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Feb 15, 2024 7 TIPS TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR PERFECT RURAL PROPERTY

Following the pandemic there was a significant impact on property trends, with rural areas seeing a huge surge in interest. This is no doubt due to people spending more time working from home and looking for a property with some outdoor space to enjoy. If you’re thinking about getting away from the city and escaping to the countryside, here are 7 tips to help you find your perfect rural property. Dip Your Toe in The Water Before Committing While the relative tranquillity and more laidback lifestyle in the countryside can seem very appealing, if you’ve only lived in major cities then it can come as a huge shock to the system. As a minimum you’re likely to have to travel further for most things, and it’s unlikely you’ll have 24-hour access to groceries for example. Therefore, if you’re able to do so, consider renting for at least 6 months before you buy a property. That way you’ll get a much better feel for what you like and dislike about a rural location, and it will be much easier to move back to the city if you find the change of lifestyle to be too much. Do Your Research It pays to be prepared, so find out as much as you can about the area you’re looking to move to before you commit. As your local property experts for the Ashbourne & Derbyshire area we can help you familiarise yourself with different areas of interest. One thing that can catch people out is the boundaries and shared access that comes with living in a rural area. You may be seeking peace and privacy, only to find that there’s a public footpath crossing through your land, or a shared driveway that’s regularly used by farm vehicles. Just make sure you do your homework on any potential property before you go all in. Get to Know The Locals Living in the country can be very isolating if you don’t know anyone, so it makes sense to have a few connections before you move if you can. Just popping into the local shop or pub and chatting to some of the staff can go a long way to helping you settle in and you’ll be contributing towards the local community too. Having some connections will also be invaluable if you ever need some help in future, such as finding a reliable tradesperson or getting a stray sheep out of the garden! Contact your Local Estate Agent This might seem simple, but it’s definitely a good idea to reach out and let us know what you’re looking for so that we can keep you up to date. As your local agent, we have excellent knowledge of the local areas and can offer invaluable advice with regards to local facilities, schools and amenities. There’s nothing wrong with finding a property through an online website and putting an offer in, but speaking directly to your local estate agent will help you to be better prepared for the reality of moving to a new area. Embrace the Lifestyle One of the main reasons why a lot of people’s rural move goes wrong is because they’re too set in their ways and they fail to adapt. If you are going to move to the country then you’ll need to be prepared for potential issues that you don’t have in major towns and cities, such as fewer convenience shops and takeaways on your doorstep and reduced public transport services. Embracing these lifestyle changes will go a long way towards settling and staying somewhere in the long-term. Be Aware of Potential Extra Costs You will often find that rural properties aren’t connected to mains water and drainage. Instead, you may have a shared septic tank and a private water supply, which may be your sole responsibility, or shared with neighbours. Other utilities such as broadband can be unreliable in extremely rural areas, so if it’s essential to have superfast internet then you may have to pay extra for this too. As with everything, do your research and look into the potential additional costs you may have to face before putting in an offer. Be Flexible If you’re buying in a large town or city then you’ll often be spoilt for choice, so you can find exactly what you want if you look hard enough. When it comes to rural areas though, because there are fewer properties to choose from you may find that some of your ‘must haves’ just aren’t going to be possible. Therefore, you’ll need to either consider a wider area to find your perfect property or come to a compromise on the property itself to ensure you get to live in your perfect area. We are your local property experts for the Ashbourne & Derbyshire area. Call us on 01335 818550 or email stuart@bennetsamways.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

