Getting Your Home Ready For Great Real Estate Photos

Preparing your home for real estate photosSo you have just signed the listing agreement with your agent, and now the agent tells you that you need to have your house ready for photos.  As if the whole idea of selling your home isn’t stressful enough, now you have to prepare for photos!

If you are like most families, you are going to have some work prior to photo day.  Don’t worry, most of the homes in our gallery had nightmares getting ready for us – really!  But with a little work, you will have some great photos that will attract the right buyer. Here are some tips/notes about your upcoming photo-shoot, and what you can do to help give it that ‘curb-appeal’ that sets your home from the rest.

(Note, when we refer to photographer, we are also referring to the videographer as well)

About the Photo and Video Shoot Itself:

  • The photographer/videographer will be capturing both the interior and exteriors of your home.
  • In general, for photography alone, the photo-shoot will take no more than 2 hours.  If your home is getting some of our other services such as video (or your home is over 5,000 SF), expect us to spend a bit more time at your home.We capture the fine details
  • All major rooms will be photographed with the following exceptions (unless specified by the homeowner or agent):  Garage; Closets; Laundry Room; Unfinished basements; Storage Rooms.
  • We will photograph all the finishing details within the room (upgraded faucets, granite counters, crown mouldings, hardwood flooring etc…)

Tips to make great ‘curb appeal’:

  • If you have special features of your home that are not obvious please let the photographer know about these so he/she can include them in the shoot.
  • Contain pets in the garage or laundry room (please don’t have the pets walking around during the photo-shoot).

What You Can do Outside:

  • Remove all vehicles from driveways and do not park directly in front of the house.
  • Move garbage cans, blue boxes and green bins out of sight.
  • In the winter remove: all shovels, salt bags, hockey nets, sleds etc…
  • Shovel driveway and walkways
  • In the summer remove: toys, bikes, garden tools including hoses and sprinklers etc…
  • Mow and rake yard
  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks and patios
  • If your home has a pool, put away any hoses, nets, pool toys etc…

What You Can Do Inside:

  • In the front foyer/entrance, remove all shoes, boots, boot trays, bags etc…
  • Clear off counter tops in kitchen.
  • Be sure bathroom areas are clear of toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, sponges, brushes etc…
  • Fold bath towels nicely on towel racks.
  • Vacuum carpets, and sweep your hardwood/ceramic floors.
  • Dust tables, desks, shelves etc… (sometimes the camera can pick up the dust!)
  • Remove photos, notes and papers from the refrigerator
  • Ensure all lights have working light bulbs, as all lights will be turned on (incandescent lights give a house a warm glow and lighten dark corners. Remember to check the under-counter lights and the range hood in the kitchen).
  • De-clutter rooms which may be excessively furnished. Not only do they not photograph well, during showings they may make the room look smaller than it is.
  • Make all beds and tidy bedrooms. Clothes hung, or folded and put away.
  • Remove piles of newspaper and magazines.
  • Tuck trash cans out of view in a closet or cupboard.
  • De-personalize! Remove any personal photos, certificates etc…
  • Remove any valuables (REMINDER these photos are likely going to be placed on the internet (ie: MLS), and they are accessible to everyone in the world. There is no need to advertise your valuables).

One of the most important aspects in how well your home will be perceived to prospective buyers is great real estate photos. With help from you, we can make that happen!

If you have any questions about the photo-shoot, feel free to call us, or contact your agent!

“Take better listing photos, or don’t take them at all” By Teresa Boardman

Back in January, I found this article on the Inman News website by Teresa Boardman.

In the article, she discusses the importance of great photography in real estate listings. She says what we’ve been telling local agents all along: “Photographs of the homes we list should be amazing, not just good. Photography sells real estate. Buyers use photographs to decide which homes to see in person. Homes with poor photographs are often screened out of the selection process.”

She even discusses how some agents are taking real estate photos with their phone – “If a seller sees an agent taking photos with a phone, he/she may think the agent isn’t a serious professional. The photographs may turn out OK, but they will never be good, great or amazing.”

For the entire article on the website, click here!