it to give it a cozy atmosphere and place a vase of flowers on the table. Hide toys from children or pets (as well as children and pets!)
Coffee tables can sometimes become the recipients of a lot of clutter, so keep all those bills, coffee mugs, and remotes out of sight.
Your favorite bedding could be a psychedelic explosion of color. However, this won’t be to everyone’s taste, so put neutral bed linen on your bed, keeping it fresh and contemporary.
Put all your clothes away, make sure nothing is visible under the bed, and keep your closet doors and drawers closed.
Clean all mirrors and store all toiletries and other personal effects.
And while we’re on the subject of mirrors, remember that mirrors are reflective so be careful what they might capture in the photo!
While every bathroom is equipped with it and no one should be offended or put off by it, not everyone wants to see a roll of toilet paper, so hide them. Also, keep the toilet seat down and get rid of all your toiletries, razors, and toothbrushes.
Much like neutral bed linen, if your favorite towels don’t seem out of place on a beach, swap them out for clean, cool, neutral tones and arrange them nicely, without wrinkling them on the floor in a soggy mess.
Make sure the mirrors are clean and, again, pay attention to what is reflected in them.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, but when you market your property at its best, it should be clean and uncluttered, as if it had never been used.
Make your countertops more spacious by removing all but the smallest appliances, take the trash out of the room, take magnets and your holiday postcards out of the fridge and make sure there are no dishes in the sink.
A bowl of fruit or a vase of flowers will give your kitchen a fresh and welcoming atmosphere.
We’re sure you’ll think of the best ways to make your home look attractive in the photos, but because you’re so used to your home, there are some things you probably don’t even notice.
For example, has there been a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling in a room without a shade for so long that you don’t even notice it? Put a shade on it.
You are used to living with photos of your friends and family and they might have a special place on your fireplace. Potential buyers don’t want to see evidence of family already in the home, so keep the photos out of sight while the marketing photographs are taken.
Natural light is always the best for showing homes in their best light, so open the curtains but be sure to clean the windows first.
Remember, people don’t always use their imaginations when they see a property and take it at face value. As we said at the start of this article, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Let the first impression of your property be good.