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In the selling process, pictures play the biggest role. Buyers qualify a home visually, besides other factors such as location and price and they will make up their minds at a glance when looking at your home’s pictures. First impressions are the most important.

Smart looking homes sell faster and that is a fact. Therefore, staging your home prior to selling is very important, as you will be competing against other sellers in the same area and price range who have done their homework and prepared their home by staging it. If possible, you have to do whatever it takes to make your home stand out as 'the one'. This will allow you to not only sell faster but also to get the full asking price and sometimes even more if buyers start competing for your home. It is known in the trade as 'curb appeal' - that special set of factors that makes your home irresistible and the home everyone wants to buy.


At Frank Salt Real Estate we employ the services of a professional photographer to get the most out of your home, but ultimately you, as the owner, have a key role in preparing your home for its sale. Spending a few hundred euros getting your home in tip-top shape can possibly add thousands of euros in order to achieve the best selling price. More than often, should more than one buyer fall in love with a good-looking property, it could start a bidding war!


We will provide you with a list of helpful hints and tips on how to achieve the ultimate “show house”, one that is always ready for viewing and one that is ultimately the most photogenic and appealing to any buyer.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Nearly all properties are online, represented by an agency and this is the first place where potential buyers start their search. Their first encounter with your home will be through pictures and it is imperative that these pictures are perfect.

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Declutter and Depersonalise!

Part of a home’s appeal is the fact that it SHOULD look like people are living there, but there is a fine line between a tasteful lifestyle picture and one that is messy and full of clutter. People associate disorganised and messy with unsanitary and a measure of disrespect shown towards a property; they will ask the question as to why the current owners do not care about the property and are likely to move on to the next one that is for sale and better looking. Pack away piles of magazines, toys, electronic paraphernalia such as remotes and game consoles, hide unsightly cables and wires and put books and large numbers of ornaments out of sight or even better, start packing them in boxes and store it out of sight. Less is more.


Properties that exude a neutral feel have a better chance of selling, so remove personal family pictures, religious and political literature, posters and books of any kind. The more personal items that fill a room, the more viewers will focus on these items instead of the property itself.


Neural colours, décor pieces and items all blend harmoniously and ultimately enhance the size and mood of any room, something which buyers are very aware of when looking for potential in their would-be new home.

Clean, clean, clean

Before taking pictures of your home or showing it to potential buyers, make sure it is spotless. Buff any shiny surfaces, clean any finger-marks around light switches, door handles and wall plugs, see that mirrors are shiny, descale chrome or metal taps and faucets, bleach porcelain items such as basins and toilets, degrease ovens, microwaves and deodorise washing machines, dryers etc. Do not forget to dust the grills on air-inlets for air conditioners and pack away portable fans. Make sure your fridge is spotless, inside and out.

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Lights and lighting

One of the most important elements in setting the tone for your home is the lighting. Lighting is effective and cheap and can instantly convert any room into a buyer’s dream. Natural sunlight bursting into a room denotes warmth, freshness and appeals to almost anyone, whereas darker and subdued areas can be cleverly converted into cosy, intimidate settings with the right table lamp or ambience lighting, instead of it being perceived as dark, gloomy and damp and to be avoided.

When showing a home, open the windows, draw the curtains back and switch on the lights where needed.

Ultimate Curb Appeal: The Exterior of Your Property is Key

Curb appeal is applicable to the outside of your property, what the buyer first sees when they arrive for an on-site inspection or in a picture of the outside when looking on-line. It will be the most important promise as to what a buyer can expect and sets the tone for the rest of the property.

Replace or fix broken post-boxes, cut back foliage, repaint walls and fill in any cracks, remove dirt, oil and debris from driveways or walkways, and make sure the windows are shiny and clean. Plant flowers in flowerbeds and mow lawns, see that pools are sparkling and most of all ensure that anyone’s visit turns out to be a wonderful, positive experience.


Should you be taking any pictures of your property, avoid the wrong time of day when shadows can hide detail or make the property look gloomy, avoid cars in driveways, dogs or people in any of the pictures and remove children’s swing sets, hoses, pool equipment, portable barbecues and other exterior clutter before taking a picture.

Room-by-room Tips and Checklist

The Kitchen

  • Clean everywhere and everything – it must be spotless

  • Pack away dishes, appliances and pictures

  • Remove bins

  • Deodorise and get rid of smells

  • Clear all worktops

  • Remove fridge magnets and personal notes

  • Remove feeding bowls for pets

  • Remove unsightly or dead plants

  • Leave out a bowl with fresh fruit or a vase with flowers

  • Refresh and repaint dated cabinets or even better, replace the fronts

  • Degrease or replace extractor fan filters as these can trap unwanted smells like fried fish and disperse them for weeks on end throughout the whole house

  • Clear the window sills

  • Place an atomiser or diffuser somewhere with a vanilla and spice or coffee essence

The Living Areas

  • Remove personal items such as photographs, toys, books

  • Clean and dust everything

  • Remove stains from carpets and floors

  • Hide cables and remotes out of sight

  • Repaint the walls if needed

  • Remove any controversial pictures, paintings, literature or magazines

  • Cover busy sofa or furniture patterns with a neutral slipcover or throw

  • Leave a few tasteful coffee table books out

  • Clear the window sills

The Dining Room

  • Clean and dust everything

  • Organise, arrange and straighten chairs and tables

  • Repaint the walls if needed

  • Declutter and remove personal items

  • Arrange a vase of fresh flowers on the table

  • Do a proper table setting as if you are awaiting your most important guests for dinner

The Bedrooms

  • Remove personal items

  • Concentrate on the master bedroom as it is the one that most people will focus on and single out

  • Pack away clothes

  • Close and shut all cupboards

  • Clean and dust everything

  • Remove any stains and deodorise

  • Make the bed perfectly and use your best linen

  • Fold and arrange a comforter at the bottom of the bed in a neutral colour

  • Pack away any additional blankets

  • Do this for all the other rooms in your home

  • Make sure the air conditioner is spotless and working

The Bathrooms

  • Aim to make your bathroom look like a spa!

  • Remove personal items and declutter

  • Clean, clean, clean and polish!

  • Lay out a set of unused, crisp, clean towels and roll some of them up in sets of 3

  • Remove any waste paper baskets

  • Remove and cleaning materials and personal hygiene items

  • Remove and limescale and mould

  • Replace the toilet roll with a new one, folded over the top of the roll, ending in a “V”-fold

  • Replace the shower curtain if needed and draw it back to expose the shower area

  • Close the toilet lid

  • Place a new fragrance atomiser or diffuser in the bathroom and toilet

  • Clear the window sills

General and Security

  • Make sure your security alarms, CCTV and intercoms are all in good working order

  • Ensure you have a basic knowledge about how it works, as buyers will ask about its capabilities and functions

  • Make sure gate motors, garage door motors and pool pumps are all in good working order

  • Make sure all outside lights, fountain pumps and pool pumps are in good working order

  • Make sure you have no heirlooms, valuables or small expensive items lying around when someone comes to view the property

  • Never hand over any keys or have spare sets lying around when someone views the property

  • Always make sure someone has captured and verified the details of viewing visitors: insist with your agent that they have verified their credentials

  • Any viewing will always be organised by one of our agents, prospective buyers will never show up unaccompanied

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