What’s the best way to sell your house to a potential buyer? Put a pot of coffee on to brew before they arrive or make sure there are fresh flowers in every room when your estate agent comes around to take some pictures for its online listing? Well, one enterprising vendor in east London has given their bedroom a boudoir feel by leaving a racy fuchsia negligee, complete with bottle of red and two glasses on the bed for the estate agent’s snapper to capture.
Dodgy estate-agent pictures are a bit of an internet meme right now and there’s even a blog called Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs on Tumblr. But this saucy shoot – which is gleefully doing the rounds on Twitter – for up-market estate agent Foxtons, takes the concept of “dressing” a room for sale to a whole new level.
Sadly it isn’t the worst example of property pornification, though. “The worst case of this sort of property ‘dressing’ I’ve seen is a set of sexy silk underwear draped seductively over a mink bedspread in a £20m mansion near One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge. All it needed were burly Russian bodyguards to complete the picture,” says Tracy Kellet, director of BDI Homefinders buying agents. “And perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s usually a male developer or interior designer that thinks it’s a good idea to sex up a property.”
Kellet isn’t the only property insider to have come across an unlikely scene. “I once saw a set of photographs with a man asleep in the second bedroom,” says Jo Eccles, the managing director of Sourcing Property, a search-and-relocation company. “And on a viewing once I saw an owner go a step beyond fresh flowers and set out a full jug of Pimms complete with ice, chopped mint and freshly chopped strawberries.”
So does all of this help sell your house? “In the end all it does is detract from your home, so potential buyers spend more time thinking how odd you are, rather than imagining themselves living in your home,” warns Eccles.