Cleverly edited photos help sell cluttered home

A cluttered family home in South Australia, that initially wasn’t able to be presented to the market in its best light, has managed to sell above the price guide, with the help of some cleverly edited digital images. 

South Australian-based agent Joshua Bagley was able to turn the four-bedroom home, which was filled with belongings and dated furniture, into a beautifully presented property that sold at auction for $600,000 – well above the initial feedback of $520,000 to $550,000.

The selling principal from Ray White Strathalbyn, just outside Adelaide, said the home was owned by an older couple with mobility issues and he wanted to find a way to let buyers see the true potential of what they were buying.

“The seller was a self-proclaimed hoarder and even after we cleared out some stuff, there was still a lot there,” Mr Bagley said.

“The home was still in presentable condition, but just not presentable in a way that would get you a fair market price.

“If it was on the market as is, you would probably lose some of the people who couldn’t see past what it was.”


Mr Bagley said the home was in a great location for families, on a large 1600sq m corner block and close to local playgrounds and childcare facilities.

However, he needed to find a way to let buyers see what they were actually getting.

“I felt that if you could get them there, it’s the outside that was actually going to sell the home, not the inside,” he said.

Mr Bagley said he used a third-party company to edit the photos and replace the current older-style furniture and decor, with a new modern look that would show the full potential of the home.

“We were just trying to show a clean bed in the bedroom, a clean dining set in the dining area with slate floors,” he said.

“It wasn’t over the top, it was just to show that this is what it would be but not in a way that would misrepresent the house.”

With the advent of AI, there are also now numerous tools to completely redesign a photo of a room.

With tools such as, all you need to do is upload a photo to see the room completely cleared of clutter and impeccably styled.

Mr Bagley said it’s remarkable how well the home came up after the changes with the help of Photoshop.

“From the property, I saw in real life to how it was presented when virtually styled and seen online – it showed what the house could be if it was decluttered. 

“We digitally removed all the belongings in the house and Photoshopped in furniture. 

“The pool was edited as well, as when the photo was taken it had the cover on it.”

According to Mr Bagley, typical open homes in Strathalbyn attract around eight to 10 parties, which is what the property achieved.

He said that had there not been edited photos for the property, it would have likely attracted fewer people than the average at the open

“That’s based on knowing the market, understanding the people we’re working, it would have dropped off to maybe four, five or six,” he said.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.