Tag Archives: buyers

A curved chair with pillows and a chest table furniture beside it. A fabric mat and books on a floor

A curved chair with pillows and a chest table furniture beside it. A fabric mat and books on a floor

Floorplans are a relatively new addition to property details. Originally they were only made available for either very grand homes, or new builds. Now much more prevalent and even the humblest of studio flats usually have a floorplan on the details. But why are they so important?

There are three elements to a floorplan that are important in its usability; firstly, it needs to include measurements. Too many poorly-drawn floorplans often have the measurements missing, or else they are instead included in the written description where they lack context.  The right place for room dimensions is in the floorplan, so that a buyer can easily ascertain their relative sizes. Secondly, it should include a compass market, so a buyer can tell which way the front of the house and more importantly, the garden, faces. The last element that should be detailed on a floorplan, is the overall square footage. This allows the house to be compared with other properties, so that a buyer can instantly see how much house he’s getting for his money. In the UK, we often sell houses on number of rooms only, and as a result, room sizes are getting smaller and smaller. These days, a four bedroomed house can take up the same footprint as a three bedroomed property would have done thirty years ago. To be able to see the total floor area gives a buyer the opportunity to ensure he is getting good value for money.

So why is a floorplan important? There are three main reasons:

1. It helps a buyer see how the house ‘works’, and therefore whether it is worth a viewing. Room flow, relative sizes and layout are all factors that a buyer will take into consideration, especially family buyers, and he won’t want to waste time by viewing properties which just aren’t suitable for his needs.

2. A floorplan can help a buyer to visualise the property after the viewing. This can become useful when he may be considering making layout changes, perhaps knocking down a wall or installing an ensuite, and a floorplan is vital for this kind of thought processing.

3. Floorplans can make a house seem larger. It’s very easy when you’ve viewed a house to forget rooms that you’ve seen, or overlook a part of the house altogether. This is especially true of boxrooms, or areas that aren’t being fully utilised, like storage rooms. By showing the house in its entirety on a floorplan, no area will be omitted and as a result, it can even add perceived value.

In summary, make sure you have a floorplan on your brochure, and preferably available as a separate download on the online property portals, ensure it is clear and informative, and that it includes the total floor area. Your buyer will thank you for it.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.


At HomeTruths, a very important part of our service is to provide to our clients a comprehensive and detailed report on their asking price. We look at several different data points in order to establish whether they are still achievable. In the vast majority of the time, we report back, much to our client’s relief, that we believe they should continue to market at their chosen price, or even at an increased level.

However, we are not the only party to be convinced. There are three other parties who, if not confident that your house is worth its price, can sabotage your property sale. Let’s have a look at the implications of their influence in turn:

Your estate agent. If your agent does not have confidence he can sell your home for the price you want, this lack of support will eventually filter down through the branch staff, and be in no doubt, to your viewers. It only takes a careless remark, such as “the vendors are very flexible” or “it’s always worth making an offer” and a buyer will get the subtle message that the agent does not support the asking price. The solution is to gather all the data you can regarding any houses sold in your local area, comparable properties currently on the market and even, if your maths is up to it, a price per square foot comparison table, showing how much house a buyer is getting for their money.

Your buyer. They are probably the best informed out of these three parties, as they are likely to be looking only within a particular price range, geographical area and house type. This makes them a ‘temporary expert’ of a house such as yours. If they don’t feel your house is worth the asking price, they may not even make an offer. The solution is to make your house as appealing for the 21st century buyer as possible, and compete strongly on features and presentation. Your marketing sets the scene, so ensure your brochure, photography and online advert are giving the right message, and back it up with a house that sells itself to a viewer.

Your buyer’s lender. This is a very important point: your estate agent may agree to market your home for a very optimistic price, and your buyer may get carried away enough to offer the asking price, but if he needs a mortgage, it’s the lender who makes the final decision. Their valuer will take a very cautious and guarded view of the value of your house, particularly if your buyer needs a relatively high loan amount. The solution is to present the valuer with your own dossier of comparable evidence to support your price. He will, of course, compile his own data from various different professional sources, but any information you can supply that will make his life easier, and your agreed purchase price more realistic, will really help to support your argument.