Jan 23, 2024 PROPERTY RENOVATION UK: AN ESSENTIAL STRATEGY FOR MAXIMUM RETURNS

Are you looking to maximize the return on your investment? If so, you're likely to be aware that there are countless methods for boosting rental income in Ashbourne & Derbyshire, but one that is often overlooked is property renovation. If this is something that you have been letting slide, then read on, because we'll be exploring some renovation tips tailored for you in this guide. The Importance of Renovations Taking care of renovations has always been an important part of being a landlord. Not only do they increase the value of your UK rental property and facilitate the charging of higher rent, but a well-renovated property can also do wonders for tenant onboarding and retention. Property viewers are a make-or-break moment for your prospective tenants, and if they're met with a recently renovated rental property in Ashbourne & Derbyshire with modern amenities, this could seal the deal! Whilst renovations require up-front payments that may feel like unnecessary expenditure, it's important to consider their long-term benefit. Not only will you find it easier to onboard new tenants and retain them, but a renovated property will also reduce the likelihood of expensive maintenance costs. Before You Begin Before embarking on any renovation project, it's going to be important for you to be aware of any local regulations and building codes in Ashbourne & Derbyshire. Non-compliance can lead to costly fines and delays, so you should always consult with a professional if you're unsure about any aspect of the renovation process. They will also be able to point out any renovations that may be lawfully necessary, which you have perhaps overlooked until now. Ideally, you're going to want to find a quiet 'in-between' period to conduct your renovations - the last thing you want is to miss out on tenants for an entire year, just because you were renovating the property during peak rental season. Plan your projects strategically to ensure a seamless transition between tenants, and if renovations are necessary whilst you already have tenants, transparency and communication are always the best bet. Energy Efficiency: A Wise Investment Let's kick things off with arguably the most relevant renovation motives - energy efficiency. Improving energy efficiency not only attracts eco-conscious tenants but also reduces utility costs, a win-win situation. If your property is rented as fully furnished, this could consist of purchasing more modern and environmentally economical appliances and white goods. However, the best way to tackle energy efficiency is at its roots. For example, insulating your property can greatly help maintain a comfortable temperature and lower heating bills. Alternatively, double-glazed windows and energy-efficient boilers are also great additions that will help your tenant's energy go further. First Impressions The next renovation suggestion is perhaps even more important than energy efficiency - renovating your property's entrance. First impressions count, so don't neglect the exterior of your property - it doesn't matter how modern the interior of your property is, because if the front garden or entrance is an eye sore, it will be a major turn-off for tenants. Thankfully, renovating your front garden or property entrance is usually pretty cheap. Invest a few hours into professional landscaping if you have a front garden. Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and windows, and generally give your property entrance some TLC. If you're holding house viewings in the winter, don't forget to ensure the entrance is adequately lit, otherwise, your prospective tenants won't be able to see your hard work! Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades Next up is your property's kitchen and bathroom; the kitchen is often the focal point of any home, and this will be no different for your rental property in Ashbourne & Derbyshire. A well-designed, functional kitchen can greatly appeal to prospective tenants, so you should consider upgrading kitchen cabinets, countertops, and appliances. Stick to timeless and durable materials to ensure longevity and neutral colour schemes work best as they appeal to a wide range of tastes. Your property's bathrooms are similarly important. A modern and clean bathroom can make a huge difference to your tenant's viewing experience, and if it has been properly renovated, this will certainly save you money from plumbing maintenance. Update fixtures, tiles, and invest some cash into a reliable plumber, and don't forget to ensure that ventilation is in order. All of this costs money, but trust us - it will be worth it in the long term! Flooring and Lighting Two renovation areas that are commonly neglected by landlords are flooring and lighting. Flooring can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your rental property in a subtle yet powerful way. Hardwood floors are a popular choice for their durability and timeless appeal. If you're on a budget, quality laminate flooring can be a suitable alternative, but don't cheap out too much, as a flooring renovation could last you a decade! Arguably even more important is lighting - nothing distracts potential tenants from an otherwise excellent property like poor lighting. Ensuring that your property is adequately lit can greatly transform spaces, and can give you a serious competitive edge to the tendency for landlords to skimp on bulbs and lampshades. Thankfully, it's not expensive to illuminate your property, so there's no excuse to miss out on this renovation opportunity. Marketing Your Renovated Property This may sound hard to believe, but many landlords renovate their properties, only to continue advertising their property in their previous condition - what a waste of money and effort! Once your property is renovated and ready for tenants, it's essential to contact the letting agent or property management company in Ashbourne & Derbyshire you use and ensure that all of the information and photographs are updated to reflect the property's renovations. Professional photographs and a well-crafted listing description can go a long way in attracting potential renters and can make or break whether they decide to book a property viewing or not. Make sure you've highlighted any recently renovated features, emphasize the energy efficiency of the property, and don't be afraid to get help from a professional photographer or copywriter to help your listing stand out! Finally Property renovation UK-wide is undeniably a savvy strategy for UK landlords looking to maximize their ROI. From kitchen and bathroom upgrades to enhancing kerb appeal and improving energy efficiency, there are various ways to add value to your rental property in Ashbourne & Derbyshire. Just remember to budget wisely, stay compliant with regulations, and market your renovated property effectively, and your short-term investment will no doubt pay off for many years to come. Happy renovating! Bennet Samways are your local letting agents in Ashbourne & Derbyshire. Call us on 01335 818550 or email stuart@bennetsamways.co.uk to find out how we can help you market your newly renovated property.

