I know this seems to be a theme: Getting ready to be ready! This blog will be just another in the series but one that I am very passionate about: Getting ready for the photo shoot! Pictures are probably THE MOST important part about getting your home ready to sell. These pictures of your home will be blasted all over the Internet once the photographer has deemed them ready to publish. These photos will reach not only local real estate websites, but also national sites like Trulia and Realtor.com. The best way I can accomplish this is to hire the BEST and brightest photographers. I have several (as every agent should). I have one that I use when ever I am able to do so because they present quality work each and every time. In preparing for a photo shoot, there are many things you can do to help your home show its very best. These are just a few.
Clean, dust and de-clutter: Remove the majority of books, and family photos. Save a few for looking pretty and adding character but not too many.
Light and bright: Turn all the lights on. This includes lamps! Replace ALL burned out bulbs and make sure all chandelier lights are one kind of bulb. They show up differently in the photos if they are not the same! Open all drapes and blinds and shutters. This lets all the light in that you can. Let as much light in as possible. It will make your home look lighter than just having the lights on.
Minimize extra floor coverings: This means all rugs or mats you may have around the home. No extra small throw rugs. Area rugs are acceptable. You don’t want your floor to look cluttered with a rugs that don’t go together. Keep the rugs that tie the room together or are used to signify a room. Do beat the kitchen rug and store it for later.
Clear unnecessary items: Everything should be cleared off and dusted. Kitchen counters, refrigerator tops front and sides…all of it should be cleaned of any fingerprints or dust particles. It won’t look bad in person, but photos can highlight EVERYTHING and make it look worse. Remove table coverings but consider setting out place settings. Remove all garbage and trash cans from sight to the garage cans if possible Remove all pet dishes, beds and litter boxes! And PETS TOO!
Don’t forget the bathroom!: Make sure all toilet lids are DOWN and clear bathroom counter tops of all toilet items and make up. Wash the mirrors! Put out the best towels, and make sure they are neatly folded. Remove all used towels, washcloths, and bath mats. Empty the shower of all your shampoos and body products; rubber ducks included!
Bedrooms and other rooms: Make all the beds. Be sure to have them properly made. This means everything needs to lie flat. Wrinkly comforters give off a feeling like you don’t care how your house looks. Trust me, you do! Close closet doors and put all laundry and shoes away. Tidy toys into one spot (A very nice basket is a good way to collect them). The laundry room should be tidy. Put away all the soaps or organize them on a festive tray. Put a nice table runner over top the units and a basket (stage the area, we know you don’t live this way).
Outdoors and more: Store children’s and pets yard toys out of sight as well. Make sure that you don’t just toss them in the shed or garage. Keep them neat and organized in case they photographer decides to take pictures of the area (which they rarely do). Neatly store all hoses. Open patio umbrellas, clean off the table, and brush off the furniture. Store the outdoor trash cans and make the outside clean and inviting (or as clean as outside can be). Make sure no cars, RVs, boats, etc., are parked in front of the house or the garage door. Close the garage doors! Sweep or blow off all walkways, driveways, and mow the lawn. Rake and remove excessive leaves and debris. Stack the wood pile neatly and get rid of that blue tarp (I know you have one on that wood pile). If you must cover the wood, do it with a brown tarp! Turn on any water features, making sure they are clean and neat (no pond or green scum please).
Then stay out of the way of your photographer! He or she will move you, but it slows them down if you are in the reflection in the windows or mirrors. So go hang out away from your home if you can (or at least out of range).
Thought this all sounds easy? It isn’t. It is worth it though. To prove my point, go on any real estate site and look at the majority of the pictures. They have NOT followed these simple steps and it will SHOW. However, if you have me, Debbie St. John, by your side, you’ll be ready for those photos! Ready to sell your home this year? Give me a call today!