When preparing to put your home up for sale, do a bit of behind-the-scenes work before photos are taken and you'll increase the number of people wanting to see your home. Your real estate agent and their professional contacts can help you better understand what it takes to make your home "photo ready" so seek out their opinions. What you think looks great in a room, might not be appealing to the majority of buyers. If the listing photos don't pop, you may be left with few buyers viewing your home and too many days on the market. Let's take a look at what it takes to get the best photos and capture the attention of buyers.
What does it take to get great listing photos?
- Professional Photographer
- Spotless, De-Personalized Home
When it comes to getting the best photos of your home, rely on the services of a professional photographer who has experiencing shooting real estate photos. Your average photographer isn't going to have the same skillset as a professional real estate photographer. If your real estate agent says he/she will shoot photos with their cell phone, politely decline and ask for professional photographer references (many agents work with a pro). As a photographer myself, I was surprised to see the advanced techniques used to photograph homes. The results are simply amazing! Take my word for it, you need a pro.
Spotless, De-Personalized Home
Your agent will recommend de-personalizing and thoroughly cleaning your home before professional photos are taken and before showing it to potential buyers. You'll want to declutter and removed personal items (ex. family photos, kids art), unnecessary furniture, your collection of penguins, etc. Getting your hardwood floors and carpets professionally cleaned will make for much better photos as well.
To get the most attention from buyers, it's best to stage your home. Picture a newly renovated home on HGTV -- that's similar to what you're aiming for when it comes to staging your home. Believe it or not, most buyers expect your home to look like something off of a tv home show. You're agent may recommend a professional stager or simply provide staging tips. Either way, staging will make your home stand out in photos and get more buyers through the door.
The lighter and brighter the inside of your home, the better your photos are going to be. Pull back your curtains and turn on all of the lights before your photographer arrives. Replace any burnt out lightbulbs. To keep rooms looking light and airy, remove dark curtains and dark area rugs especially if you have dark furniture in the room. Some photographers will set up extra lighting to help open up the space and show off the interior of your home.
If you've got purple couches in the livingroom, a country theme in the kitchen, and a tropical theme in the bedroom, you're house won't feel cohesive. In other words, it won't flow from one room to the next. You want visitors to walk into a room, be wowed, and be drawn into the next room without hesitation. Neutral color is a good starting point when trying to create a flow throughout the house. Your furniture could be beige (ex. couch and dining chairs), walls off-white, and even the accessories (ex. pillows, placemats, blankets). Photos of you home will feel more cohesive when you use similar, neutral colors and themes in each room.
When it comes down to it, you'll need amazing listing photos of your home if you want to get the most attention from potential buyers. Think about it -- when you're looking at homes online, are you more attracted to incredible photos or dreary photos of unappealing rooms? The incredible ones, right? Do some decluttering and deep cleaning and listen to advice from professionals. Talk to your real estate agent about hiring a professional photographer so your home stands out. Great photos will bring in a lot of buyers and you might even get an offer the first day!