Step 1 - preparing the house
Tidy up the house. This is our NUMBER ONE priority for you to help you sell your house. When people are looking at pictures of your home, they are envisioning themselves and their family inside of it. They are trying to picture where their furniture will go, and admire the character different rooms offer. When they see your mess, not only is it unprofessional, but the person viewing the photos will go through them that much quicker so they don't have to see it. This is crucial for rooms that have exceptional features that need to have attention drawn to them - not your personal things lying about. This rule also applies to people; make sure everyone moves out of the pictures completely. Cleanup the front garden and entrance area, clean up the rear garden ... everything everywhere that is shown to the web viewer or potential buyer when visiting.
Remember, you're selling your house, not your possessions. Think of your furnishings as props, and photograph the prominent features of your house. It's more important to capture the big bay windows in the family room than it is your favorite leather sofa.
Have a look at this list below:
- Clean all the windows and glass doors, mirrors and shower screens and make sure they stay that way. This is a job which cannot be completed in thirty minutes, so it is an ongoing cleaning task to be kept up. Open windows to the garden if it is a sunny day, it looks attractive and advertises you have a nice garden to look at.
- The garden needs to be kept mown and weeded and any nasty oil spills on the driveway dealt with so the area looks expansive and clean.
- Clean all the floors and make sure you have a working vacuum cleaner to run over the rugs or fitted carpets just prior to viewing.
- Make sure your children have suitable containers with available space to accommodate any toys which have been left out; you can then throw them into these containers and sort out where they belong later, when the viewer has gone. Similarly, keep a container handy for stowing things like remote controls, pens and pencils left on tables, and other family detritus.
- If you have pets, pick up their food bowls and beds and put them away somewhere until the viewer has gone. Not everybody can tolerate pets so it is well not to advertise yours. Obviously if your dog is wandering around that is quite okay, but make sure that any animal droppings are cleared from lawns and pathways and that you bath your pets regularly to be sure the house does not smell of dog, cat, rabbit, or any other species.
- The kitchen and bathrooms must be completely spotless. Fresh fruit works well in the kitchen and make sure the kitchen towels are fresh. Pay special attention to chrome taps and pipes and keep a supply of fluffy, colour matched towels on hand to display the bathroom to advantage. When the viewer has gone, remove them until the next viewer comes, that way you will not be constantly washing them. Ensure there is new toilet tissue and new soap near the wash basin – it looks nicer than used soap and perfumes the room.
- Pick up dressing robes and discarded clothes from bedrooms and bathrooms and put them away. Clear away any shoes from bedroom floors and hallway. All these are personal items and of no interest to the viewer. Put away excess family photographs in frames, they are a distraction.
- Look at your house with a stranger’s eye if you can, and try to imagine what you would like to see if you were the viewer. Put away old newspapers and magazines, and try not to clutter the table surfaces with correspondence. Ashtrays are an absolute no-no. If you have them, wash them and put them away in a cupboard. Smokers need to realise that the smoke can be smelled by a non smoker, so the house needs to be heavily perfumed with anti-tobacco air freshener to disguise the smell of cigarettes.
- Light perfumed candles or aroma burners in the main reception rooms, so the viewer associates your house with delightful smells.
- If you have a particularly unattractive trailer of an old car which you are renovating, move it somewhere until after the viewing. If you have a particularly unattractive teenager you are renovating, move that somewhere too.
Step 2 - the camera and photos
Get a good, high-resolution digital camera. Digital cameras are convenient so you may go back and retake the picture as many times as necessary to nail that perfect shot. Since most of your photos will likely end up on the web for potential buyers to view, resolution is important. Digital cameras offer different resolution sizes to take the pictures in. When you upload pictures to our site, the best resolution is somewhere around 1600x1200 - not bigger, not smaller. We send to all the portals at 1024x768 and when visitors click on the images on our site, they also see this resized image. The thumbnails are automtically created for you. High resolution pictures will not lose their details or crispness this way. If you have already organised for one of the House Revolution team to take your photos, then sit back and relax!
Step 3 - taking the picture
The best time to take the photos is in good sunlight coming through the windows. BUT, turn on ALL the lights in every room when taking the pictures! It "opens up" the room, creates an airy feel and makes an inviting photo.
If you're taking the photo yourself - position the camera at WAIST height. If it means crouching down to look through the viewfinder, do it! This is the most appealing height for a room photo. Check out any of the professionals - they're never shot from 6 foot up, unless the room has crazy high ceilings!
Take photos of the house's best features. It's really tempting to just point and shoot at the standard rooms in the house, but remember: every house has bedrooms and a dining room and a living room. It's important to get those shots too, but if your home has exposed beams or wrought iron detailing or fantastic custom tiles, be sure to take some pictures of these things as well. That stained glass window in the stairwell could be just what someone was looking for! Outdoor/garden shots are also important for the people that have children and pets. Potential buyers want to know how much property they're going to have, or if they'll have to trim hedges, mow lawns, etc. Don't accidentally mislead the public!
As described in step 1, if you don't think you're up to the task, we can arrange to take your photos for you. The best thing you can do, if we're coming to take the photos, is to "dress" your house - that's every room. Just keep in mind when entrusting this task to someone else that they haven't lived in your house and don't know its special characteristics as well as you do. Going around with them and pointing out the house's key features is recommended.
- Preparing your house to sell - garden, kids, dogs, photos and more!
- Your first viewing - helpful hints to show your house in the best light
Do you think we're missing something on here? Or want to make a suggestion? Why not help us become even more amazing! Please send us feedback if you wish