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Preparing your Home for Marketing

Posted by Bradley Lee on 04/11/2016
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When it comes time to market your property, there are no shortcuts to a great price.

A lot of preparation has to be undertaken to make sure your property hooks and pulls a potential buyer in. When a buyer sees your property online or in person, they must think, “this is the one”.

Photographs of your property are one of the main ways to draw in a buyer. They are integral because they are the first point of contact that a buyer has with your property. Therefore, it is essential that you present your property in the best possible way.

Excellent presentation and high-quality photographs seduce a buyer into a home.

Preparing your home for photography or video go hand-in-hand. If you are preparing a property for photos, then this is the way it should appear for every open home, for every buyer inspection, and throughout the duration of your marketing campaign. It is pivotal that you maintain consistency.

1. Declutter and clean, clean, clean

A pristine, sparkling clean home says, ‘I care about this home. I have looked after it. So the person who purchases this home is going to benefit from the love, care and attention you have given the home during your ownership.

2. Think about who you are appealing to

Think about who you think will want to buy your home and make the surroundings appeal to that potential buyer. Market the home to suit the purchaser.

  • Is it a single person’s apartment?
  • Is it designed for couples?
  • Is it a first home buyers home?
  • Or is it a family home?

Think about your buyer and the atmosphere you’re trying to create.

3. Strong first impression

Most buyers make up their mind between, getting out of the car, and about 30 seconds after walking through the front door. What buyers see in the photographs on the web have to match with what they see when they get out of the car. You have to make the impact. Photos should focus on the strength and minimise any potential weaknesses.

Make sure the front yard is clean. Lawns should be manicured and lush. Hedges and edges must be trimmed, neat and tidy. Clear out the cobwebs, get rid of peeling paint and grime. Sugar soap or wash the gutters, eaves, fascias, weatherboards and colour bond roofs. The front of the house must be pristine.

With tiled roofs, ascertain whether it is actually worth the investment of getting it refinished and resprayed. Generally in most cases, it is not going to be too obvious in photos but it may become an issue through a sales negotiation.

Declutter that veranda. Make sure nothing is on there that does not actually belong there. Paint the doorjambs in high gloss.

4. Present the home to suit the purchaser

Once inside the home, minimise the amount of furniture in the rooms and utilise the furniture that’s going to make an impact. You want to create a scenario that will stimulate the kind of emotions that you are hoping to target in the buyer.

For example, if you are marketing a home to a family, keep the chalkboard and some posters in a child’s bedroom because you want to create that family ambience.

5. Kitchen

Declutter! A fridge should not be noticeable – it should be white, silver, or neutral. Remove all personal items – the pen stands, the sunglasses, the phone chargers. Add a few touches, depending on who you are appealing to. Add a fruit bowl or fresh flowers or a plant.

Clean, clean, clean that stainless steel, give it a good scrub-down. All the surfaces should be gleaming.

Remove the personal touches, whether it is the kids’ report cards or the magnetic stickers from the fridge. Remove the tea towels, pet bowls

6. Lounge

If you have any kind of view from your lounge room over the backyard, the beaches, or the hills – maximise it. Clean the windows and be careful about window treatments. Remove lace curtains as they date the home and minimise what the photographer can do to show the views. Photographers will lift those blinds up, pull back the verticals, so the backyard, the views, the deck, and the outside entertaining areas can be seen.

7. Bathrooms

This room that should be cleaned by professionals. Bathrooms need to feel absolutely germ-free; they need to be almost clinical. You want to be able to see through the shower glass so that it doesn’t impact upon the atmosphere you’re creating for the rest of the bathroom – it has to be absolutely translucent.

Polish the mirror. Make sure that any cobwebs or the dust, for instance on the exhaust fan, has been removed. Any chrome items must be given a good polish. Tiles will show off any marks or grease, simply by the characteristic change in whether it’s a shine or a matte reflection.

Bathrooms are also challenging because there are so many bright, shiny reflective surfaces. The quality of the photographer is revealed with shots of the bathroom. Any failure to catch every scrap of grime or dirt or streak will show up in a photo.

Decluttering is most important in the bathroom. In such a small space, any clutter is going to be far more obvious. Take the toilet roll off the hanger. Take out the toothbrushes and any personal items that may detract.

8. Bedrooms

Declutter and clean and turn on the bedside lights as they create a beautiful glow. Contrasting bed linen and the wall treatments work well but be careful.
Assess the view out of the bedroom windows – if it is not a particularly attractive view, take the focus away from the window with a nice big painting, photo or something else that will draw the attention away.

If you want to focus the attention on a hill view or a beach view, or just a nice outlook, take away any objects that will distract the eye from the window.
Think about your buyer and the atmosphere you’ are trying to create.

9. Entertainment areas

With these areas, try and create a certain ambience that will appeal to your buyer. Think about the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Whether it is the deck, the verandah, a balcony, how does it integrate with the rest of the atmosphere you’re trying to sell? For example, if it’s an inner city apartment, you want to be able to show a balcony set up with a barbecue and chairs so that people can imagine themselves using it with friends on a summer evening.

10. The pool

Make sure you pay attention to the pool – it has got to be sparkling before it is photographed and when the house goes on the market. Make sure all pool accessories – the empty chlorine bottles, the chemical containers, the pool cleaners, the brooms, the kids’ boogie boards and the flotation rings are all packed away. Make sure it remains like that for rest of the marketing campaign.

11. Keep the lights on

Lights are essential – even in daytime, you are always going to be shooting with lights on. Most professional photographers are going to create an ambience somewhere between using their flash equipment and utilising the available sunlight as well as the lights.

12. Replace all the faulty globes

Make sure they are fresh, and if the property is vacant make sure the electricity is still connected.

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