Photos are your first chance to make an impression on buyers so it’s important to prepare your home before taking them. Doubly so if you’re hiring a professional real estate photographer.
Here are 9 key points to focus on, broken down into the three most important timeframes.
The week prior:
1. Sweep, mop, vacuum. Wipe down mirrors and windows. You don’t want spots and stains to show up in your photos. Plus the more deep cleaning you get down now the less you’ll have to do before showings.
2. Mow the lawn and then water it heavily all week. You want it looking lush and green on photo day.
3. Remove holiday decor. Seasonal decoration is great for showings, but your photos need to be timeless enough to last as long as your listing.
The day before:
4. Declutter your kitchen as much as you can. This is easily the most important room in the house making it worthy of its own section. Put away small appliances, and clear off surfaces including the fridge door. Bare counters look bigger.
5. Declutter the rest of the house. Decluttering is so important it’s worth mentioning twice. Bare surfaces may look minimalist in person but in photos it makes rooms look spacious. Put away soap dispensers and toothbrushes. Hide the bathroom garbage can and toilet brush.
6. Hide signs of pets. Put away food and water dishes; hide pet toys and furniture. The pets themselves need to be out of the photos too. Some people will skip right past your listing if they see a dog or cat in the background.
The day of:
7. Prep the front yard. The photo of the outside of your house is the first image that buyers will see online. Move vehicles out of the driveway and move garbage cans (and any other clutter) to the backyard.
8. Turn on all interior lights. Turning on all the lights makes a house look bright and inviting. Modern light bulbs take time to warm up and change colour as they do so. This is also your last chance to replace burnt out bulbs.
9. Open all curtains – natural light, even that of a cloudy day, will brighten up your home and make it appear inviting. This is the photographers most important source of light, even if they are using a flash.
This list could go on for days, but I hope you find it a solid primer for your home preparations. If you have any tips you’d like to share connect with us at [email protected] today!
Andrew Newton is a Real Estate Photographer and founder of www.RealtorPhotoTraining.com, where he shows you how to take photos to sell your home. He lives in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, with his wife and two children.