Jan 5, 2024 Are Conservatories Worth It? Here Are 5 Pros And Cons

Conservatories have their downsides, but they also have many benefits. Even though these home extensions have been around for centuries, they are still considered a modern-day renovation for many homeowners. In this article, we'll provide our view on what the pros and cons are of conservatories to help you decide whether installing one is worth it for you. Pros of Getting a Conservatory Added Living Space Most people could do with more living space in their homes. Whether that's a private space to read, a dinner table to host the whole family, an office area, or just somewhere to store your extra furnishings. A conservatory is a great way to boost your living space and create a tranquil area of your home that feels closer to nature. Great Value for Money Home extensions are popular – particularly among growing families to boost living space. When choosing between an extension and a conservatory, conservatories are almost always the more cost-effective option. With a conservatory, you can extend your home to the same square meterage that an extension would provide for half the price. Increased Property Value An extension of any kind can increase the value of your property – conservatories included. Since these renovations provide a warm space to relax in summer, they can be highly desirable to buyers. If you opt for a tiled roof instead of traditional panels, you could see even more of a boost in value. Cons of Getting a Conservatory Noise During Rainfall When it starts to rain, conservatories can be noisy. Depending on which type of roof you have, heavy rainfall can be quite a disruption to your home environment. While tiled roofs shouldn't be too much of an issue, a uPVC roof can be – which is particularly important to consider if you plan on using your conservatory as a dining room. Colder in Winter Conservatories are well-known for becoming gorgeous sunrooms during the warmer months. However, traditional conservatories with uPVC panelled roofs can drop in temperature during winter. While you can still use them, it's much colder and heating the area can be expensive because of the lack of insulation. If this doesn't sound ideal, you can opt for a conservatory with a tiled roof instead. Typically, these roofs are fully insulated, making it comfortable to lounge in all year round. Plus, you can opt for skylights and panoramic windows with a tiled roof, so it can still feel like a sunroom. Are You Renovating Your Ashbourne & Derbyshire Home? Renovating your home can be an excellent opportunity to boost your resale value. If you're making home improvements to your Ashbourne & Derbyshire home or getting ready to sell, our friendly team of estate agents at Bennet Samways would love to talk. We can offer advice on the best home renovations to boost resale value in Ashbourne & Derbyshire and help you get ready to put your home on the market. Give us a call today to learn more at 01335 818550 or send us an email at stuart@bennetsamways.co.uk to arrange a call back.

Dec 23, 2023 5 Things That Could Be Making Your House In Ashbourne & Derbyshire Harder To Sell!

