Why The Best Pictures Are Essential When Selling Or Renting A Property


As the saying goes, “A picture paints a thousand words”. This has never been truer than when selling or renting a property. Today’s housing market continues its upward trend. Demand for homes is high, and our currently-healthy economy means that property values are higher than ever. However, despite the positivity of the market, a property will not sell itself on its own.

In order for a property to be appealing to a potential buyer, it must be portrayed in the best possible light. There’s no better way to do that than in a photograph. But why are pictures so important? They help to generate more interest in a property, and encourage would-be buyers to take a closer look.

How Important Are Good Pictures?

Today, most properties are advertised on websites such as Rightmove, where they are seen by hundreds, If not thousands of people. Although a picture may not reveal the whole story about a property, its job is significant as it will be responsible for providing that all-important first impression.

Portable Technology vs. Professional Photos

It is true that today’s mobile devices offer the best quality for photographs than they ever have before. However, this doesn’t mean that they are the best option when taking pictures of a property for the purposes of selling or renting. Indeed, some investment is still required if the goal is to ensure that professional photos have been taken.

When high-quality photos are used to sell a property, the seller is sending a very important message to would-be buyers: that they took the time to think about how they would portray a property, took the necessary steps to prepare the property, and invested time and money into the right equipment to photograph it.

Picture Quality Can Affect Sale Value

Although it may be difficult to believe, the amount of money a seller gets for their home is directly related to the quality of the photos taken of that property. But why is this? The answer is simple: times have changed. Just fifteen years ago, a prospective buyer would pick up a printed brochure of a property that consisted of one or two printed photos and a typescript that revealed more information.

Today, however, we are in the middle of a digital age. The average person is bombarded with as many as 5,000 adverts in a single day. Add to that the fact that technology has allowed us to do more and be busier than ever, and our attention spans are shorter than at any other time in history, and it becomes very clear just how much a photograph impacts the sale of a property. Today, we take information in small chunks of words and pictures.

Length Of Time And Final Price

Ensuring that a property is photographed properly can actually affect how long that property remains on the market, as well as how much it is sold for. It therefore becomes necessary to ensure that any real estate agent chosen to sell the property offers professional property photography as part of their service.

In ensuring that an agent has the necessary experience to ensure that attractive and professional property photographs will be taken, a property owner can realise a higher final selling price and a shorter time wait time for property sale.


Want to Add Value to Your Property? Expand Your Kitchen!

Want to Add Value to Your Property Expand Your Kitchen

If you’re planning on selling your property in the future, you may be considering making improvements in the form of renovations. Among those renovations which can result in the most value being added to a property, the kitchen tops the list. In fact, this room is still regarded as one of a home’s most important when purchasing a property. A recent study revealed that a small kitchen could put off as many as 25% of potential house buyers, so it makes sense to expand your kitchen into an attractive and ready-to-use space.

Complete Renovation, or Kitchen Alternatives?

The numbers don’t lie; although it may be very tempting completely to gut your existing kitchen in favour of installing a brand new one, the costs outweigh the return on this investment. A new kitchen will run you about £15,000 to install, but will only result in approximately £4,500 being added to your home’s value.

As well, the personal tastes of a buyer may vary widely from your own, which can mean that they’ll set to swapping out your newly-installed kitchen soon after they’ve bought your property. If you look closely, you may actually discover that there isn’t anything amiss with your current kitchen, save the need for a few minor repairs and cosmetic touch-ups. There may also be other areas of your home which need more attention than your kitchen does. For instance, an ageing roof will be a much higher priority when you’re selling your home than your kitchen will be. That being said, the far more cost-effective option is to expand your kitchen without renovating it.

Tips for Kitchen Expansion

There are some ways to expand your kitchen that have nothing to do with the installation of new elements. For instance, by simply ensuring your countertops are free of clutter, your kitchen can appear to be far larger than it actually is.

Increase the Kitchen’s Perceived Size

Another way to increase your kitchen’s perceived size is to look up. Is there a lot of blank space on the walls? If so, you may wish to consider placing pictures, plates or other attention-grabbing items high up on the walls. When someone walks into your kitchen, these items will work to draw their eyes upward, increasing the perceived space of the room. You can also achieve this effect with paint in contrasting colours.

Another simple way to increase the perceived size your kitchen is to lighten the colour of your cupboards. White will make the entire kitchen look cleaner and can also make it look larger. Another effect of painting your cupboards is that this also serves to draw the eye upward and create the illusion of increased space.

