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Home-staging and photography tips to sell your apartment in Paris
Before putting your apartment or house up for sale, it can be a significant advantage to give it a simple makeover so that it stands out from the typical French property listing. Photos of properties on French websites can be comically unappealing. Often, it takes very little to refresh and enhance a property to make it stand out, and thus improve its chances of selling quickly. Dressing up a property in order to better market it is an art, and one that can significantly cut selling time. American real estate agent Barbara Schwarz, who launched the concept of home-staging, came up with the practice after noticing that a house she “prepared” sold much faster than a property shown “as is.”
Indeed, studies have found that properties that have benefited from simple home-staging sell in an average of 19.5 days, as opposed to 127 days for units having received no such benefit. Specialized companies can be hired to embellish your home pre-sale, however a number of easy tips can help you home-stage your property yourself, easily and at minimal cost.
Keep decoration simple:
Once you’ve decided to sell your home, it is in your best interest to ensure your house or apartment looks appealing to as many interested parties as possible. Minimalism is key to ensuring a property appeals to a wide range of personalities and needs. Clearing out rooms and passages of excess furniture is also a great way to highlight a property’s inherent space, flow and lighting. Visitors should instinctively feel at home in your apartment, no matter their personal tastes in décor. So replace your baroque decoration and wall murals with a fresh coat of neutral paint, in tones of off-white and gray for instance. Indeed, buyers project themselves more freely in a bright environment, devoid of too distinctive a style.
De-clutter, tidy and clean:
Years of possessions tend to quickly accumulate in everyone’s homes. But a space that is too crowded and cluttered can quickly put buyers off. It is essential to remove superfluous furniture, baubles and other decorative trinkets that might overload a room.
Fix small flaws to create a fresh-looking whole:
While certain vestiges of time such as chipped paint, peeling wallpaper or creaking doors may pass unnoticed to you, they will surely not escape the attentive eye of your potential buyer. Fixing these details is a ‘must’ to ensure visitors are not daunted by the prospect of having to refresh or renovate a property. Keeping doors and windows accessible is also crucial, in order to emphasize the space’s natural assets.
Photograph your home to perfection:
Making your property stand out also comes down to the photographs accompanying your property listing. There are a few factors to bear in mind when taking shots of your home to attract the greatest possible number of visitors. Rather than taking arbitrary shots of each room, try to focus on unique details or distinctive spots — the fireplace for instance, or an especially cosy-looking corner of the living room. This kind of photography can be far more significant than simple overall shots of a space. Adding small details in, such as a potted plant or flowers, can also go a long way in making your property look more homey.
Light is an essential factor in creating the best shots of your home and will largely determine the atmosphere of the photograph. The quality of light varies depending on the time of day and the weather, but natural light is often softer and warmer by the late afternoon while light at midday is sharper and brighter. Avoid illuminating the picture’s subject from behind, which can cause a glare. Playing around with angles can also help you achieve the perfect shot. Vary the frames, play with perspective or use a piece of furniture to give the photograph depth and focus. Remember that oblique shots can generally give a better idea of space than a straight-on angle.
Once you’ve optimized your property for sale, the next step is a pricing and marketing strategy that will help maximize your selling price while minimizing time on the market. French real estate agencies often post their listings and then wait passively for a potential buyer to come along, but Paris Property Group’s Kathryn Brown says “a detailed, comprehensive approach to positioning and marketing a property can consistently result in a better selling price and attract more serious buyers”.
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Photo credit: ParisPerfect.com