If you're looking to sell your house in Ashbourne & Derbyshire, the chances are you'll want to do it pretty swiftly, especially if you've already got one eye on your next property. Selling up can be a lengthy process at the best of times, so you don't want to give buyers any extra reasons to delay the purchase. Unfortunately, without realising it, you may be making your property harder to sell. So, with this in mind, here are five things that make your house harder to sell, along with the solutions so that you can sell your house faster! The Problem: Too Much Clutter There's a fine line between a house that's 'lived in' and loved and one that's a complete mess! While potential buyers are unlikely to be put off by a few magazines on the coffee table, having a living room that's sprawling with toys and games all over the floor or an understairs cupboard stuffed to the brim won't give potential buyers a good first impression. The Solution: To avoid this issue, use your house move as an opportunity to declutter. You can list some items on an online auction site such as eBay to make some extra cash and use it to furnish your new home, or simply donate some of your old belongings to a local charity shop. And if you decide that you can't let any of your belongings go, then just make sure the house is tidy and well-presented before any viewings. Put away anything that's making the house look untidy, either in storage or neatly in a garage, shed or cupboard. Lastly, although it's a good idea to declutter, don't fall into the trap of removing all your personal items. Viewers will want to imagine themselves living in the property, so seeing a few family pictures and keepsakes around the house is more likely to leave a positive impression than a completely generic house with no personality. The Problem: Poor Maintenance It's easy to put off odd jobs until they become absolute priorities, like replacing a missing lightbulb, fixing a broken fence, or getting the boiler serviced annually. However, when it comes to selling your property, these are all things that potential buyers will notice and ask questions about. Therefore, it's worth spending just a little bit of time and money to bring everything up to scratch. The majority of buyers are looking for a home they can move into straight away, without having to make major changes immediately, such as getting a new boiler or having a new fence installed. The Solution: Before your estate agent books any viewings, make sure that everything is ship-shape and in good working order. Get your boiler serviced, check your taps, showers and central heating. Give your garden the once over and don't forget to clear debris from gutters. The Problem: Bad Odours Most homes have a certain smell to them and in most cases it's very unlikely to put visitors off, however if you're a heavy smoker, cook pungent foods or have pets that cause a strong smell in your house, then this can be off-putting. The Solution: The simplest solution to this problem is to make sure the house is clean and well aired before any viewings. Make sure you've cleared up any pet droppings and leave windows open to allow fresh air in. A scented candle lit for half an hour before viewings will also help to remove any strong odours. The Problem: It's overpriced It's perfectly understandable that you want to achieve the highest possible price for your house, but it's important to be realistic too. A good estate agent will be able to give you the price range that you should be looking for, but bear in mind if your house isn't selling, you may need to accept an offer closer to the lower end of that range than the top. The Solution: In order to get the full asking price or as close to it as possible, make sure your house is well maintained and everything is in good working order. A faulty boiler or peeling paint on the walls can unwittingly encourage buyers to put in a much lower offer than you're looking for, so getting a few small jobs done, such as an annual boiler service and giving the walls a fresh lick of paint could make a big difference when it comes to getting your asking price. You should be prepared to be flexible on the asking price, particularly if you're looking for a quick sale, and be realistic about how much you're willing to accept. The Problem: Poor 'kerb appeal' Kerb appeal is essentially the first thing a potential buyer sees when they look at your property from the outside, so as with everything in this list, first impressions count. If you've got an overgrown front garden and dirty wheelie bins permanently on display, it could deter some buyers before they even set foot inside. The Solution: As a bare minimum, make sure your wheelie bins are clean and tucked away, any weeds have been dug up, and grass has been cut. And you can even go a step further, by adding some hanging baskets or pot plants. Be creative. For no obligation advice on buying or selling your home in Ashbourne & Derbyshire please contact our expert property team at Bennet Samways on 01335 818550. We look forward to assisting you.

Dec 15, 2023 What Is A Money Laundering Check When Purchasing A Property?