The lesson here is that preparation will really put you in a much stronger position and make your eventual sale price more likely to put a smile on your face.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

A wooden heart hanging on a door on a way to the living room

A wooden heart hanging on a door on a way to the living room

This week, I received a call from someone who has a beautiful, architect-designed home for sale in Lancashire.  A very unusual home, it’s a cross between a Huf House (do Google it if you haven’t come across them) and an individual ‘Grand Design’.  It’s all dramatic angles, huge atriums, and an abundance of glass, chrome and natural wood.

The photographs of the external are stunning; cleverly, there are dusk shots – images taken in the early evening – with all the internal lights on so that it looks homely and welcoming.  Because, you see, it’s not lived in.  The owner, who lives about an hour away and built this property to sell and top up his pension, has put a few pieces of furniture in the key rooms, to give an indication of how it could be used.  So the master bedroom has a bed in it, and the main living room contains a sofa and armchair, but there’s nothing really to indicate how a buyer might live there.

Now this is usually enough for a male viewer; men like impressive facades with dramatic angles and grand proportions.  They are interested in the bricks and mortar aspect of a house: the number of rooms, the outside space, whether it has a double garage, those kind of things.  Give him some gadgets too – a remote controlled fire, automatic gates, integral media system – and you’ll have him hooked from the first click.

Women are different.  We rely on instinct far more.  We will walk into a house and say ‘no’ before we’ve left the entrance hall, because it doesn’t ‘feel right’.  On the other hand, men can end up totally bemused and bewildered by the strength of our conviction when a home does feel right, despite perhaps having none of the attributes from the original jointly-drawn up ‘tick list’.  A lady owner may well tell you, even when she’s lived in the house for years, how she felt when she first walked in: “I just knew” she will sigh.  And by the way, don’t underestimate the importance of her buying motivation: 80% of buying decisions are made or influenced by a woman.  Ignore her needs at your peril……. .

Statistics show that only 5.5% of men pay the full asking price, and only 78% offer 90% or more of the asking price.  Women buyers, on the other hand, are more motivated to secure a house, whatever the price, and 17% of them simply offer the full asking price of the property they want.  An impressive 90% of female buyers offer 90% or more of the asking price, so determined are they not to lose the home they have set their heart on.

So as a buyer, how on earth do you connect emotionally with a lady buyer to make her “just know” as soon as she walks through the door of your house?  As I told the seller of this Grand Design: by making it beautifully homely, and at the same time highly aspirational.    All the little touches that make a house a home need putting in place to seduce her: window dressing, luxurious bedding, sumptuous cushions, a kitchen full of gorgeous cookware, candles and towels in the bathroom, and those shiny floors adorned with warm, textured rugs.

I’ve estimated that to add this feminine appeal in a house that is over 7,000 square feet may well cost him between £20,000 and £30,000, but his property is for sale for £1 million.  A 2-3% investment is a far better route to securing a buyer than the alternative his agent is recommending – to drop the asking price by £50,000.

If you can identify what a woman wants, and give it to her, she’ll not only fall head over heels in love with the house, she’ll also persuade a less emotionally-driven partner that they absolutely, positively must buy your house.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

A flower vase, book, and reading glasses on a table

The market is definitely quiet at the moment, it’s true. The buyers seem to have receded with the summer sun, and may not reappear until the daffodils emerge in the spring.

If you’re in a huge hurry to sell, then you may be considering dropping your asking price, probably egged on by your estate agent, looking for a quick sale at your expense.

However, dropping your asking price should never be a knee-jerk reaction to a slow market.  There are many factors to consider. At best, even a large price drop could make absolutely no difference to your viewings whatsoever, and at worst, it could actually damage long-term your likelihood of selling at anything close to the price you were originally hoping for.

So, let’s look at the psychological effects a discounted asking price could have on a potential buyer:

1. Wariness 

The initial surprise a buyer may feel which draws his attention to your advert is very quickly replaced by wariness and cynicism that something must be ‘wrong with it’ to have such a low price.

2. It invites analysis

Selling on price causes buyers to be more analytical of the offer – the bricks and mortar. Because their decision to buy is rational (based on £s) and not emotional (based on feelings), they will be searching for the downside – that leaky tap will be an issue, the soggy garden a serious problem. Buyers making their decision on emotions are looking at your house with roses-around-the-door-tinted glasses.

3. Low price = low quality

Buyers usually want to spend at least their budget, and often end up spending more. Think back when you bought your house – did you stay within your budget? We are conditioned to believe you get what you pay for. After all, if we bought on price, we’d all buy our clothes from Primark and drive around in Skodas. The truth is we like quality; we aspire to it; we deserve it. Show us a property slightly beyond our means and we will want it all the more. A confident, optimistic asking price says ‘buy me – if you can’.

