Good photography can make the difference between a home selling in weeks or selling in months. We’ve all seen the weird real estate listings circulating on the internet and made fun of the rooms full of porcelain dolls and weird tchotchkes. Don’t let that be your house!
Although real estate photographers are skilled in making your home look its best, they’re not miracle workers. The photos representing your home should give potential buyers a true feel for the space—without having to imagine what it could look like without your clutter.
Here are a few things home sellers do that mess up their real estate photos!
1. Leave the home dirty and cluttered
One of the most important ways to get your home ready for photos is to clean and declutter. Having too many items filling a room makes your space look small and chaotic. One creative way to declutter is to try your hand at the 12-12-12 Challenge. Every day up until the photo shoot, make it your mission to locate 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. By completing this challenge, you’ve quickly organized 36 things in your home without it feeling as much like drudgery. Try to involve the whole family and make it a game of who can find their 36 items first.
2. Having a dark and dreary home
Buyers are always looking for a home with good light, so be sure to stage your home in a way that will make it look well-lit in photos. Pull up the blinds, increase the wattage of your lightbulbs and clean your windows to let in more light. Turn on all the lamps prior to your photographer’s arrival to give your house an inviting ambiance.
3. Missing the curb appeal
Making a good first impression is important, even in photos. The front of your home is the first photo a prospective buyer will see and will set the tone for their feelings about your home. In fact, in some cases if the front of the home doesn’t appeal to a buyer, they won’t even bother to look at the rest of the photos. Be sure that your home is appealing upon first glance by tidying up landscaping, repainting a chipping front door or planting some colorful flowers. Also, on shoot day be sure to park cars away from the home, move garbage cans out of view and close garage doors. Read more on curb appeal here: 7 Easy and Cheap Ways to Boost Curb Appeal.
4. Not hiding evidence of pets
Some people love pets, but there are others who definitely don’t. Be sure to stash Fido’s bowl and the cat’s litter box away from view. A prospective buyer may see the photos that include pet paraphernalia and imagine that the home has odors or stains. Although they won’t be looking too close, clean carpets photograph better, so be sure to give the carpets a good vacuuming to remove any pet hair or dirt prior to the photo shoot.
5. Keeping the home super personalized
When getting your home ready for photos, remove excessive personal items and put them in storage. This includes everything from photographs to knickknacks to personal keepsakes. If you make your house into a blank canvas, it is easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves and their lives there. This is a good time to pair down items that have been collecting over the years—making it easier for you once it’s time to move! Also, the personalization comes down to decor decisions, too. Maybe you like the look of a neon pink bathroom vanity, but most buyers are not going to agree with you. Keeping your home neutral is going to make all the difference in how fast it sells!
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