Photography: House for Sale

With my recent house move I learned a lot about new strategies and tips from moving efficiently, to more focused house hunting; one thing that seems to be trending that I found interesting was the prevalent use of staging to make the house visits more visually appealing and give a visual image of what could be.  In addition, the use of professional photographers to take photos of the house for sale to make it that more enticing for people to come to the open house and start the process.  Photographers can be pretty pricey, but I would say they are worth every penny, especially if it helps land the right buyer.  Having said that if you are looking to cut costs as much as possible here are some tips if you decide to take your own photos for your real estate sale:

  • You want to show the house is lived in, so you don’t have to remove all signs of reality (i.e. kids toys, or kitchen appliances from the counter) but reduce it and keep only a few items;
  • Emphasize the big three in your photos, the front yard, kitchen, and bathrooms – keep up clean tidy and put some effort in putting some small decorative touches if needed;
  • Keep bedrooms and living room at a bare minimum with only the major furniture and maybe just some small side table items;
  • Make sure all the lights are on and all the curtains are open;
  • A touch of green always helps, just get tiny potted plants or cacti, nothing large or floppy when it comes to house plants, if you want to add flowers white orchids (although slightly prices) add a nice clean touch;
  • For the pictures you don’t have to have everything sparkling clean – although you will want to do it anyway when people come fore the viewings, but you definitely want to focus on decluttering, organizing, and a less is more approach;
  • If you have covered furniture (even in the back yard) uncover it for the pictures;
  • If you have any hanging pictures that might be offensive or risqué, you can replace them with dollar store bland pictures for the photos;
  • On the topic of pictures, best to remove any personal pictures just in case you don’t want your mug shot reproduced intentionally or unintentionally;
  • When you are taking a picture of the front yard, remove your car from the driveway, it will make it look bigger;
  • Have a clean kitchen and bathroom sink, empty of any dirty dishes or slimy soaps,
  • If you have extra side or coffee tables you can hide them in the closets or the basement, it will make the space look much bigger – only extra ones, you still want your basic coffee table and maybe one side;
  • Keep your dining table empty and clean with maybe just a vase in the middle;
  • If you’re taking a picture of the washing machine and it’s a front load transparent one, make sure you don’t have any clothes in there;
  • Any stainless steel appliances, especially the big ones, will show hand prints and stains from the reflecting light, so give them a quick wipe before – same for bathroom mirrors,
  • Make sure you take the pictures at angles where you are not showing up in the mirror or reflective surfaces (just looks creepy); and
  • If you can take pictures of your front and back yard on a clear summer day (instead of a cold dark wintery one) even early on before the sale and use it later – that would make a world of a difference.  Tree changing fall colours are nice too, so long as it is bright outside.

They might be small considerations, but they will make a difference and will bring in those perspective buyers to the viewings.  The next step would be to make sure your house lives up to those pictures during the viewings and open houses – good luck!

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