4. Lack of confidence 

What buyer wants to offer on a decreasing asking price? Would you buy shares as they were falling?  When will it stop? Will your investment prove foolish? Each price decrease indicates the seller’s lack of confidence in his own asking price. If the seller isn’t confident, why on earth should the buyer be?!

So before you drop your asking price, remember the passionate belief of all of us at HomeTruths –

People do not buy homes on price.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

An outdoor scenery of a house with trees and a brick stone wall and stair

Your for sale board is probably the most important part of your marketing campaign when you are selling your house. It shows your neighbours that your house is for sale, and they will naturally tell anyone they think might be interested in buying in the area. Not only that, but if you’re thinking of moving to an area, the first thing most people do is to have a drive around, looking for sale boards. In fact, some research shows that for every viewing that is booked, there are at least ten prospective buyers that simple drive fast, and discount your house.

If the for sale board is so important, why on earth aren’t agents using them more effectively? My advice is to take matters into your own hands and take some positive action to help attract more viewers. Here are some innovative and creative ways you can use your for sale board to generate viewings:

  1. Get a photo board – these are great for when your house can’t be seen, or properly appreciated, from the street. Try a photo of the kitchen on one side, and perhaps the view from the garden on the other. There are plenty of companies online that will print it for you, according to your specifications and design, and you can still include your agent’s logo and telephone number.
  2. Print your price on the board – a radical idea this, and one that sellers rarely go for, and that’s why it makes it so effective! Not only will you stand out from the competition, a buyer doesn’t have to risk embarrassing themselves by calling the agent and finding out it’s completely out of their price range. Nor do they have to sit frustrated in their car trying to locate the property online in order to find out the price so they can book a viewing. And if these benefits weren’t enough to persuade you, how about the fact that it will make you seem much more confident about your asking price?!
  3. Display your brochures – buy a brochure holder from somewhere like Staples or Amazon, making sure it has a lid for the rain, and attach it with cable ties to your board, or even your garden gate. Put half a dozen of your property brochures in it, and a little sign inviting people to ‘Please take one!’ You could even add to the note a nice message like “we’re often in and around for impromptu viewings at weekends, so please ring the doorbell if you’d like to take a look”. Well, you want to sell your house don’t you?!
  4. Clean your board – perhaps not so radical, but still very important. An untidy, dirty, unkempt board looks shoddy and will make it seem your house has been on the market for many months. Even if it has, you don’t want your viewers to know that! Clean it up, and if necessary, get your agent to replace it with a new one.
  5. Make it look pretty – imagine it’s a sign to promote a business, and make the ground it sits in look as attractive as possible. Plant some flowers, water and cut the grass, to give your buyer the impression that you care about your home and the way it looks, and also to give your board the attention it deserves!
  6. Make sure it can be seen – think carefully about the best place for your board; is it to the side of your driveway, or in the front garden? Is there a grass verge which it could be fixed into, or would it be more appropriate to put it on your garden gate? Wherever you put it needs to indicate with no possibility of ambiguity, which house is for sale.
  7. Add helpful suggestions – a little addition to your sign saying ‘please park in the drive’ or ‘front door to your left’ could be immensely helpful to your potential buyers, and start the viewing off on the right foot.
  8. Draw attention to your sign – if you have an apple tree, put any superfluous apples in a trug with a sign saying ‘please help yourself’ next to your for sale sign. Or perhaps you have a multitude of daffodils and wouldn’t miss a few bunches; whatever it is, it will create attention and interest at the front of your property, and if you’ve left brochures outside, they could enjoy an apple whilst flicking through your brochure!
  9. Light it up – if your house is in an unlit neighbourhood, perhaps you could angle one of your existing outside lights so your sale board is lit at night. Whilst local by-laws don’t allow for the sign to be lit in its own right, there’s nothing wrong with lighting it as part of your outside lighting scheme.
  10. Add an ‘open house’ sign – have one ready for when you are available, then simply attach it to your sale board (from underneath with hooks like a guest house ‘vacancies’ sign is easiest). After all, if your house is usually tidy and in presentable condition, and you’re in doing some gardening or watching tv, why not let people come and see your house? They might actually buy it!
  11. Get a ‘book board’ – this is something I’ve never actually seen but I’m convinced it would be a great idea! Have the sign manufacturer make you up a board with ‘pages’ – just one or two will be plenty – so that people can actually ‘leaf’ through your board as if it were your brochure. In fact, you could actually replicate your brochure in your sign! Whilst you’re limited to a sale board that doesn’t exceed 24” by 32”, nowhere does the law state you can only have a front and a back. And think of the interest this would create – I bet the local paper would come an interview you – free publicity!
  12. Add your telephone number – yes, another radical idea, but it would save the buyers going through the agent to try to book a viewing, particularly if it’s on a Sunday, or a weekend. Why not seize the moment, and when they call, urge them to come straight round. Many buyers actually try to call the agent from outside the house, and become very quickly frustrated by the agent not answering, not returning the call, or the owner being unavailable. Imagine if they were to call you direct, and you could say “I’ll be home in ten minutes, if you can hang on. When I get there, I’ll put the kettle on for you”. Nice, friendly, helpful, and perhaps a very clever sales strategy.
  13. Brand your board! Ok, not everyone will be able to do this, but for those who can, it could be oh so powerful. So what do I mean by ‘branding your board’? It’s simple! If your home is called ‘Rose Cottage’, decorate your board with roses; if it’s ‘Red Roofs’, paint your signpost red and maybe get an arty family member to make a little red roof for your board; ‘Lark View’? Glue a little model lark to your board. Have fun with it! At the very least, it will create a talking point, and that’s a very good start when you’re selling your home.

