What Realtors Need to Know to Prepare a Home for Real Estate Photography
When you’re trying to sell a home, getting the house ship-shape for showings is a must. But did you know that getting the home prepared for the real estate photos is just as important, if not even more so?
Real estate photography captures and preserves every detail of the home and influences whether a buyer comes to the house for a closer look. Certain markets have buyers acquiring properties sight unseen, with sales strictly based on the listing photos!
Be certain your sellers have optimally prepared their homes for real estate photos by following these tips.
- Bright is beautiful. Open all the curtains and blinds to let in the light. Ensure that the windows are spotless and that every light in the house is turned on, including lights built into bookcases and ranges.
- Clean that kitchen. Home buyers are hugely attracted to gorgeous, sparkling kitchens, from counters and floors to appliance faces. Make sure your seller knows to remove as many items and small appliances from countertops as possible, empty the sinks and remove the dish racks, and put away their beloved, hard-earned fridge magnet collection. If there are children living in the house, temporarily erase all signs of kids in the kitchen, from artwork to childproofing equipment.
- Beautify the bedrooms. As in the kitchen, all unnecessary items, including photos and personal mementos, need to be packed away. You want the bedrooms to appeal to as wide an audience as possible – too many personal effects can be distracting and prevent a buyer from imagining themselves living there. Add a few decorative pillows on a freshly made bed and you’re good to go.
- Create an inviting living space. The dining and living rooms will also be key selling points, as buyers try to imagine themselves settling down for a nice family meal or relaxing to watch a movie together. Ensure these rooms are free of clutter and personalized items. Have a neutral centre piece on the dining room table, such as a vase of simple flowers or a bowl of perfect fruit.
- Less is more. Having little to no clutter not only makes for more impressive photos but gives the appearance of larger, open spaces. It is not the photographer’s job to move personal belongings or tidy clutter, and they can only manoeuvre so much to get the right shot! Sparsely decorate a coffee table, put away magazines, clear away toys, tidy electronics cables, and pack up remotes.
- Shine the bathroom. The seller must remove all personal toiletries, scrub every surface, and empty the garbage. The only trace of a lived-in bathroom should be the fresh towels that were just placed. The seller’s bathroom should be spa-like inviting in its cleanliness and appearance.
- Put away the pets. Although a pet is a sign of a welcoming home, not everyone loves pets like we do and we advise that you remove all signs of a pet from the home, including ensuring that Fluffy herself doesn’t saunter into the photos by accident. Have the pet be offsite while the photos are being taken.
- Pause at the door. When reviewing the home to determine if it’s ready for photos, linger for a moment at each room’s doorway and, of course, upon entering the front door. Real estate photographers tend to take photos from doorways, capturing as wide an angle as possible. Try to look at the room from their perspective and from the eyes of a potential buyer entering the room. Does any furniture need rearranging or can you see any décor items that would look better elsewhere in the room? A photographer might have a keen eye but is not a stager, so work with your stager to ensure the home is well prepared before the photographer arrives.
- Work with what you have. Tidy, fluff, straighten, or polish anything that you cannot remove from the room. Your seller’s home should give the appearance of a spotless hotel suite.
- Remember that impressions are tied to emotions. A buyer’s first 10-second impression will affect how they feel about the home. A poorly prepared home can lead to less-than-flattering photos, making the home harder to sell. We want the photos to grab the buyer’s attention and make their hearts soar with daydreams of living in a gorgeous new home!
A little effort will go a long way to selling a home via professional real estate photos.
Writer, geek, Mom, wife, friend – in no particular order, just like my house.