Ask the experts

Q. I am in the process of selling my house with one of the well-known 'up-market' estate agents. When the brochure for my house came back from the printers last week, it was clear that the main picture, on the cover of the glossy brochure, was very slightly out of focus. I am furious about this, and now wonder what I can do. We are, after all, into the main buying season. My agents keep assuring me that most people now do most of their 'looking' on the web, so that a physical brochure is less important. What is your view?
MJ Perthshire

A. Even in today’s world of web-browsing, printed photographic images can still be a very important tool in the process of marketing a house.

Good photography has two purposes. The first and most obvious is that it attracts viewers in the first place. Secondly, a brochure containing good, clear photographic images helps maintain a positive image of the property in the minds of viewers afterwards and, to a real extent, also helps to keep their interest alive. If an image – especially the main one – is blurred or otherwise not up to standard, then this could instil negative feelings which may eventually lead to some viewers deciding not to take their interest any further.

You would be perfectly within your rights to insist that the brochure – or at least the offending part – is reprinted. As you point out, the main buying season is upon us and I feel the agents have a moral duty to pull out all the stops to find you a suitable purchaser. Let’s just hope that producing a sub-standard brochure – and thinking they could get away with it – was out of character and was not a symptom of a wider problem with the organisation.

David Alexander is head of D J Alexander, the Edinburgh- and Glasgow-based letting and estate agents

THE SUNDAY TIMES, 22 March 2009