AML Checks Are Extremely Important! When you're buying a property in Ashbourne & Derbyshire, you may be surprised to discover that you have to prove you aren't laundering money when you buy. Yet, these checks are extremely important, and they are a key part of the purchasing process. Here, the Bennet Samways team explain what these checks involve and which documentation you'll need to supply to the authorities. Money Laundering Checks – What Are They? Money laundering is a process during which money that has been obtained in an illegal manner is passed through a legitimate financial channel to 'clean' it. There are many different channels that criminals use for this purpose, from legal businesses that act as fronts, to loan repayment schemes, and, of course, property purchases. In order to combat this criminal activity, all property transactions are subjected to AML (anti-money laundering) checks before they can complete. Which Documents Must I Produce for AML Checks? There are three different categories of documents that you'll need to produce to satisfy the AML checks: Proof of your identity Proof of funds Source of funds Let's take a closer look at all three of these separately. Identity Documents The authorities need to know that you aren't pretending to be somebody else, so you need to provide documents that prove your identity such as a passport, photo driving licence, recent bank statement, mortgage statement, tax bill, tax notification, utility bill, your benefits or pension book, a recent local authority tenancy agreement or a biometric residence permit. Proof Of Funds You may need to supply proof of funds several times, but for AML purposes, you will need to supply evidence after you've made your offer on your chosen property. You can supply the following as proof: A lender's mortgage in principle agreement A bank statement that shows your deposit A bank statement that shows the entire asking price if you're a cash buyer A letter of proof for a gifted deposit Evidence of your property sale if you're using this money to fund your purchase Source Of Funds The source of your funds isn't quite the same thing as proof of having the money. It proves where the money came from and not just that you have it. The proof you'll need will depend on the source of your money e.g. your bank statement or a letter from a family member about their gift of a deposit. What Happens If I'm Funding My Purchase With Money From Overseas? If you'll be funding your purchase with money from overseas, you may find that you fall foul of today's money laundering laws. Gifts, funds, and deposits that come unto the UK from certain countries may not pass the AML checks, so you should always run your source past your conveyancing team before committing to the purpose. If you're using funds from a high-risk country, or even from somebody with links to high-risk countries, your funds may be declined. To learn more, get in touch with our team on 01335 818550. We can give you our expert advice and help you find the documentation you need to ensure your house purchase in Ashbourne & Derbyshire runs smoothly.

Dec 8, 2023 5 Amazing Lighting Tips To Help Sell Your Home In Ashbourne & Derbyshire

There are so many different tasks to take care of when selling your home in Ashbourne & Derbyshire, from getting all the paperwork done to packing your old home up, to finding the right estate agent to help you sell it. Just when you think you've got everything covered, you find something else that needs taking care of. Selling a property requires some effort on your part! After all your hard work into preparing your home for sale, you don't then want your work to be sabotaged by the one little detail that so many people overlook: the lighting in your home. When you're trying to sell your home, first impressions make all the difference. Homes that are poorly lit and dark are less appealing to potential buyers. Low lighting makes the space look and feel smaller, colder, uninviting, and dingy, even if it isn't. It can also look as though you are trying to conceal some kind of flaws in the shadows, which can be a huge turn off for buyers. Good lighting is crucial, but if you don't have the time or the budget to overhaul the lighting in every room of your home, have no fear. You can still improve your lighting situation and in turn, increase the likelihood of your home being sold sooner. Here are five great lighting tips to help sell your home. Audit each room's lighting The first step to take is to check out how each room in your home fares when it comes to it's current lighting. Open all the blinds, pull back the curtains and turn on all the lights, then do a walk-through of every room in your home. You also might want to do this at a few different times during the day since viewings can happen from day right through to the evening when it's darker. Try it in the morning with the morning sun, in the afternoon in full sun, in the evening at sunset, and then once the sun has completely set. It's also a good idea to try it on rainy or cloudy days. While you're conducting your audit, put yourself in your potential buyer's shoes and think about what they would think if they were walking through. Take note of any areas that are lit very well and any areas that need more lighting. If it helps, use your phone camera to take photos to highlight which spaces need some work. Remember exterior lighting Don't forget about your home's exterior lighting! Your home's kerb appeal is important no matter what time of day. Consider that potential buyers could drive past your home at any time, or evening passers by could see the 'for sale' sign in your front garden. You want to make a good impression on these people, so keeping the exterior of your home well lit is crucial. The front porch and path leading to the door should be lit well to make your home look warm and welcoming. If you have a garden or patio, it should also be lit to help make the space look inviting and to highlight any features that are worth seeing. Upgrade your current fixtures Most home buyers are willing to accept that there will be some improvements needed once they move in, but the more work you've done for them, the more appealing your home is. This includes any dated light fixtures or fittings that don't work anymore. You also may want to consider upgrading your lightbulbs to LED lights which have less of an environmental impact, generate less heat, and allow you to get longer use out of your bulbs. Use tricks to help brighten dark spaces Sometimes your lighting may be fine but wall colours or decoration dark, making the rest of the room feel gloomier and smaller than it actually is. To combat this, you can address those problems directly by repainting and changing the colours. If you don't have the time or the budget to go that far, you can take a few other steps that are quicker and easier. Strategically placing mirrors to help reflect light can help the room seem brighter and more open, especially in rooms with small windows or windows that don't actually offer much natural light. Additionally, adding bright or light coloured cushions, blankets, pictures, or rugs can help brighten up your space in an instant. Add more lighting if needed When all else fails, adding extra lighting in dark spaces will be sure to do the trick. Table lamps and desk lamps can be stylish ways to bring more light into the room while adding accent lighting can help create or highlight an existing focal point. If you want to take it to the next level, under cabinet lighting, tread lighting for dark stairways and track lighting for shadowed ceilings will definitely brighten up the whole space. If your property is for sale or you are thinking of selling your home, why not try some of these lighting tips today and ensure you create a lighter, brighter space ready for viewers. For further property related advice, contact the team at Bennet Samways on 01335 818550 and we will be delighted to offer you professional guidance.

