Friday 16 October 2015
Sunny and gorgeous but cool at night
Spent the morning editing photos. Not having admin support; an independent agent has to find the properties for sale (they never just walk in through the door), go out and estimate their value, take photos and measure out, sign up the sellers and then go home and put all the information on the agency software and send up the mandat for signature by the agency. The agency then does quality control on the mandat and the uploaded information, checks that the necessary certificates have been obtained and then posts out the copy mandat and puts the property on market and markets it.
Often, with a large property, it can take as long to upload it and edit the photos as it does to actually go out, find it, measure up and take photos, and sign up the owners. The bit I particularly detest is writing the advert. How many ways to describe a facade, a room, a layout, a garden, a view? I have yet to fall into the clichés still adopted by UK estate agents. Perhaps they list more properties than me? I did read once of an agent who wrote what the property actually looked like, and got a lot of visits by people who wanted to see if it was actually that bad. Used the words - crap, cheap, dirty.
I use Windows Photo Gallery for editing and find that by turning up the shadows and down the highlights and turning colour right up, I can make a room look warm and inviting and take out the glare from the windows. The bane of my life is window glare - it completely distorts the light levels within the room and washes out the colour. I am also expert at cropping out washing, bottles, mops, sundry items and dogs/children. There is a very good retouching feature which also enables me to edit out alarming patches of damp, walls that have been drawn on by enthusiastic children, and myself out of mirrors.
The word to describe the house I went to see at lunch time, having put on the motley and some tidy clothing and told myself I could do it for an hour, was 'plain'. Extremely plain. Belonging to a health professional; it is a modern single level house with electric gates, video-surveillance, and long tarmac driveway. Views of the countryside. Swimming pool very close to the house with ugly large hedge of leylandii. They will regret planting that. It will be in the pool with the kids in no time.
I had this house for sale about four years ago, when it was owned by an English lady and her Portuguese husband. They had lovely furniture and pretty art work and the kitchen was shiny. Today, the house looked as if the owners, who had been there for about three years, had never actually moved in. Just a few pictures of the family on the wall. No tableaux, no curtains or nets, a very neutral grey rug and violently orange sofa with red cushions. These people are badly in need of a stylist. The pool had a sagging black net fence around it and was full of plastic toys. Would you go for interview not wearing your smartest outfit? Why do people not dress their houses for sale? Especially people with the means to do so. Signed him up in any event for a reasonable price and back home and had to have a sleep on the sofa as felt completely wiped out.