Buy a Kit

If you want to save money but really want a new kitchen, you might consider the purchase of a do-it-yourself kitchen kit. These allow you to easily install new elements yourself without the outlay of hiring a professional. Of course, some skill will still be required to do this successfully, so don’t attempt it if you’re not confident in your DIY abilities!

Use the Dining Room

The extra space you need to expand your kitchen could be right in front of you if you have a dining room. Today’s home buyer is looking for more space in the form of bigger rooms, according to a recent survey. And today’s families tend to do all of their interactions in the kitchen and living area. That being said, look for opportunities to create a completely different feel by using the space in your dining room or another nearby room that you don’t plan to use.

Go Free-Standing

The standard built-in kitchen remains a popular choice. However, when thinking of ways to expand your kitchen, the free-standing kitchen option should not be ignored. Free-standing elements like a corner shelf from another room can add more space to your kitchen without incurring the additional costs to purchase it just for the purposes of selling your home. Not only that but things like corner cupboards and plate racks can add instant attractiveness to your kitchen.

Regardless which tips you choose to pursue, the good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money to make your kitchen look brand new for interested buyers.

The Legalities Of Preparing A Home For Sale

The Legalities Of Preparing A Home For Sale

After deciding to sell your home and choosing an agent to market that fact, there are several remaining steps to take. In fact, there are a number of steps that need to be taken in order to successfully prepare any home for sale.

Energy Performance Certificate

All of the houses for sale in the UK must include an EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate. This certificate, obtainable via an accredited assessor provides much vital information about the property being sold. This information includes the property`s rating for energy consumption. In addition to this rating, the certificate also includes information about the home’s environmental impact in terms of CO2, and any recommendations for how to reduce consumption of energy. A sliding scale from A to G indicates the most to least efficient energy efficiency respectively.

It is a good idea to obtain the EPC early on in the process, as this will allow you to implement any recommended changes to improve the energy performance of the property before it is sold. Some of these changes may result in an increase of property value, which can ultimately get you more for your home.

Find an Accredited Solicitor

Again, completing important steps early in the process can ensure that the best individual is in place to sell your home. When searching for a solicitor, it`s always best to choose those who are part of a regulatory body such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This will provide you with peace of mind that every step of the transaction is going just as it should.

You can also help your solicitor greatly by ensuring you have specific and required information ready to give them. You will need copies of any lender information, details about changes made to the property since you purchased it, your personal identification and any information regarding boundaries or building certificated obtained in order to complete any building on the property.

Agent Information

Not only will your solicitor require information related to your home, but so will your agent. Again, the best time to gather and prepare this information is early on in the process, before things become very busy for you.

Some of the documents your agent will definitely need include certificates for electrical, gas and any building regulations. As well, they will need receipts for any rents paid or service charges incurred, if applicable. Finally, your agent will require bills for paid utilities and taxes, as well as for any insurance of contents.

Another list of items to have on hand is a fixture and fittings form. This form will provide information about what fixtures you plan to leaving in the home, and which you plan to take with you when you move.

Being fully prepared to sell your home from a legal standpoint can offer a number of advantages. Not only does doing so allow you to experience far less stress when it’s time to make the sale, but it can also result in financial benefits to you in terms of higher property value. Ultimately, this means more money available which can be put toward other benefits like a larger home, vacation, or another major purchase, such as a vehicle or additional property.

How to Prepare Your House for Sale

How to Prepare Your House for Sale

So, you’ve decided to sell your home. What are the next steps you should take? Getting your house ready to make the best impression on the property market can seem like a bewildering task. What changes should you make to impress viewers and to portray your property in the most favourable light? Here are our tips for simple and practical actions you can take when preparing your property for sale.

1) Clear out the clutter

When looking around your house, a potential buyer will be trying to envisage transforming it into their own home. In their mind they will be visualising the wallpaper they will choose, where they will put the TV, how their furniture will fit. Make it easy for them by stowing away any clutter that has accumulated in the nooks and corners of your home. You will be surprised at how much additional living space this gives your home after you’ve had a good tidy up.

2) Refresh the decoration

If your paint or plasterwork is looking a bit flaky or tired, now is the time to apply a new coat of paint. It can really freshen up the overall feel of your property and help make a good impression on visitors. Also consider covering over any brightly coloured walls in a more neutral shade, and stripping any old wallpaper or woodchip. You don’t need to de-personalise the house completely, but tone down anything too bold, eccentric or personal.