Nov 30, 2023 Should I Buy A Property With A Flat Roof?

Many homebuyers debate whether they should buy a house with a flat roof. While flat roofs can require extra maintenance compared with a traditional pitched roof, there are upsides, too. Modern architecture and design often incorporates flat roofs, and done well, they can look stunning. Older properties though are where you may run into problems! In this article, we'll explain some of the main things to consider when viewing an older property with a flat roof, to help you decide if it's the right purchase for you. What is a Flat Roof House? Put simply, a house with a flat roof is a house that has - you guessed it - a flat roof. Homes with flat roofs either have part of the property using a flat roof, like an extension or porch, or the whole building. Usually, flat roofs are made from materials like fibreglass, known as GRP, felt - known as Modified Bitumen, a rubber membrane - known as EPDM, tar and gravel - known as a Built-Up Flat Roof or BUR, or PVC. What Do I Need to Know About Buying a House With a Flat Roof? There are definitely things you should know about buying a house with a flat roof! It's always good to do your own research and ask your local estate agent for the full details before making a decision. But, we've put together a list of the five main things you need to know about flat roof houses. Leaking is Possible As water can pool on the surface of flat roofs during rainfall, this can weaken structures and cause leaks. However, this can be avoided if the flat roof is made from one of the more durable materials such as GRP, BUR, EPDM or PVC, or if you have your roof regularly maintained. Insurance Premiums May Be Higher Because of the added risks, some insurance premiums may be higher for a home with a flat roof compared to a property with a pitched roof. However, prices can vary depending on how much of the property has a flat roof, and what material it's made from. You May Have Mortgage Restrictions Some mortgage lenders have restrictions about how much of the house can have a flat roof before accepting you, so you'll need to check with your lender before making an offer. Your Buying Market May Be Limited While there's a market for everything, some potential buyers may not want to purchase a house with a flat roof. So, you may have a slightly smaller buying market when it comes to selling in the future. Maintenance Can Be Expensive Depending on the material of your flat roof, maintenance can be frequently required and can become expensive over time. Should You Buy a House With a Flat Roof? While there may be concerns with flat roof properties, it's not all bad! As long as you're prepared to keep an eye on maintenance, a house with a flat roof can still be a lovely place to live. Particularly as they do have benefits, too, including: Some flat roofs can be turned into beautiful balconies Repair work is usually cheaper than traditional pitched roof work Roof lanterns can be installed, which can significantly boost natural light into the property Done well, a flat roof can provide a sleek, modern look Flat roofs can be turned into a green roof, which can help with insulation and become an eco-friendly home feature Get Expert Advice At Bennet Samways, we are your local property experts in Ashbourne & Derbyshire. If you're thinking about buying a property and need advice, our friendly team are happy to help. Give us a call today on 01335 818550 or send us an email at stuart@bennetsamways.co.uk to start the conversation.

