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Selling your Property | Toby and Baxter’s 7 Presentation Tips

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression…

Be as proactive as possible on presentation; think like a buyer, go through his/her process.

1.What they see online

See two images of the same room below. The first could risk them scrolling through and not clicking on your property; the second will ensure a second look.

This didn’t cost much to do at all: cosmetic accessories like rugs, flowers, wall art, cushions and ornaments make such a difference to a thumbnail image on Zoopla or Rightmove, as indeed they do in real life too. A touch of colour on top of a neutral background makes a house a home and buyers will start to imagine themselves living there.

2. Declutter

Especially for the photo shoot! Take a look at these two shots of the same living room. If you really don’t have the time, energy or funds to buy some additional accessories to spruce up your property, you can still make the most of what you’ve got.

The first image is all rug and sofa: the master image is far too full and it makes the room look tiny. The second image not only shows off some lovely rustic hard wood floors, but with some simple furniture rearrangement and hiding, it makes the room look so much wider and more impressive.

 

3. Make your bed!

The next two images show the same bedroom. Without spending a fortune, plain white bed linen and a grey throw makes the room look far more appealing, bigger, brighter and frankly, less slept in!

Buyers want to imagine a clean, fresh bedroom they can move into…not one that you sleep in. Get rid of patterned bed spreads and bring in clean, crisp white ones. Never have your bedrooms shot without bed linen on the beds or, even worse, without a bed in them at all!

Want to go that step further? With just a few more accessorising touches and a colour-coordinated throw, cushion and wall-art, you’ve got that hotel room look and the chance to make the ultimate first impression.


4. Everyone NEEDS outside space

This, of course, is especially prevalent now during our summer, but even in December buyers crave it (even though, ironically, they’ll hardly use it. But we all have secret aspirations to BBQ!) It is always hard to value outside space, but it can easily make the difference between a yes and a no. So, make the most of yours! See below two basement patios.

One is a bare, plain, uninspired pile of paving stones; the other is a mini oasis. You’re suddenly out the back of the cupboard into Narnia! This didn’t cost a lot to do; a quick trip to Homebase for a few plants (fake ones are best, you don’t have to water them) and an inexpensive bistro table and chairs. Add some accessories and voila! Your flat could suddenly sell rather than stick.

A cheeky tip, if you can’t jet wash your paving slabs, try sprinkling a few bags of slate on top or buy some astroturf: see image below. Add a BBQ set and suddenly this little space becomes your master photo.

 

5. Mirror, mirror on the wall!

If you have a darker home, or frankly even if you don’t, mirrors are the key. Everyone wants a bright property and if you don’t have a lot of natural light then get mirrors up everywhere! This will reflect light into all spaces, even without the lights on. Check out the two basement photos below.

They are both on busy roads and are east-facing, only getting light in the morning briefly. The first flat has nothing on the walls adjacent to the window, the room is dark: the second room has added floor to ceiling mirrors either side of the fireplace, reflecting light from the window. Add this affect to the light wooden floors, light coloured furniture and no bars/blinds on the front window and you get a totally different room. This one sold within 2 weeks; the first one is still on the market!

 

6. Orientation

No, I’m not talking about a field exercise finding flags in woods. I’m talking about which way your property faces. Taking photos and, indeed, showing your property at the right time of day will absolutely assist your chances of selling. West-facing receptions should be shown in the afternoon and photos should be taken when the sun is streaming through the windows.

East-facing rooms stand a better chance of getting a YES when shown/photographed in the morning. Just taking a couple more seconds to plan the time of a photo shoot or viewing could mean the difference between sealing the deal or it being a deal breaker. See a photo below of a lovely west-facing reception specifically taken at 3pm to make the most of that afternoon sun streaming in.


7. Cheating the shot

A phrase any film buff will be familiar with. The furniture in a room may well look perfect the way you have laid it out in person, but in a photo frame (that all important thumbnail image online) it suddenly looks ridiculous.

Too many estate agent photos are taken with the room just as it is in reality. This results in massive dining tables at the front of the shot or backs of sofas making the room look tiny. Taking the time to either remove that table/armchair/coffee table or place them on another wall or further away from the camera can make an enormous difference to the perception a punter gets online of your property.

Below are two photos of a reception area. The first has been taken by another agent just the way it is in reality. The second, my photo, changes the layout slightly. You can see the size of the room far better; it invites you into the space with a clear wash of wooden floors, rather than saying “no room in the inn” from hello, with backs of sofas.

This didn’t cost much to do at all: cosmetic accessories like rugs, flowers, wall art, cushions and ornaments make such a difference to a thumbnail image on Zoopla or Rightmove, as indeed they do in real life too. A touch of colour on top of a neutral background makes a house a home and buyers will start to imagine themselves living there.

BONUS

Oh, and one more for luck: Less is More. Don’t let your agent put 23 photos of your property online from all sorts of weird and wonderful angles, including warped 3D virtual video walk throughs! Use 6-8 high quality photos employing all of the tactics above and you’ll get buyers walking through the door and giving your property a chance. Show them too much and they’ll decide they’ve seen enough of your flat already and not even bother to view.