by Lesa Brown
Director of David Phillip Estate Agents
Using outstanding photography in your property listing can make all the difference when making an impression on home hunters, but it is often an area that is overlooked by sellers and estate agents.
As a new agent in North Leeds, using great photography is key to us, as is capturing the best images possible and carefully considering what homebuyers want to see.
Here are a few guiding principles to be used when marketing prospective homes:-
*A quality estate agent should never scrimp on the cost of a professional photographer, some agents feel it is part of their role to take the photographs, and true, Smart phones are now advanced, but it is not just about a shoot and grab picture - An agent’s time is much better spent communicating with clients and leaving it to the experts.
*It is best to use horizontal ,landscape views, which are more pleasing on the eye than vertical – although a different set of photographs may need taking for use on social media.
*Without furniture then a space is just walls, floors, windows and ceilings. Furniture provides scale and adds character.
*People decorate their homes to their own tastes, but this does not always appeal to the masses and sometimes the decoration can take over the room – a lick of neutral paint may do the trick prior to photos being taken.
*A cluttered, messy photo can reflect lazy work from an agent – things to be removed from the kitchen include fridge magnets, pet’s food bowls and cluttered bins - all cupboard doors should be closed and kitchen tops should be cleaned and de-cluttered.
The kitchen should be curated with a nice set of dishes, bowls of fruit and flowers rather than tea towels hanging from the cooker, and the dining room table should always set for dinner.
The lounge should be cleared of scruffy throws, children’s toys and DVD’s - piles of magazines can look unsightly and the TV should always be turned off.
Old towels are a definite no in the bathroom as are cluttered sinks, baths and showercubicles. the toilet seat should always be left down – small details sometimes overlooked.
*When taking photographs, it is important to emphasise each room’s selling point, it might be the natural light, the spaciousness or an unusual feature that will make the potential buyer curious to see more. A professional photographer will shadow and colour boost to improve the property.
*In some properties it is difficult to photograph an entire room at once, so moving furniture around can capture the perfect angle, photographing through doorways and keeping internal doors open will make a difference.
*Owners often overlook the outside of the property, the area that provides that first impression on the property portals – cars and dustbins should be removed, the lawn should be mown and windows should be cleaned.
*Working around the weather is key and shooting external photos at dusk can give some dramatic results to enhance the look of the property. Photographic enhancement allows estate agents to do this if the weather isn’t perfect.
*Only the best photos should be used, buyers don’t want to sift through an entire library of images. It is recommended that at least five pictures should be used to give searchers a flavour of every room,
*Lesa Brown is a director at DavidPhillip Estate Agents, Bramhope, Leeds.