Market Your Home Correctly

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Supermodels would never dream of being photographed without makeup and yet there are homeowners who are perfectly willing to allow strangers to view the less than perfect interior of their homes on the web.

There are rules that should always be followed when taking photographs of a property and one of the most important is never to take or post a picture of an untidy room. Unmade beds, laundry hanging over the side of the bath and dirty dishes in the kitchen are also absolute no-nos and sellers should make every effort to ensure that their homes are spotless before allowing an agent to take photographs.

Take the time to spring clean before the agent arrives. Ensure beds are neatly made and that toys and clutter are packed away. Spare bedrooms tend to be used as dumping grounds and often feature bare mattresses. Pack away items left lying around and make the bed. If the pool has turned green overnight, mention in the accompanying sales patter that the home has a pool, but leave it out of the photo shoot.

Work with the agent and point out what you regard as the best features of the home. Sellers should also ask to see the photographs once they have been taken and give instructions as to which photographs they feel should be used in the marketing plan. The cover or main picture is of particular importance as this will be the one that features the most prominently on the web. If the exterior of the home is not picture perfect, it may be wise to feature one of the interior shots. On that note, however, unless you have a gold plated toilet that adds value to the home, omit pictures of the WC. Every home has one and some things are best kept private.

Learn to think like a buyer. Go onto the web and see how the agent has portrayed your home. Is the property being marketed at the right price, have they listed the correct number of bedrooms and is the property listed in the right area? Unlike Private Property, not all property portals take the time to double check what agents are putting out there and it is pretty common to read that the property has two bedrooms, but when the photographs are examined there are clearly three.

Look at the overall listing with a critical eye and scrutinise the pictures before they are broadcast to the rest of the world. Ask the agent to change or remove anything you are not happy with. The Internet has completely revolutionised the way people view property and if the pictures do not reflect what a buyer perceives to be acceptable, they are simply going to click onto the next listing.

The wording of a property advert is as important as the pictures. Ask the agent to tell it like it is and to avoid using tired clichés. Buyers are not going to buy a home just because the agent states that you can sip sundowners on the verandah. They may, however, be interested to know that the property features a double volume balcony that is ideal for entertaining. Likewise, referring to a large expanse of lawn as a landscaped garden is taboo.

Let’s face it, it is becoming harder to sell property. Perhaps the time for sellers to take an active role has well and truly arrived. No one is suggesting that you try and do the agent’s job, but on the other hand, it would be foolish to sit back and allow the person marketing your home to get it wrong and reduce your chances of selling.

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