Your Photography is what over 95% of the buyers will see first about your listing for sale. Your home should already be well prepared for showings. Use this guide to assure your photography forms a great first impression. Following the guidelines below is not required, but highly recommended by your photographer.
Real Estate Photography should never be looked at as just taking pictures of a residence. All too often do we see MLS photos that are poorly lit, light bulbs burnt out, evidence of pets inside the home, and many other issues that can be avoided with proper preparation.
Hopefully, this list will help your client with preparation before the shoot and help your property stand out. I cannot emphasize how important preparation is for photography (and showings) if you want to create interest in a buyer.
Move vehicles from drive and away from the front of home
Place trash barrels, and anything that is not attached to the home, in the Garage or out of sight.
Cut grass, and remove all weeds from cracks in concrete
Clean all Windows and mirrors! Believe me... it really helps your view "POP"
Remove the Yard Sign. For those that are seeing your photos on the web/print, your contact info is already there.
Straighten and line up patio chairs.
Turn pool and other fountains ON.
Turn on pool lights.
Open blinds whenever there is a view that you want to be displayed. If you have a really gorgeous view open the blinds all the way, not just the slats. It’s more important to sell the view not the blinds. If you look into your neighbor’s home or have items outside the window that you don’t want to show close blinds just enough to allow light in, but not show the view.
Remove any Calendars. - Calendars make a listing dated if it goes over 30 days.
Clear all counter tops. - No scrubbies, Soap, knives or cutting boards.
Okay to leave 1-2 small appliances for size perception, but more than that can be distracting.
Clear outside of the Refrigerator completely. - No magnets, pictures, lists etc...
Clean shiny appliances very well - Dirty appliances will look smudged with flash cameras.
Remove or hide Trashcan in Kitchen.
Relocate anything that is in the sink to the dishwasher. Wipe sink, faucet, stovetop and counters.
Straighten and line up chairs.
For security, remove any expensive artwork and Firearms from view. Even if they are decorative.
Remove all personal family portraits and pictures. You don’t want everyone on the internet seeing pictures of your kids and where they live, also removing personal pictures allows buyers to visualize themselves in the home, not the current owner.
Remove any inside or outside furniture that obstructs window views
Turn ceiling fans off for photography and on for a video shoot.
Turn all inside lights ON. This will help balance the light in most areas.
Turn all Televisions OFF, and clean them very well.
Make Beds and Close Closets. If you showcase a closet, present it like any other open area in the house. Reduce clutter and assure organization.
Fluff pillows and smooth beds
Remove ALL evidence of pets including the pets!
Conceal Cords! Unplug them from the wall if needed. (Except lights)
Replace any burnt out light bulbs.
Remove ashtrays and any evidence of cigarettes.
No shoes by doors or anywhere... Place them in the closet.
Perform a final walk through and throw any clutter items into a basket and hide in a closet or room that will not be photographed.
- If your walls are bright yellow-paint them :)
Toilet lids must be down.
Clear the Counter-top from absolutely every item considered to be personal.
Remove cleaning brushes and trashcans.
Close Shower Curtains. If custom tiled bath, showcase with shower curtain half-open.
Check shower and tub area for toys, soap, stray hairs and facecloths.
Remove Toilet Paper from Holder, or use a full roll. No partial Rolls please.
Consider removing shower rugs and rugs around the toilet.
There are many other items to consider when preparing a home for Real Estate Photography, however by just following the above guidelines, your listing should stand out.
You only get one chance to make a first impression.