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EA coming on Friday to take photos- what should I do in advance?

(21 Posts)
notamumyetbutoneday Mon 09-Nov-09 10:34:07

As above really. The EA is coming to take photos of our house prior to putting it on the market, and Im just wondering how much to do before she arrives?

The house is will be clean and tidy, Im just wondering if I should be removing photos, removing some of the kitchen and bathroom bits n bobs,etc.

Any thoughts or advice appreciated!

GrendelsMum Mon 09-Nov-09 11:25:23

I think it is worth putting away an awful lot of stuff for the photos, because in my experience, fairly small things can be surprisingly distracting in photos of houses, when you don't notice them in real life. Things like wires trailing across rooms, phones, etc etc, which you actually need and wouldn't notice in a house, draw attention to themselves in a photo. Have a look at other people's house photos and see what you find yourself concentrating on.

notamumyetbutoneday Mon 09-Nov-09 11:36:26

Thanks Grendels Mum, thats a great tip. I have been totally shock at some of the things left in people's photos given they are trying to sell their houses- unmade beds, plates of foods on the side...!

CMOTdibbler Mon 09-Nov-09 11:53:56

Main thing is to try and make the house as appealing and spacious as possible.

So, all lights on, all bits and bobs off sides/shelves and away, all toys in car/garage/wardrobe. Push furniture right back so that max area of floor shows, and try and find somewhere to put odd chairs/stools so that they don't clutter.

Fresh, light and as plain as possible bedlinen, and plump all the cushions up on the sofas.

If you have patterned rugs, then take them up (to me they look like they are concealing bad floor and distract from the room)

If you have a garden, tidy up, cut the grass, and put toys away

Look at Rightmove for your area and house type, and see what jumps out at you in photos

Also, ask a good friend to come over and tell you honestly what they would do - and don't take offence, this is about selling, not personal taste. So, for instance, the mural that you lovingly painted in the downstairs loo needs a coat of Dulux magnolia one coat - else in peoples eyes, your house will be the one with 'the dreadful loo', not 'the gorgeous kitchen'. One house we viewed had a teddy with chains on in the bedroom - we only remember that, not the large garden etc

PrettyCandles Mon 09-Nov-09 11:56:28

Also wash windows, especially if they are or will be on the sunny side of the house.

neversaydie Mon 09-Nov-09 19:33:55

Good clean and tidy, but don't make the house look too austere - people do need to be able to imagine themselves living there! I usually lay the table, for example, and that looks fantastic, especially if you have a 'best' set.

A tidy garden also helps - you really don't want people thinking it will be too hard to look after. With my buyers hat on, the garden is as important to me as the house is, so if you are selling in the winter it can be worth giving the EA a good picture of it during the summer (although be careful that this doesn't give the impression that the house has been on the market for months)

Naetha Mon 09-Nov-09 19:38:54

Get some flowers for your dining room table as well - makes it look nice

notamumyetbutoneday Tue 10-Nov-09 10:10:19

Thank you for all these tips, they are much appreciated by a novice! DH is taking Thursday afternoon off to clean the windows and do the garden,it is lookign ok although not as colourful as in the summer obviously.

Started taking some of the photos down last night and although it looks barer I think its the right thing to do and makes the rooms look larger.

As you say its that balance between being austere and lived-in.

displayuntilbestbefore Tue 10-Nov-09 10:16:35

remove anything which makes it seem too much like YOUR house - photos, little trinkets or ornaments that are personal to you, overtly loud patterened bedding etc
Also try and clear away all the toiletries in the bathroom if that it to be photographed

As another poster said, it can be distracting for buyers if they can't see beyond your belongings to imagine themselves living there.

Oh and just before agent comes round, do a last sweep to check for things you might not have spotted at a glance - stray undies, teatowels, dead-looking houseplants

Adair Tue 10-Nov-09 10:18:46

A good EA photographer ought to stage it too (ours artfully arranged two bananas and an old apple to create a luscious looking fruit bowl...).

Leeka Tue 10-Nov-09 10:35:03

A nice fruit bowl and jug of flowers looks so much better on a dining table than a 'fake' laid table, which just looks odd to me (sorry, neversaydie!).

Clear the worktops in the kitchen as much as pssible, no-one needs to see your 'left out because we use them a lot' things like washing up liquid, etc. Remove tea towels and other distracting items.

Check out interiors magazines for the way the beds are styled, it makes loads of difference to a bedroom picture how the pillows are arranged, no sheet showing at the foot, that kind of thing.

