It is important to prepare your property so that it can be presented in the best way possible.
So please have a quick look through these tips, and take some time the day before the shoot to ensure that your property is ready to be photographed.
Around 35% of my work is for properties for sale and around 35% is for holiday cottages – they might seem like the same thing but there are key differences. If you are selling a property, you are selling the space - the size, layout and features of a room, but for a holiday cottage it’s more about the styling – the design, décor and furnishings.
Therefore, the types of images I create are different, property images will be “wider” and show an overall view of the room, whereas with holiday cottages I will be focusing more on the interior design.
Consequently, this affects the preparation that should be done. These tips below are an overview for both types of properties, but generally speaking:
- Holiday Cottage = do some staging – lay the table, set some drinks by the fire etc…
- Property for sale = don’t do staging – keep the tables clear and try to de-clutter as much as you can!
General tips for the whole house:
Please consider that my photographs might show you/your family’s faces in your photographs in the background. It is not my responsibility to move your personal items so therefore if you don’t want a photograph of a photograph of you/your family in the public domain (i.e. on my website or Rightmove.com); then please make sure that you remove anything that you don't want to be seen.
- Give it a thorough clean! Be sure to vacuum the carpets, and sofas (mind those pet hairs), mop any hard floors and clean all shiny surfaces and windows.
- Pick up all the things on the floors, sofas and beds that are not meant to be there.
- Make sure all your lights are working.
- Open all blinds and curtains etc. to let the best light in – sunlight.
- Try to remove as many personal objects as possible – things like photographs and decorations might make your house your home, but they distract from the “space” that you are trying to sell and prevent potential buyers from imaging it as their home.
- Try and hide all cables and wires.
- Stage it to look presentable but homely – have lots of flowers, and plants and even bowls of fruit on display!
- If you have a fireplace, photographs will always look much better if it is lit! Though you don’t need to have it roaring away all day, particularly in the hot summer months! Instead, just make sure there is some newspaper to hand and I can temporarily light it instead. If the fire cannot be lit, I can normally “Photoshop” one in.
- Close any garage doors and remove all cars from the driveways or places where they are blocking the house.
- Hide the bins and pick up any trash or objects on the ground.
- Try to remove gardening equipment such as hoses and buckets.
- Do some landscaping – freshly mown lawn and trimmed bushes make a massive difference to the way people perceive your property.
- A beautiful garden will really help to sell a property if it can be properly staged!
- If you have a porch or decking with outside seating then dress it up! Put the cushions out, maybe lay the table or have some wine glasses out there – create a mood to help potential buyers imagine their potential lives there – this is the aim of professional photography!
- As this is often the focal point of the property, as well as the most designed room in the house, it must be looking its best in photographs!
- Try and remove as much as possible from counter tops – we only want to see one or two appliances!
- Remove mail, keys and other distracting little items and make sure there is no dirty washing or dishes on display!
The Living and Dining rooms
- Remove all toys and decorations as well as large stacks of magazines or mail.
- Ensure all those pillows are properly fluffed and inviting!
- Put a centrepiece on the table – maybe some plants of even candles.
- Make the bed – using all scatter cushions available!
- Remove all personal items from bedside tables.
- Don’t let anything hiding under the bed peek out and ruin the photo! (Photo’s are taken from quite low!)
- Obviously, this is one room that must appear clean and hygienic!
- Please remove all items from countertops/sinks and hide them (you can normally hide them in the bath tub)
- Straighten out all towels and hide floor mats!
- Pets often make your house feel like a real home, but potential buyers will often be put off homes that appear to have been home to the entire cast of 101 Dalmatians, so please remove as many of their items - such as toys and bowls - as possible for the shoot.