Preparing for the Photo Shoot
You’ve made the decision to sell your home, and you’ve hired the top realtor in your city. You decided to stage the home yourself after receiving a consultation from a home stager. You are thinking about straightening up when the phone rings. The call is from your realtor who tells you that tomorrow at 3:00 pm, the photographer will be there to take your listing photos and just tells you to make sure the house is clean. You know there must be more to it than that! The stager gave you some things to do, but you haven’t done them all. So here are some quick tips on preparing for your listing photo shoot.
Clean the kitchen so that it is spotless! Make sure you have removed all papers from your kitchen desk and taken all the magnets off the refrigerator. Clean inside all your drawers and cabinets. Remove utility items from the countertops and replace with a bowl of lemons or apples.
2. Living Room/Family Room
The stager told you which extra furniture should be removed to make your rooms look more spacious---get busy. At the stager’s suggestion you purchased new decorative pillows for the sofa and throw to create warmth in the room so put those items in place. Luckily you’ve already had your carpets professionally cleaned so just a light vacuuming is needed. Put away any personal photographs.
3. Dining Room
Set the table with placemats, dishes and wine glasses if you have matching ones (no knives, you don’t want anyone to get hurt). You want to create the impression of having a special meal in this room so potential buyers can imagine themselves doing the same. If you have some fresh flowers, add them to the table. Do not use a tablecloth---this looks old-fashioned and more than likely your home will be marketed to a family in the millennial generation—we don’t want to remind them of their grandmother’s house.
Depersonalize the room by hiding your personal items, including photographs and dirty laundry. Straighten your closets as the photographer may take photos. At the stager’s suggestion you purchased a new bedspread and decorative pillows so make your bed with them.
Remove all personal products such as shampoo, makeup, shaving items. Clean, Clean, Clean, until everything shines. Yes, dull chrome will show up as “dull chrome” in your photos. Empty trash baskets and put out the new towels that stager suggested you purchase for Open House or showings.
6. Turn on all lights
Make sure that all light bulbs work. Be especially careful that those bulbs in the same room are the same color tone so they all photograph the same.
Remove all evidence of pets such as litter boxes, dog toys, and bird seed. Make sure you can take your pets away or lock them in the garage while the photographer is photographing the rest of the house. He will be moving around the house leaving doors open.
Make sure all kids’ toys and sporting equipment is put away. Make sure your lawn is cut and if you have time, spruce up your entry with some fresh flowers or new plants. Remove any dead leaves and prune any bushes that need cutting back. Wash your driveway, your walkway and clean the front door.
Hopefully, you’ve had the windows professionally cleaned—if not, get busy and do it yourself.
As you can see, there is a considerable amount of work to get your home ready for the listing photos, so it is best that you put together a schedule so you are not trying to do it at the last minute.
Remember most buyers look online at photos before they decide to visit a home. So all of your hard work will pay off by making those photos look great and enticing your next buyer to want to visit your home and make an offer.