Natural light floods into this end stone cottage which had been extended over the years and had 4 big bedrooms and stunning views over the local reservoir and rolling countryside beyond. Desperate to move, the family needed to be closer to elderly parents who needed their care. The property had already been on the market for over 6 months with very little interest.
The owners called for our advice. Upon meeting we met and discussed some of the issues and negative messages the agent’s photographs were potentially sending.
The biggest issues were the sheer amount of clutter the family had accumulated over the years which meant they hadn’t even photographed 2 of the 4 bedrooms and the bathroom and kitchen looked tired and dated. Most of the rooms were very cramped and cluttered and generally looked ‘lived in’.
We discussed solutions and no sooner had we left the owners were so motivated that the actions started! The family worked so hard that within a few days they had broken the back of it and we were able to spend the first of two half days of styling and photographing.
Lots of simple and inexpensive tasks were undertaken, rearranging furniture, de-cluttering, painting dated pine panelling a soft contemporary grey/green in the hallway and landing for first impressions, clearing clothes and books from everywhere, storing and packing them or giving away to charity, plants and seasonal flowers potted… it was mostly elbow grease that was needed.
Often deal breakers in property sales are kitchens and bathrooms so they need extra attention wherever possible. In this case, both kitchen and bathroom looked smaller than they were – busy and cluttered. The bathroom was divided in two by a dark blue dado rail and dark bath panel, used towels, bathmats and curtains made it look tired and lived in and there were toiletries, toothbrushes and ornaments making it cluttered and unhygienic.
Painting everything white and removing all pictures and ornaments adding a couple of new towels, a small mirrored bathroom cabinet and a bright plant made an enormous difference, the owners said “It doesn’t feel like my bathroom!” No longer embarrassed, Chris now felt a new found confidence showing potential viewers around. The kitchen was de-cluttered, an open shelving unit removed and the wall behind given a new lick of paint. Work surfaces were cleared leaving only a few of the more decorative items out on display.
The biggest asset of this property was it’s view out at the back but the area that led out to the garden was used in a very practical way for the bins, doormats, dog leads, beds and pet feeding area… useful on a day to day basis but very unattractive in a photograph and very smelly in real life.
We styled this to be a reading area where a viewer could imagine sitting in the sunshine on a lazy Sunday morning overlooking the garden and view beyond. It’s all about selling the lifestyle.
After all the hard work from the owners a week after the initial visit we only spent a second half day styling and photographing all the remaining rooms, garden and exterior shots. These were collated and we met to decide on the final photos for the agent.
The re-launch was successful with the several phone calls booking appointments to view in the first week. On the second day, the second viewer put in an offer immediately, an enormous relief for the owners who could now move to Dorset to be with the family that needed them.