Clear toys as much as possible, the bright colours often make them very distracting in photos.

All lights on, including side lights and table lamps.

Ask to look at them on their camera whilst they are there, then if you don't like the look of the results you can get them to change angles, move furniture, etc. If you leave it until they send you the details it's a pain to have to ask them to come back a second time. This especially applies if it is the estate agent taking the photos rather than a photographer.

Good luck!

ABetaDad Tue 10-Nov-09 10:38:51

Take down personal things and remove all sign of pets, kids toys, junk, and anything broken or dog eared. Do not make it utterly bare though. Perhaps some flowers in a glass vase on a table that kind of thing.

Go and look at some professional house builders websites and look at how they stage their homes for sale. I always think Berkeley Homes do it well.

See if you can copy some of the look.

displayuntilbestbefore Tue 10-Nov-09 10:55:27

have to disagree about lights on. Unless it's a dark dingy house without much natural light, don't have all lights on if photos taken in the day as it will make buyers wonder if it's a dark dingy house without much natural light!

Leeka Tue 10-Nov-09 10:58:53

As a photographer, I would disagree with you! EAs or the 'get commission on the number of houses they can photograph in a day' photographers won't be bringing studio lights with them. The house will appear very much more attractive with pools of indirect light in the photo than the on-camera flash you'd likely need to use otherwise. The lights themselves won't necessarily be in the photos, but the effect will be.

notamumyetbutoneday Tue 10-Nov-09 11:04:40

So Leeka, should I put the lights on even though the photographer is coming at 10.30am?Could see how it looks with or without I guess I'll definitely be asking them to show me the photos on the camera before they leave- I don't want to take any more time off work!

Will do the fruit bowl thing. Regards clearing the kitchen worktops, ill remove washing up liquid etc but would you also recommend moving kettle, toaster, etc? Seems a bit drastic but if thats what everyone else does...

Leeka Tue 10-Nov-09 11:09:58

Either put the lights on, or show them where the switches are. Have a look at the pics and decide for yourself whether it looks better or not.

I would leave kettle and toaster (unless they are particularly ugly!) to make it look real, but clear almost everything else - maybe leave a couple of attractive looking olive oil bottles or similar, or a bowl of fruit.

Personal possessions in the rest of the house are not so bad, but IMO kitchens and bathrooms to be as clean and clutter free as possible.

displayuntilbestbefore Tue 10-Nov-09 11:14:00

fair enough if the lights aren't in view, but as a former EA, we avoided having lights/tablelamps in the picture as it looks very odd to have them on when photo clearly taken in daylight hours
OP - don't worry too much about lighting, the ea should sort out what they want to do - but make sure you approve the photos before they get put on Right move or in the particulars as some agents happy with mediocre snaps and you want to make sure you have the house seen in its best light (no pun intended)!

GrendelsMum Wed 11-Nov-09 09:46:44

Actually, our estate agent when we sold gave us a useful tip (they were very good) - he said to work out what sort of people would buy that kind of house, and then market towards them. e.g. he said that ours would probably be bought by an older professional couple or couple with one child, and it was.
So realistically, if yours is a house that a family will buy, make it look like a house where a family could happily live.

stillfrazzled Wed 11-Nov-09 13:39:17

Definitely hide absolutely everything you can. Our EA even took the drainer off the draining board and hid the coffee maker in a cupboard. Was amazing how much bigger everything looked.

No towels or coats over bannisters, no stray bottles in bathroom and shower curtains back etc.

In fact, empty a couple of cupboards in advance, and use those for flinging everything into when you have a last-minute viewing, too. Worked well for me...

snice Wed 11-Nov-09 13:46:59

Put your dustbin out of shot if its kept at the front

Make sure there's nothing hanging on the radiators.

A neat pile of mags on a coffee table better than bare.Ditto bowl of fruit/vase of flowers on dining table.

Any stray clothes/dressing gowns put temporarily under the duvet.

Put everything away in the kitchen that you possibly can.

If in doubt shove anything in a room you know he or she won't photograph e.g. under stairs.

If time cut back hedges/bushes at the front of the house to look neat.

notamumyetbutoneday Wed 11-Nov-09 14:08:55

Great minds, stillfrazzled and snice- I spent last night clearing out cupboards just for this purpose. We now have stacks of CDs in our breadbin, in the kitchen cupboard. Not to mention the mugs and mug tree in the understairs cupboard.

You can see why we need to move...

Just need to get some flowers tomorrow.

Thanks so much for all the advice which really helped me focus on what I needed to do.

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