If you think every home I walk into is ready for pictures, you are wroooooong. Of course, by the time I have worked my magic (by magic, I mean hard work and carefully crafted skills and talent) they all look photo ready.
But if you want your home to have more visits, your pictures need to be amazing. The photos you post of your home online are the first piece of marketing. The photos will either catch the eye of a potential buyer or they will keep on scrolling.
Now what should you do to prep your home for amazing pictures?
1. Hide All The Clutter
- The kitchen counter tops should be nearly bare. Stuff things in the pantry. No knife blocks. No toasters. No dish drying racks. A fruit bowl is okay. No coffee maker. No salt and pepper. Bare.
- Take three-quarters of the decor on your shelves, and put it in a box. Take down all personal photos.
- Hang pictures over terrible wall blemishes (like the spot on the wall your toddler tested out some new markers). Strategically positioning furniture and decor to cover blemishes for the photos is perfectly acceptable.
- Generally, I do not recommend taking photos of closets (or garages), but it is up to the preference of the seller. If your closet is a mess, organize some of it, then stuff the rest in boxes and put in the garage. A closet of chaos is a turn off. If you can’t keep it tidy, how is ALL their stuff supposed to fit? So thinks a potential buyer anyway.
- Leave nothing but the lamp and a decorative item on your bedside tables.
- Remove small pieces of furniture that are there for convenience but not for decorative reasons (like the comfy ottoman that you love to put your feet on, but it’s seen better days or the over-the-sofa end table where you put your hot tea and computer).
- Hide dog bowls, kitty litter boxes, and other traces of animals. Someone with an animal allergy could write off your entire home, sight unseen, just because they saw a litter box.
- Tuck away cords and extra electronics.
- Remove trash cans. Because nobody wants to see a picture with your trash can.
2. Showcase the Insides
- Do you have nice cupboards with pullout shelving? Stage it with just a few bowls or pans so potential buyers can see how spacious it is.
- Are your closets spacious? Pack up the junk. Pull out extra clothes so the racks are spaced evenly. (only if your preference is to show the closets. I still don’t recommend it)
- Do NOT showcase the inside of your toilet. Put all the toilet seats down.
- Open your shower curtains. Buyers want to see the bathtub.
- Razors, loofahs, soaps, etc. should all be removed from the shower. Stash them under the sink and leave only shampoo and conditioner, unless the bottles are obnoxious (huge or brightly colored).
3. Stage It
- Channel your inner HGTV star. Small bouquets of flowers throughout the home (dining table, kitchen island, bathroom counters) go a long way for setting the tone.
- Make your bed. Make it fluffy and cozy looking with lots of pillows. Put a tray on it with a stack of books and a vase with a flower. Practical? Absolutely not. But buyers will look at those photos and imagine they too were spending their mornings waking in such a cozy, romantic, luxurious space.
- Pull furniture away from walls. Arrange it in a conversational manner, even if that means you can’t view the TV from any of the angles.
4. Throws, Blankets & Pillows
- Fabrics (blankets, pillows, drapes) create an ambiance of luxury and beauty.
- Colors help the pictures to pop. Try to stick with solids or bold patterns. Pin stripes and small patterns can photograph weird.
5. Add Art
- You don’t want bare walls, but you also don’t want your face on the wall. Large pieces of simple art make great statements. Canvas prints from Rachel Carter Images are the perfect way to spruce up your walls and showcase the beautiful area.
6. FOCUS ON THE GREEN TO GET MORE GREEN
- See what I did there? Green grass… green money… haha 😉
- If you don’t have a perfectly manicured lawn, there are still ways to add greenery. Potted plants on the stairs, porch, and deck create a feeling of care.
- Put out chairs on the porch, put pillows in the chairs
7. All The Details
- Thoroughly clean everything
- Open all blinds and curtains.
- Replace all light bulbs.
- Make all beds.
- Remove all small rugs.
- Turn off TVs and computer monitors.
- Clean all magnets off the fridge, all notes off the peg boards, all words off the chalkboard (unless you want to write your address and your broker’s name)
- Hang up clean towels, neatly.
- No dishes in the sink.
Basically, you want your house to look like a staged home, void of your personality and mark. It should be neutral and generic in decor so the photographs highlight the tall ceilings, hard wood floors, and beautiful chandeliers. Not the espresso machine in the kitchen or the goofy family photo on the fridge.
The little preparations can go a long way. Some people think I can just fix their house blemishes with Photoshop, but that’s not how it works. I can’t create photos that don’t represent the reality of the house. It’s unethical.
I’m happy to change out the sky to give the outside a cheerful appearance. You can’t control the weather after all. But if your banister is broken, I’m not photo shopping it fixed. So before I arrive, go through this list. It takes a little time but I promise you, the photos will be worth it.
Are you getting ready to sell your home or know someone who is? Email me today to schedule real estate photos for your property.