Residential | Strike the property pose this summer
June 2012, It's time to capture picture perfect property says Stuart Harris partner and head of residential sales at Carter Jonas in Cambridge.
While image isn't everything, there's no denying that first impressions count when it comes to marketing and selling property and so the collaboration between estate agent and vendor to present the property in its best light – in every respect - is crucial.
This is the time of year when, with extended daylight hours, homes will probably look their best - both inside and out. Many agents who have taken on instructions earlier in the year which may not have sold yet might be looking to see if a new set of summer photographic images will give a value-for-money boost to the marketing.
In the premium homes market, high-end estate agents will commission professional photographers – whatever the season – when the instruction is taken and there are specialist property photographers who know how to get the best out of a property in any weather.
With specialist equipment and lighting, these photographers can frame a room as if it’s a studio shot. But there are strict rules to which they adhere in terms of how a property can be represented in images and brochures and websites and so it really is the case that the camera can never lie in this instance.
What a professional approach can do is bring out the best in the property and vendors play their part in this professional presentation too especially when it comes to the great outdoors.
There's no denying that gardens look at their best at this time of year and can be presented as an extra room outdoors and they do add value to a property. While not necessarily a monetary value, a neglected garden can detract from a good property.
It's a question of scale and appropriateness to the property and its target market. A small, well-maintained garden can be just as attractive as sweeping lawns and a pony paddock to the right buyer but tidiness is always the watchword.
In a family property, the garden needs to show how it complements the home with defined areas for play equipment and a separate area from which the grown-ups can relax and supervise.
Gazebos, paddling pools and hot tubs do not impress in a postage-stamp-sized lawn. Rusting barbecue kits or neglected garden furniture are a strict no-no.
Sheds and fences must look secure and well maintained. Pet deposits should be removed from any areas where viewers might think of treading. If it's winter, there should be no piles of rotting leaves.
Finally, whether it's through a photographer's lens or the eyes of a potential buyer, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
But the key to picture perfect property presentation is to enhance and capture a house looking at its best – whatever the time of year.
Stuart is a Partner in the Residential Team in the Cambridge office, heading residential sales. Qualifying originally as a chartered surveyor within a rural practice, he now advises particularly ...