How To Sell Your Home FAST With Photography
Sounds easy? It can be if you know how to prepare your home before the photographer arrives.
If the listing agent has done all the paperwork and wants to just take pictures that day on the fly and you haven't staged the house... don't. The agent may have no plan at all to be sure the pictures turn out perfect. If your agent is not already a professional real estate photographer... request one. Seriously, it's all about the photography to sell your home fast!
This takes some effort to pick a day with the correct lighting and the seller must prepare each room to be photo ready. Believe me, the savvy buyers looking at homes online know the difference.
There are plenty low quality pictures and terribly staged rooms to view on the MLS. These homes don't get a second look and buyers sure don't call their agents to come tour. I want your home to be the "shiny penny" that gets an offer fast!
My career, before I became a Realtor... then a Principal Broker, was as a professional artist/photographer. I've always been into photography because I had to photograph my artwork for the Internet. My first computer bought in 1998 was just to build a website art gallery. I learned the importance of having a great camera, staging and lighting. I even did my own "selfies" with a tripod long before they became popular with cell phones. Mostly, because I didn't feel comfortable with a random photographer posing me and I could practice getting the angle, smile and exposure perfect. All of this practice prepared me for my real estate career that is now in it's 11th year.
When I am listing a house, I want to come take a look at your home prior to signing all the paperwork to list. We will walk room by room and I will take notes to give you on how to stage each room. This will be your homework. I will usually plan a day that is overcast for the inside pictures and sunny for the outside. If I have to get an outside shot that day for the listing, I might come back on a different day with better light for a re-do.
In the past, if I did use another photographer, I have arrived to the house early to tidy up the rooms and do extra clearing of surfaces, etc. It is preferable that the seller get all of this done prior to the photo shoot. The house will need to be like this for showings as well.
Always remember the goal is to sell your home. The list below is for my sellers. I hope it will help you prepare before I arrive.
Seller's staging and showing tips:
- Deep clean your house inside and out. Baseboards and inside closets too. It needs to smell clean without plug-in wall fresheners or candles.
- Take out all family pictures on walls and tables. These can be in the first box you pack. Remember you are going to be moving. This is your start on de-cluttering. With what is left of decor, group with either 3 or 5 items.
- Remove any extra furniture in the room that takes up space. We want the room to look a bit empty to appear larger in the pictures.
- Take a look at Architectural Digest or Houzz pictures of rooms. This is how you want your own rooms to look. Fresh, organized and clean. Paint the walls neutral if needed.
- Take most everything off kitchen counters and every magnet off the refrigerator. Scour the sink so it shines.
- Add fresh flowers in a unique container on the dining table.
- Adjust the draperies to be matching on each side. Buy new blinds and install if any are broken or torn. Wash them if they are dirty. Clean the windows and windowsills inside and out. Replace any that the gas seals are foggy.
- Have the carpet professionally cleaned. Replace if completely worn and stained.
- Take out throw rugs in bathrooms, halls and off wood/or tile floors for the day of the photo-shoot.
- Buy fluffy white towels for the bathrooms and roll up to stack on the counter and /or put in a basket. Toilet lid needs to be down. Baby potty seats out of the room.
- Bedrooms need to be tidy with beds made. Buy a new comforter and pillows if the ones you have look worn.
- Any trace of pets. Remove feeding bowls, beds, scratching posts, etc.
- Replace light bulbs if out. Reveal light bulbs are good. Change any low wattage bulbs for something brighter so the house will seem sunny.
- Sweep sidewalks, take a look at the entrance door and freshen with paint.
- Replace or paint mailbox if rusty or beat up. Remember curb appeal shows up in pictures and also drive-by buyers. Make it look inviting. We want them to be intrigued to book a tour.
- Take toys, junk and trash out of the yard. Prune shrubbery. Use fresh mulch in landscape beds. Pull weeds.
Spring 2015 is shaping up to be a fabulous selling season for my clients. I'm excited for you! Start your prep work right now while the weather is a bit cold and you will be ready. Call me to schedule a walk through to help with your to-do list. 859.979.2834 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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