From the outside it looks like a normal Victorian semi-detached house in Erdington, Birmingham. At £114,950 it seems like the kind of property that offers great potential for first-time buyers and investors alike. However, once you get inside the property it's a very different story, because photos doing the rounds on social media reveal it is carnage.
So just what is wrong with the property?
CarnageThe photos have since been taken off the internet by the agents. However, those which appeared in the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror show that the current occupants have been living in a rising tide of filth.
The bedrooms are photographed with unmade beds piled high with clothes, books and rubbish. Meanwhile in the lounge the sofa is obscured with piles of debris, and the floor strewn with items.
And the kitchen is perhaps the least edifying sight of all. The surfaces are stained and the hob looks as if it hasn't been cleaned in a very long time, there is rubbish all over the floor, and the preparation surfaces are piled high with junk.
The write-up which remains on the agent's website admits it is "in need of modernisation", but other than that it features the respectable exterior shot, and holds something of a surprise for anyone who looks around.
The agent told the newspapers that buyers hadn't been put off by the mess, and that there was a lot of interest in the property. Certainly if you look beyond the filth there is a period home with potential lurking underneath (the brown tiles in the bathroom and the avocado suite aside).
The value of clearing upHowever, the reaction to this property reveals how much presentation matters when you're selling a property. The experts say that the difference between selling in its usual state and 'staging' a home can be worth between 5% and 20% of the value.
The estate agents say there are five vital steps when taking photos.
1. Declutter - get rid of everything you don't urgently need in the room.
2. Clean - everything from the piles of rubbish that blighted this house to dirty windows and dusty curtains can make the place look dingy.
3. Dress the scene - move cars and bins out of exterior shots, and set up rooms to show their potential.
4. Switch the lights on - regardless of the time of day, more light is never a bad thing. If the photos still look dingy use your own lighting.
5. Move further back - professionals can make the room look much bigger using a wider angle lens and standing in a far corner.
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