Well there you go. I don’t expect you to rush out and do all 13 at once, but even if you tried one or two, you never know where it might lead. And it would certainly make your agent sit up and take notice! Vendors being proactive in their own marketing? Whatever next?!

Happy selling 😮

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Books above a cabinet

It may be too cheap!

Here are 3 reasons you may need to increase your asking price:

  • Agents talk a lot about dropping the asking price so that it appears in a new price range. But surely that means it disappears from the one it was in?! Given that buyers spend around 3 months on average looking for their next home, the pool of people who are considering your home is changing four times a year, so you aren’t necessarily going to appear in more online searches, just different searches.
  • If your price has a 9 at the end of it – round it up! By having an asking price ending in 999 you’re potentially missing anyone who has more money to spend. The old-fashioned pricing of £599,000 £595,000 etc just doesn’t work any more.  By pricing your property at a rounded figure, for example £600,000, you then ensure that your house appears in as many searches as possible.
  • Buyers like to spend their budget – and some! If you’re too cheap your house may be dismissed as inferior to a more expensive alternative – just because it’s more expensive than yours.

Remember – homes don’t sell on price – they sell on emotion. Your buyer needs to make an emotional connection to your home, and if they do, price becomes far less important to them. In fact, if it’s just a little bit out of their budget, all the better – it’s actually more attractive to them!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Cups of tea and books on top of a wooden table

Proceedable buyers generally have mixed emotions about their impending purchase right now. On the one hand, they may be feeling a little invincible, being one of the highly sought-after minority that currently make up less than 25% of active viewers. As a consequence, they may well be looking at properties which were previously out of their price range, anticipating a hard-ball negotiation with the seller.

The other emotion they are probably experiencing is fear, or at the very least, nervousness. Has the market reached its depths? Is it going to fall further? Will they be trapped in negative equity?

Sellers – you need to appreciate your buyer’s motivations and issues in order to be better placed to negotiate with them successfully, and end up with a committed buyer and a good deal.
Here are my suggestions for a mutually beneficial outcome:

1. Don’t rush them – buyers are understandably a little jittery at the moment and they may need longer than usual to make up their minds.

2. Compete well – investigate your competition – buyers are now looking at one average, 15 – 20 properties before deciding to offer on one, so you need to be the best in your category. If you offer the best deal in the area, you can be more confident about your asking price.

3. Give a little away – house buying and selling is a very fraught time, with many obstacles to be overcome before completion. If you have the foundations of a good relationship with your buyers, they will feel more willing to make compromises and be flexible over say, included fixtures and fittings or completion dates.

4. Communication – if things start getting a little tense, ask your agent to facilitate a ‘round table meeting’ if you discuss matters face-to-face with your buyers, there is less chance of misunderstanding occurring and third party corruptions of conversations.

5. Expect the unexpected – in this market, there is every chance that your buyer may get cold feet, may lose their buyer, have their mortgage offer withdrawn or may try to gazunder you. The latter is when a buyer deliberately waits until you are ready to exchange contracts then drops their offer, often significantly. Decide on an action plan for each and all of these eventualities, and don’t start packing until it’s signed.