Nov 17, 2023 How to Get Your Ashbourne & Derbyshire Property Photo Ready

Photographs are an essential step when selling your home in Ashbourne & Derbyshire and are integral to an effective marketing strategy. Your photos need to look fantastic and stand out in a busy market. The images need to be an accurate and honest representation of the property, which is why staging your home before the professional photographer arrives is crucial. If you are not hiring professional home stagers, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare your home in the best possible way before we send our professional photographers out to capture your home at its best! Pay Attention to the Front of The Property Even the nicest of cars cause distraction. Remove your vehicle from the driveway to give the viewers the full impact of the outside space and an unobstructed view of the front of the property. Additionally, ensure garage doors are closed. Small changes will make a significant impact on the overall quality of the photography. If you usually keep the bins at the front of the property, ensure they are hidden away out of any shots. Thoroughly clean windows and windowsills to provide that the all-important front image of the home is immaculate. Take some time to tidy the front garden, giving the best first impression. Mow the lawn, trim back any hedges and remove any empty plant pots that may be lying around. Make Your Gardens Attractive Gardens are often a huge draw for potential buyers, both those who are breaking free from the rental market and those climbing up the property ladder. Gardens are subject to personal taste, but neat lawns, clean decking, smart patios and clearly defined eating areas are what buyers want, so take time to prepare them before the arrival of your photographer. Showcase Your Bedrooms Remove any signs that may be stuck on bedroom doors, especially common for children’s rooms. Store away any children’s toys which may eliminate part of your target audience. If you don’t have the storage room, hide them in the car while the photographer is working! Make all the beds and plump up the pillows. If any cushions are looking past their best, hide them out of shot. Items like this can do more harm than good and make the whole room look tired. Add Sparkle to Your Bathroom Bathrooms and kitchens are the main rooms that can really draw viewers to a home. Simple hacks in the bathroom can drastically elevate your photographs. Simply make sure the toilet seats are down, and mirrors are sparkly clean with no watermarks or smudges. As bathrooms are often small, create space by being as minimal as possible. Store away cosmetic items such as shampoo, lotions, or razors. The bright colours of the bottles can be unattractive and distracting when photographed. Remove Kitchen Clutter Kitchens are the heart of the home, and a beautiful kitchen is often the factor that convinces unsure potential buyers. Clear all surfaces, leaving minimal appliances in view. This will prevent clutter from causing distraction and give the illusion of a bigger and fresher space with plenty of work surfaces. Don’t Distract with Electronics Turn off the TV and any computers and make sure there are no loose electronic devices left on countertops, which are distracting for people viewing the images. The last thing you want to see are beautiful images of your home with a distracting TV show in the corner of the otherwise perfect image. Let in The Light Open curtains and blinds wide to let the natural light flow through the home. Your photographer will then be able to manipulate the light to show your home in the best, most natural way possible. If you have blinds, open them tilted upwards. This will push the natural light towards the ceiling, allowing it to illuminate without being too harsh for photography. Give Your Pets a Day Out! Although you love them, it is best to keep pets out of your listing photographs whether it is a cat, dog or hamster, if possible, remove the pet from the home for the whole day, as this will give you an excellent opportunity to clean, ready for staging, and prevent them from getting in the way of the photographer. In addition to the pet itself, make sure any pet toys, food bowls and beds are out of shot. Furthermore, tidy up the garden, ensuring no waste or pet toys are lying around. Call the friendly team at Bennet Samways now on 01335 818550 – we use professional photography as standard!