What does ‘Property Photography’ involve and how can I get my property ready?
Good property photography requires a mixture of composition, room staging and lighting to showcase your home at its best. We aim to illustrate the potential of a home and highlight the key selling features. This is often helping to sell the ‘lifestyle’, where a potential buyer can imagine themselves living there.
The critical thing is to show your property at its best in order to generate interest and viewings.
People often ask how best to prepare their home for estate agent photographs. In simple terms, I advise people to try and keep things neutral. While it isn’t wise to completely empty a house, when it comes to presenting a property for sale, less is generally more. You want the viewer to notice the room or house, rather than its contents.
There are a few things that it is always worth checking…
For a living room, it is advisable to remove unwanted clutter and personal items. This would include things like personal/ family photographs and ornaments, children’s toys and other loose items. It is also worth checking for any missing lightbulbs and replace as necessary.
In the kitchen, I advise hiding away any food packaging, bottles, trays and the washing drainer. Appliances such as a coffee machine or kettle will usually stay, as the space can look bare if left completely empty. There is no general rule as to whether to lay the dining table as they can look attractive both with or without a dinner set. I suppose this depends on the lifestyle you would like to portray. But it is advisable to either remove the table cloth or ensure that the one used isn’t heavily patterned as this can be distracting.
Upstairs, always ensure that the beds are made and that cosmetics are hidden from bed side tables and the bathroom. It is also worth while checking for any items stored on top of cupboards and wardrobes.
Externally, it is always better to remove any motor vehicles and bins, as this allows a clear view of the front of the property. For the garden, remove any washing and loose items, and where practical neaten up the garden, cutting the lawn and removing any leaves.
Obviously, this is quite a long list and people often get quite concerned when trying to prepare their property for photographs or viewings. My advice would be don’t panic! Make the best attempt you can, and we will work with what you have. In most cases we don’t need to take pictures of cupboard spaces and utility rooms, so these can be used for storage. Another strategy can be to decide to use the smallest room (eg. the box room) as a storage area.
How long does a property photography shoot take?
Typically, a shoot will take 1-2 hours on site time plus time afterwards for editing. The exact time will of course depend on the size of the house and the number of features. No two are the same. This often surprises people; however, it is worth remembering the old saying “you only get out what you put in”. We believe in doing it once and getting it right!
To produce photographs that are going to be of huge benefit, we need to ensure that the rooms are well presented, the camera is set up properly and that the scene is correctly lit. Each room is different and needs individual attention to achieve the best possible results. In practical terms, this takes time, but the results are always well worth it!
What if the weather is bad on the day of the shoot?
This is another common question. For estate agent listings, time is generally a factor as most home owners want their listing to go live as soon as possible. In most cases, we use digital editing to add a blue sky in post processing. We find that this is a reliable way of producing a good result quickly without being at the mercy of the British weather, which is often unreliable. The only situation where we might reshoot the exterior due to weather would be in the case of major snowfall. In this situation, we would still go ahead with the original shoot, concentrating on the interiors as this is the part of photographing a house that takes the longest in terms of time. We would re-photograph the exterior after the snow has thawed.
Isn’t professional photography only for big houses?
Far from it! In fact, pretty much any property can benefit from good photography. We see a full range of homes, large and small, old and new. Each one receives the attention necessary to help it on its successful sales journey.
What’s the best time of day for a property shoot?
Most property photographs for estate agency listings need to be shot during the day, as broad daylight gives the clearest images for buyers to decide. In addition, images taken during daylight tend to have a bright and airy feel. This is true both of exteriors and interiors. There can be occasions however where evening or dusk photographs can be suitable. This tends to be when the property has special lighting, or an interesting view which is best viewed at night. It very much depends on the main selling features of the property, and when best to capture these!
How important are the results of professional photography?
Leanne the sales director at Harper Williams swears by professional photography which is why when she launched the company, professional photography was the only option and something she won’t comprise on! She doesn’t charge her sellers any extra for this, it is part of their standard offering. As for the results, I asked Leanne for her most impressive success story of last year. She advised this was a stunning property in the heart of Culcheth village, off Twiss Green Lane, along Newland Mews which is the image I’ve used in this blog.
The images truly showcased the beautiful and clever transformation achieved by the sellers, which resulted in enough enquiries, fourteen viewings on one Saturday, and then multiple offers on the back of those viewing appointments as a result. The property went on to sell for £22,500 above the asking price. So, the proof really is in the pudding! And this is just one example of now many success stories!
There are many things to consider when deciding on the best approach to marketing your property.
Property photography and presentation are key within the estate agency marketing mix.
We find that the above advice is suitable for most properties, but if you have any questions why not give us a call on 01925 407210 or request a free valuation at https://www.harper-williams.co.uk/valuation?
Covering the WA5 areas of Warrington (Chapelford, Great Sankey, Westbrook, Penketh, Callands, Old Hall), Culcheth, Croft, Glazebury, Leigh, Astley and Worsley, we look forward to meeting you and photographing your fabulous property!