An experiment conducted by insurance company AXA has revealed how sloppy photographs can alter the perception of a property in the eyes of the public - and can therefore make a home harder to sell, and possibly fetch a lower sale price.
The test property was a one-bedroom flat with a shared garden that was shown to 1,000 members of the public.
One half of the sample saw the property in its ‘before’ state, and the other half saw it after a ‘mini- makeover’ totalling an hour’s effort for a photographer and his assistant.
AXA says that despite these changes costing nothing and taking little effort they boosted the property’s value in viewers’ eyes by 21 per cent.
Those who saw the ‘before’ version of the property estimated it at £609 per month to rent, while those viewing the ‘after’ version put it at £752 per month – a difference of £1,716 per year. When AXA applied this to the sales price, it meant the difference between selling the property for £180,000 and £220,000.
Only five per cent of those who saw the ‘before’ version gave the property an ‘excellent’ rating compared to 47 per cent of those who saw it ‘after’ the quick makeover.
The ‘before’ version included those features which agents routinely advise vendors to avoid: these included personal items on display in rooms, closed curtains and blinds which emphasised the lack of natural light in a property, and used towels and clumsy shower curtains hanging over the end of a bath.
The ‘before’ outside photographs included some washing still hanging on a line, a wheelie bin on display and some gardening tools left on a lawn.
Some weeks ago EAT reported that an agency in Manchester claimed a new app by industry supplier KeyAGENT was behind a major improvement in its Rightmove statistics.
Thornley Groves - which sells, lets and manages some 6,000 properties across the city annually - says it uses the app to enhance photos and floor plans. This has prompted a 15 to 20 per cent spike in typical daily detailed Rightmove views.