By following these 5 rules, you will keep your buyer ‘on side’ and the obstacles and challenges you meet along the way won’t seem so insurmountable.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Books in the shelf wih a toy car and vase of flowers.

Did you know that the sound your car door makes when you close it is almost certainly manufactured?  When we are looking to buy a luxury item, the cues we experience are often subconscious.  In the car showroom, you get into the beautiful car you have your eye on, and close the door behind you.  If you hear a hollow, tinny sound, you may well feel disappointed, and subconsciously feel that the car itself is of a lower quality than you were hoping for.  If, on the other hand, it closes with a reassuringly expensive click, you will feel confident that this reflects the quality of the whole car.

The engineers of the Japanese-designed Acura TSX took this attention to detail to the next level when they designed a unique “bumping door seal” that emits a special sound of “quality” when the door is opened and closed. That’s obsession for you!

So – how can you ensure that your house emits sounds of quality so that buyers will feel they are viewing a luxury home? The details to pay extra special attention to are:

  • Front door – this needs to open and close smoothly, with a nice, bold handle and a satisfying click when it closes.
  • French windows – these too need to open easily, without the need for wrenching handles, and kicking the frame!
  • Taps – buyers often turns taps (and showers) on to check water pressure.  The difference between a cheap DIY store tap or shower control, and a really high quality one, is very obvious, particularly to a buyer of a prestige property.
  • Fitted cupboards – how do your cupboards fasten?  Do they make a discreet and smooth ‘click’ when they close? Or do they jam, needing a good yank to open them? Or worse – are they fitted with cheap magnetic plates that don’t do the job they’re supposed to do, and hold the door closed properly?

A little investment in these key areas will pay dividends when you’re selling your home.  Get these little details right, and subconscious signals of quality though they may be, to a buyer they are tremendously powerful signals that they are buying a premium property.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Nine Ways To Sell Your House Fast

We know setting prospective buyers loose on your home to play Simon Cowell can be daunting; suppose the dog has an ‘accident’ or the neighbours decide their bonfire just can’t wait until November 5th?

Yes, buyers can indeed be difficult to please, but here’s the good news – we know exactly how to please them. Putting the effort in, pays dividends when it comes to getting that all important ‘quick sale’!

Follow our 9 tips to get your house big fat ‘yes’s’ across the board:

Improve your kerb appeal

We know you should never judge a book by it’s cover, but sadly, people often do – a lot of people will drive around first before deciding on which properties to visit.

The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior, if not more so for that all-important first impression. Peter Illingworth Estate Agent says ‘you must make sure every part of this visual picture looks at its best. If the interior is beautiful they may never see it if the exterior is shabby. The pavement in front of your home should be swept clean if necessary, any weeds that are growing should be removed, unsightly bins hidden and any litter picked up.’

Invest in some doggy day-care

As much as you love Rover, not everyone’s a fan. Potential buyers don’t want to walk in and smell cat litter, or walk out with dog hair stuck to their clothes; it gives the impression that your house isn’t clean. Hire a dog sitter or at least exile your furry friends to the garden whilst showing buyers around.

Come up smelling of roses

Or lilies, daisies, tulips – you get the idea. A bunch of flowers goes a long way!

Or there’s always the oldest trick in the real-estate book: pop some cookies or freshly made bread in the oven and intoxicate your buyers with that warm fuzzy feeling, instantly bonding them to your home – or so they say.

Whilst whipping up freshly baked goods each time you have a prospective buyer in your house may be impractical, you can always ‘brew some fresh coffee’ or buy flower-scented candles for an alluring welcome buyers are sure to appreciate. At the very least, ensure all ashtrays are out of the way and Fabreeze is always on hand.

Keep your hardship to yourself

If you think buyers will hear your life story, feel sorry for you and consequently sign on the dotted line, you’re sadly mistaken. Whatever the reason is for selling your house – be it debt, death or your husband running off with the next-door neighbour – keep schtum! Nearly a quarter of the cases of off-putting behaviour in the My Online Estate Agent survey involved sellers unburdening themselves about the reasons for their marriage break-up. Save it for your shrink, please.

Clutter is killer

Get rid of it – and sharpish! Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, and family photos, swimming certificates and your grandma’s ornaments make it that bit harder. If it’s too painful to get rid of them permanently, why not put them in temporary storage?