3) Consider a new kitchen

The condition of the kitchen is often a deciding factor for property buyers. Consider updating your kitchen in order to help your home sell faster and add value to the property. New counter tops are the item most likely to add real value to a kitchen, although these can be expensive to install. Replacement cabinet doors are a cheaper alternative, and also make a good visual impression. There are things you can do to improve the look of your kitchen without spending a penny, of course. Having a wine rack or fruit bowl on a counter top is fine, but clear away any other clutter. Store away bulky appliances such as food processors and bread machines, and make sure all surfaces are scrupulously clean.

4) Keep it clean

Cleanliness, or the lack of, makes a huge impact on whether a visitor is impressed by your property. Take some time to target the vulnerable areas where dirt accumulates. Consider re-grouting any tilework in the kitchen or bathroom, clean any mould off the corners of windows and shower curtains, remove limescale from your taps. Don’t underestimate the little details people will notice. Just because you don’t notice the hopelessly stained bathtub anymore, doesn’t mean that other people won’t. Before viewers arrive, polish your metallic surfaces and wooden floors, dust your shelves and clean your carpets. Hang new towels in the bathroom. The smell of a clean home is appealing to visitors as much as the visual impression it makes.

5) Optimise your space

Carefully placed mirrors and accessories can help optimise your space by enhancing the amount of light and air in your property. Consider rearranging the layout of your furniture so there is more open space and free flow between the living areas. Open plan rooms make your home appear larger and more accessible.

Preparing your house for sale is about putting yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers. Think back to properties that you have visited and make a mental note of aspects that have impressed you, and things that have put you off. It is often the personal touches that sway buyer decisions, as it gives the overall impression that the property has been well loved and taken care of by its owners and will be in good condition.

A Landlord’s Guide to Selling a Tenanted Property

A Landlord's Guide to Selling a Tenanted Property

As a landlord, there may come a time when you need to sell your buy-to-let property, for whatever reason. Perhaps you can no longer meet the mortgage payments, maybe you are moving abroad and no longer want to be a landlord in the UK, or perhaps the time is simply right to sell in a buoyant market –possibly to realise a capital gain. Whatever your reasons for deciding to sell a tenanted property, there are some things you will need to consider, to make sure you don’t fall foul of the law (and to keep your tenants happy).

Communication is key

Whether your tenants have been living in your property for 6 months or 6 years, it is a good idea to discuss your intentions to sell the property with them as soon as possible. This means that they will be aware of what is happening and gives them the option to hunt for new accommodation, if necessary. Failing to discuss plans to sell with your tenant could leave them in for a nasty surprise!

Evicting tenants

Landlords should bear in mind that they do not have the right to evict tenants just because they want to sell their property. You could use a Section 21 notice to evict tenants, but this process can take several months, or you could sell your property with tenants in situ, although you may find this decreases the value of your property somewhat. On the other hand, if demand for the property in question comes mainly from investors, selling subject to an existing tenancy could maximise value. A professional Estate Agent will advise you on the best route to market. This will include advice as to the most appropriate method of sale – either Private Treaty or Public Auction.

Conducting viewings

Landlords do not have the right to conduct viewings with prospective purchasers whenever they like. The current tenants must be given at least 24 hours’ notice in writing of any proposed viewings, and landlords should ensure that the tenancy agreement allows viewings to be conducted. If there is no mention of this in the tenancy agreement, it is entirely up to the goodwill of the tenant whether or not they decide to allow viewings (which is why it pays to maintain a good relationship with your tenants). Even if the tenancy agreement does mention viewings, tenants have a right to refuse access for viewings taking place at times inconvenient to them. Arranging too many viewings could disrupt your tenants’ rights to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property.

What happens when the property is sold?

Tenants may have questions for you, as a landlord, as to what happens after the sale of the property. When your property is sold with tenants in situ, the purchaser becomes the new landlord of the tenants. Tenancy agreements are still valid even though the landlord’s name has changed. Whilst it is a good idea for the purchaser to have new tenancy agreements drawn up, tenants are under no obligation to sign a new agreement, particularly if it takes away any previous rights they were entitled to (such as keeping pets in the property). At the very least, the purchaser should write to the tenants with the new landlord details and information relating to payment of rent. A professional letting Agent will notify the tenant of the new landlord’s address for Service of Notices pursuant to Section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987.

Selling a tenanted property does not have to be a headache for landlords, provided they are aware of their legal obligations.