Preparing Your Home for Professional Photographer to Arrive!

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY

This article will provide you with all of the information that you need to know about preparing your home to have professional real estate services done.

 

A LITTLE BIT OF PREPARATION GOES A LONG WAY

You want to make sure that when your photographer arrives they will only have to do a quick walk through to make sure everything is in order. If they have to help move things around, they may not be able to finish before your appointment time is up. If they feel it is necessary, they will discuss your options – move forward with the photography or reschedule. Just keep in mind, rescheduling will include a charge but ultimately mean you will have to wait to put your listing up. It is very important that you spend the time that is needed to prepare your home so the photographer has something to work with. 

*There are many benefits to professional photos such as selling your home quicker or for a higher price point. Paying attention to these general guidelines will help ensure photos turn out beautiful. 

LESS IS MORE

The goal is to create a stylish, generic room in which the buyer can picture themselves living

A clean space is more appealing. Get rid of anything that is cluttering the room, and when you think you are done… continue working to get rid of a few more items in the room. If you include too many personal effects, such as photos and knickknacks, then it makes it more difficult for the buyer to imagine their own things in the room. Get rid of the distractions and eliminate any clutter that may be present.

*Bookshelves, kitchen appliances, cords cords cords, remotes, 

GET RID OF THE GRIME

A quick wipe down to “clean” the house isn’t enough to get rid of the grime.

It is important that all areas are properly cleaned in order to remove hard water buildup, dirt, stains or anything else that might be visible. Make sure to get rid of fingerprints or marks on door frames, metal finishes, etc

*Bathtubs, faucets, windowsills, countertops, mirrors, windows, stainless steel appliances

LIGHTING

Before the photographer arrives, you should make sure that you are letting in as much light as possible.

Open up the blinds and curtains, and turn on every light in your home. All lamps and surface lights should be on, including the lights that are part of furniture and appliances such as those on the stove or built into a bookshelf. If any light bulbs are burned out, make sure to replace them and use high-wattage bulbs to make the room brighter.

*Replace burnt out bulbs – make  sure the lumens match! Turn on ALL lighting

NO PETS

Any sign of animals in the house will resonate with the viewer as dirty or smelly.

If you have any pets, they need to be out of the way  during the shoot. Make sure to fix/cover up any damage to the property caused by your pets.

*Put away all toys, dog food, bowls, beds, etc. Fix any damage

KITCHEN

The kitchen collects a lot on the counters-  make sure the counters are as open as possible.

Get rid of extra small appliances that are sitting around, as well as stacks of paper or dishes that may be placed at the end of the counter. If you have child-proof equipment that is visible on the outside of the cabinets or cupboards, it is better to remove that equipment for the photos. Clear the school notices, crayon drawings, and magnets off of the fridge.

*Dish racks, cutting boards, tea towels, hand/ dish soap bottles, paper towels, cleaning products, mops, brooms and garbage cans. You can add a little decoration with a nice bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of flowers.

LIVING ROOM

The goal of the room should be to create a beautiful and comfortable space, it should be an area where the potential buyer could imagine hosting their guests or spending time.

If you have a nice coffee table book, set it out as decor on the table. Remove any magazines, because they often look cluttery. If bookshelves are in the room, take out half of the books and arrange the remaining books in a nice pattern. Keep the nice, hardback and colorful books on the shelf, and clear out the old books. Fluff pillows, fold throws and arrange neatly.

FAMILY ROOM

Sometimes this room needs the most work because of the large amount of time spent here. Make sure to pick up any clutter and rearrange furniture to suit aesthetics versus use.

Collect the TV remotes, video game systems, DVDs, or any other cluttered electronic items. Also, it is a good idea to pay attention to the way the electronic cords are arranged, and try to move them to a place so that they are out of sight. Clear out any toys that may have been left in the room by the kids. Fluff pillows, fold throws and arrange neatly.

*Cords, remotes, game systems, toys, fluff pillows and fold throws.

DINING ROOM

This is an easy space to keep clean but also introduce decor such as fresh flowers and table settings

Make sure the dining table is wiped down  and the chairs are arranged neatly. You might consider adding a nice centerpiece on the table, such as bowl of fresh fruit or a floral arrangement. Don’t leave any leftover plates or dishes on the table, and make sure that the remnants of the previous meal have been cleared away: wipe the table, sweep the floor, and mop the floor to remove any marks.

BEDROOMS

These rooms can attract a lot of clutter and personality – try to store away anything “loud” and put away alot of personal items. It’s important to note  a wrinkly bedspread WILL distract viewers.

It may be tempting to stuff everything under the bed in order to hide the clutter, but the items under the beds can still often be seen. Check with the agent if the closet will be shown – usually smaller closets will not be featured and are a great place to store stuff out of the way. Adjust decorations to make the space appear more generic and neutral, instead of trendy or hipster. Remember, you want the buyer to imagine themselves as if they were in the room, and unusual themes in the bedrooms can be somewhat distracting., and match the bedding accordingly. You want the bed to look beautiful and inviting. Use a nice bedspread and big, fluffy pillows that are neatly arranged at the head of the bed. We can tell you from experience, a worn out or wrinkly bedspread is extremely distracting. If anything is sitting on the nightstand, get rid of it!

Phone chargers, tissue boxes, lip balm, a glass of water, jewelry, hipster decorations. NON WRINKLY bedspread with fresh/fluffy pillows

BATHROOMS

Besides matching towels and/or shower curtain, EVERYTHING should be put away.

In the bathroom, everything should be moved off the counter, including makeup, razors, soap, toothbrushes, and any other beauty products. In the shower and tub, remove the shampoo, soaps, washcloths, and baby toys. The garbage cans, bathmats, laundry baskets, extra toilet paper, the toilet brush, and scales should also be moved out of the room. Finish it off by closing the toilet, and hang fresh towels on the towel rails.

Empty counters and showers.

WHEN IN DOUBT – HIRE A PROFESSIONAL STAGER.

 

EXTERIOR PREPARATION

The exterior might just be the most important part of the home because first impressions can leave lasting impressions.

The exterior  is one of the first things that a person will look at when they are viewing the listing, so it is important that you clean up around the house to make it look fresh and appealing. If the yard looks messy, it will leave the impression that the maintenance is too much or not worth it. You can easily look a buyer if they don’t want to 

Exterior tasks should include:

  • Pull weeds
  • Trim trees and overgrown shrubs
  • Rake up the leaves
  • Mow the lawn and edge
  • Wrap up garden hoses but preferably put them away in the garage or shed
  • Pick up any items that may be laying around the yard, such as garden tools, garbage cans, toys, empty pots or pots with dead plants
  • Cover dirt with mulch to make it look more attractive
  • Move cars out of the driveway
  • Sweep the porch and sidewalks
  • If you have outdoor furniture, wipe it down and make sure that the cushions look clean and nice

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