Keep it PG

According to research by My Online Estate Agent, one in five buyers have encountered ‘something unusual’ when being shown around a property. A total of 22 per cent of house-hunters have been confronted with weird collections of sex-dolls and teddy bears, while 11 per cent have had to avert their eyes from naked pictures of the owners. Awkward.

Less ’50 shades’ more ‘vintage lampshades’, please.

Lighten up

Light, bright and airy – three words to take as house-selling gospel. Especially when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, open plan is in fashion and buyers want as much space as possible. Colour scheme-wise, think whites and creams, or pastel hues.

Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the most important rooms in a property and should be immaculately clean and tidy when showing a property to viewers – again accessorised to emphasise light and space.

“Wildly coloured bathroom suites were regarded as the ultimate in taste in the 1980s, but can look pretty hideous to modern eyes,” says David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services. He claims such a fitting could knock up to £8,000 off the value of your property. Wowzers. Oh, and keep it clean people! Research by Rightmove among 4,000 buyers found that dirty kitchens and bathrooms were the biggest turn-offs – so get out that Mr Muscle before every viewing.

Putting the effort in, either on your own or with the assistance of a specialist property company can clearly pay dividends when it comes to answering the question – ‘how to get a quick sale’

Stay Switzerland

Fancy yourself as the next Kelly Hoppen? This is not the time to test out your skills. The thing to remember is your taste is not the same as everyone else’s. Keep colours neutral and decoration to a minimum to make your house appealing to as many buyers as possible.

Be warned: additions can be made but unsightly adornments cannot be unseen!  Offer an empty shell for buyers to build their dream home around from scratch – your estate agent will thank you for it.

Enlist the experts

Don’t fancy dealing with estate agents, viewings, and the general stress that comes with finding a buyer? You’re not alone.

www.sellhousefast.uk buys over 300 houses a year, direct, from all over the UK! Simply apply online, agree a price and set a date for a rapid and hassle free sale – often completed within four weeks. Oh, and they buy houses regardless of condition, meaning everyone’s invited.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Cooking appliances behind the kitchen table with an opened book and cooking pots.

When a buyer looks at the photographs of your house, particularly online, where the images are often largely devoid of context, they will make certain assumptions about your house that you need to be aware of. By ensuring that every image tells the right story, you will avoid giving a buyer a reason not to view your home.

No front image of house – this could indicate that the house is not very attractive from the front, or that there is a ‘disamenity’ (a disadvantageous feature in the local environment) close by: this could be a pylon, a bus stop or perhaps an industrial building next door. Whatever it is, not showing a front photograph will make a buyer expect the worst.

Only the back of the house shown – it’s true, of course, that many houses have a more appealing back view than front. However, it is really important to show the front of the house nevertheless, even if it isn’t used as the leading (main) image. Buyers often do ‘drive-bys’, in other words, they will drive past the house, without booking a viewing, in order to check out the position and location of the house. Some research indicates that there are up to 15 drive-bys for each viewing booked, so if you have 4 viewings in a month, chances are you could have had up to 60 drive-bys! In order to identify the house, a buyer needs to be able to recognise it from its front photo, which they won’t be able to do from a rear view image.

No kitchen shot – the kitchen is probably second only in importance to the outside and garden of a house, and when buyers – particularly lady buyers – are searching for a property online, they will look for a photo of the kitchen. If they don’t find one, they will assume – usually correctly – that the kitchen is not worth photographing.   Immediately, this could raise a concern that there is a lot of work to do in the house. Don’t raise an unnecessary ‘red flag’ for a buyer; better that you make sure a kitchen photograph is included, no matter how dated your kitchen may be, as it won’t be as bad as that of the buyer’s imagination.

Artist’s impression – this is often used by developers to show what a new home will look like once it is built, and could mean that the house in question is little more than a building site at the moment. Most buyers, unless in a particularly buoyant market, would prefer to see a tangible building, so it’s important to get a photograph of some description onto the online advert as soon as possible.

Pets in the photographs – I was looking at properties with my husband yesterday, when I clicked on an image of a living room, showing a huge golden retriever lying on the carpet. Now I’m a dog lover, but my husband most definitely is not. Immediately I could see him thinking that at the very least, all the carpets would need replacing, and who knows what state the lawn would be in? Safer to keep pets out of your photographs – you can’t offend a pet lover if you do, but you can alienate the non pet lovers if you don’t.

All photographs tell a story to some degree; make sure that the only story a buyer can infer from your images is one which they want to be part of.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.