Professional Real Estate Tips

Month: July 2020

How to make your home for sale photogenic

Selling your property can take a lot of effort. Between the spring clean, sprucing up the outdoors and clearing out all of your clutter. However, it is essential to remember that most people’s first impression of your home will not be up close and personal. Indeed, it will be through the photographs you present in listings.

To really put your home a cut above the competition, it is vital to capture your home’s best side on film. Here’s how to get started on making your house a superstar model.

Get a professional

While it can seem easy just to grab your old digital camera and take a few quick snaps to put up for your listing, a little more effort will go a long way. Hiring a seasoned home photographer will provide a wealth of options for styles of shots, as well as someone who has a trained eye for the best side your home has to offer.

This means you can get crisp, clear, stunning imagery right through your photoset. A higher-quality set of photos is more likely to attract buyers and is a must when selling.

Good lighting

One of the most important factors in a great home photograph is light. Your real estate photographer will be able to make the most of what’s on offer.

All the blinds, shutters and curtains should be open to bringing in as much natural light as possible. Don’t hesitate to also turn on all the lights in your home to ensure your property is flooded with as much light as can be. Of course, make sure your windows are clean.

A good photographer should shoot your rooms when the light is at its brightest, and won’t let the shots become oversaturated. Doing it yourself, you can run this risk – an unsure photographer may end up with photos where the sunlight masks your home’s best features! This is why it is essential to get a professional. Who knows how much value you could add to the sale?

Add some plant life

Fresh green plants add a feeling of life and vitality to interior photos. Make sure any dead leaves are removed and large leaves dusted. If you don’t have any plants, consider buying a few to decorate the indoors.

They help make the photos more appealing and can be used for the duration of the marketing campaign, as they will contribute to creating a pleasant atmosphere during open homes too.

Clear the mess

Even the best camera won’t sell your home if you haven’t organized the rooms for maximum appeal.

Take action before a photoshoot to let as much space flow through your home as possible. Move surplus furniture and clutter, and make sure mirrors aren’t in places that could cause awkward reflections in photos.


Clear the clutter from any benches to help create a feeling of space. It is OK to leave one to two nice appliances on the counter, but make sure the smaller ones and those that are old are put away.


Hide toiletries and ensure the bathroom/s look fresh. Adding some nice soap, a small flowering plant and perhaps a candle is all that should be on display on the bathroom vanity.

Make sure there are fresh plump towels, preferably white, a new toilet roll and that the loo seat is down.

Pull open the shower curtain or make sure the glass shower screen is sparkling clean.


Photos seem to pick up every detail and every imperfection. Make sure to spend some time straightening your bed covers and tucking them in and fluffing up the pillows. Also, ensure all clutter and personal items are removed from the bedside tables.

A bedside lamp with a small vase or indoor plant is enough to create interest in the photo without cluttering the space.

Walk around with fresh eyes

Walk around your property with fresh eyes and make sure you have removed all items that are cluttering up the home.

Ensure there are no shoes in the hallway, no old fruit in a fruit bowl, no mail, newspapers or paperwork piled up, nothing on the fridge door including your kids’ artwork. Remote controls need to be out of sight, the majority of kids toys hidden, and any sign of your pet such as food bowls, beds or litter boxes removed.

Highlight special features

If you have specific spaces that you want to highlight, make sure you tell your photographer. For instance, you may want a feature shot of your beautiful display shelves, a fireplace or fire pit (but then make sure it is lit or that the photographer photoshops in a fire).

Perhaps you want to feature your hot tub or pool, so check that they are sparkling clean. Presenting these special features in the right way could help seal the deal with potential buyers.

Most people will see your home for the first time in a listing. By treating your property for sale like a model during a photoshoot, you will boost the number of potential buyers coming to the open home.

Should your first property be an investment property?

Should your first home be an investment property? This is a question many first home buyers are being forced to consider given the skyrocketing property prices across much of Australia.

But it’s not all bad news…a recent Reserve Bank of Australia discussion paper revealed that if a first home buyer bought an investment property and rented / lived somewhere else, they may come out in a better financial position than if they bought their own home straight away.

According to the ABS approximately 27% of Gen Y’s have the luxury of being able to live at home during much of their 20’s and whilst many are contributing to the costs of the family home by way of rent to their parents, it is often less than what they would pay if they lived out of home.

In addition to these Gen Y’s, there is another group identified by LJ Hooker a few years ago the Rentvestors, who seek out affordable areas in suburban locations for their first foray into property ownership, but choose to live and rent closer to the CBD or their workplace.

Do Your Homework

Nothing makes for a better investment foundation than solid research and a sound understanding of the property market. Start reading property investing blogs, scour investing websites as they are often packed with useful information, attend investing seminars or download and listen to investing podcasts.

Talk to your accountant

You need to understand the tax implications of buying an investment property and your accountant is the best person to talk to about this. Sell my home in Cabot

Review local market data

There are many resources you can tap into to access market data for different regions across Australia. Sources such as CoreLogic RP Data, APM Price Finder, or Residex will help you understand different property markets across each state and territory. Additionally, most government websites provide community profiles that share information about council plans, development projects or building regulations that can help you understand the supply and demand of the area as well as offering data to refine your search.

From a local perspective, your local LJ Hooker office can provide you with an in-depth local market report detailing the strongest growth areas, most traded and fastest selling areas, the top performing local suburbs and a snapshot of houses and unit sales, median sale price, rental yield, days on market and more. Understanding the local market is very important so make sure you contact your local LJ Hooker office – they live and breathe real estate and are a great source of valuable local market data.

Get a Loan Pre-Approval

This is an important step to ensure you are prepared to buy the right property as soon as it becomes available. A pre-approved home loan is a green light for buying. It gives you a realistic idea of your borrowing capacity and ensures you have a price range ceiling. Without pre-approval you can’t confidently put a bid in at auction or make an offer on a property without the panic of a last minute rush.

Get a feel for the neighbourhood

When it comes to becoming a seasoned investor nothing can boost your proficiency more than experience and one hands-on way you can get this is by visiting as many properties as you can before placing any cash on the table. This way you’ll be more likely to spot a bargain and a rip off.

If you’re looking a buying an investment locally, it’s a good idea to wander the street in the area you are looking at buying in and see if anyone is out cleaning the car or watering the garden. Ask them what the area is like, how long they have lived there, what they like about the neighbourhood and what they don’t. What is the noise like during the day and night and any other questions you may have? You may even be able to find out why the seller is moving and if there are any developments that might impact the value of properties in the immediate area. Or if that seems a bit scary visit the nearest café and ask them what the area is like, they are often a great source of local gossip and community knowledge.

Be clear about the type of your property you want

Decide whether you want to invest in an apartment or a house. There are pros and cons for both options and these may vary depending on the area. You also need to consider if you want to buy a new or old property.

If you are buying a new property off the plan, you are able to lock in today’s price for a property that may not be completed for another year or two. What’s more, until the property is complete you won’t have to make any mortgage repayments the only commitment is a deposit. The downside is there is no guarantee the value of the property will rise between purchase and completion.

The other option is to buy an existing property. One of the key benefits of this option is that you may have more scope to negotiate on price in a slower market. Plus, there’s often the capacity to add value to older properties by making your own improvements, which in turn may also increase the rental it attracts.

Location Location Location

A golden rule for a solid investment is to choose a property close to amenities: transport, supermarkets, schools and hospitals. The more nearby the property is to facilities, the better. Also consider the crime rate, walkability scores, any future amenities planned or the historic charm of the property or the area.

Think about your ideal tenants

Carefully consider the type of tenant you want to attract before deciding what and where to buy. For example, if you’re looking to attract executive tenants a property in an urban location near transport, cafes, business and commercial premises is highly likely to be appealing to them.

If you want to attract a family, consider looking for properties that have an outdoor space; a deck or garden. Look for a place with extra space for the kids to play, one close to good schools, parks, transport, hospitals and shops.

Keep Some Cash on Hand

Successful investors keep a slush fund to ensure they are able to cover unexpected costs such as maintenance, rental voids and contingency for interest rate increases. Some experts suggest saving 9-10% of the gross rent in a slush fund to ensure you are prepared for the unexpected.

Due diligence

While you may be tempted to snap up a bargain quickly, make sure you do your due diligence on the property and ensure you don’t sign anything including offers, sales contracts or any other piece of paper thrown at you unless your solicitor or conveyance has reviewed and approved them. Remember don’t get too emotional about these purchases as you are buying for return you’re not buying a home.

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