When it comes to selling your home, a picture is worth a thousand words…or thousands of dollars. Buyers are attracted to high-quality photos that help them better see themselves living in your home. Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their homes through a real estate agent or broker, often relying on real estate websites to ultimately make a purchase. Well thought out home staging photos help increase the number of showings and even encourage unlikely buyers to schedule a visit. Luckily, there’s a market of photographers that know exactly what buyers are searching for and can deliver on those features – just all the bells and whistles. All you have to do is declutter the home and wipe residue off of appliances. Setting the stage for your home will help photographers capture the beauty, and a few styling tips will help you get exactly what you need to stand out. Think sparkling clean like it’s spring cleaning season. We offer tips for staging your home so that you can present the best photography to your next buyer!
1. Maintain Curb Appeal
The front exterior of your home is arguably the most important feature of capturing a buyer’s first impression. This is the first thing buyers will see as they walk up to your home. Maintaining curb appeal and decluttering the front yard will give the appearance of a welcoming home. Clear out any debris hanging around the front. This includes raking up leaves and branches, eliminating hoses and other lawn equipment and tucking garbage cans out of sight of the camera. Mow the lawn and trim any hedges to tidy it all up. Consider power washing the driveway, walkways, porch and windows to clear off residue from the elements. Anything that will be within the camera’s view will more than likely show up in the photos and look worse than they seem. Cover all your bases and think of this as a little spring cleaning chore as you prepare to put your home on the market.
2. Take Note of the Color Scheme
This goes beyond the colors on your walls (although your walls play a significant role in the overall color scheme of your home). You can use what you’ve already got around the home to set up the scene for your photographer. Neutral colors are the safest bet and can form a great base for more vivid color. Neutrals include black, white, beige, brown, cream and related shades that you would imagine can match with brighter colors. Brighter shades and vivid color match the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet – and have similar shades. These vivid shades provide the “pop” factor and give you a baseline for how your color scheme can help your home staging photos. Use a color wheel that shows you what vivid colors complement each other so that your photos don’t appear to be of a preschool. Be careful not to use several colors at once. This will start to make your photograph look chaotic and distract it with excessive background noise.
3. Focus on the Three Most Important Rooms
According to the NAR, the three most important rooms when staging your home are the living room, master bedroom and kitchen – in those respective orders. These are the rooms homeowners spend the most time in and are essential not only in their live walk-through, but in online photos as well. As you target your focus on these three rooms, take into consideration its cleanliness and the personalizations you’ve made. Although you might have memories and knickknacks that remind you of special moments, it’s a good idea to clear these out and help buyers imagine their own lives in this space. Keep in mind that some homeowners may like to entertain – whether inviting another couple for dinner or for having parties. They may be considering how the space can accommodate guests. Decluttering will help open your space up and let natural light in by opening up the shades. Rearrange furniture to allow for a more open floor ready to entertain. As for the master bedroom, fluff up and dewrinkle sheets and use bedding and throw pillows to make the space look cozy. Of course, tidy up the closet too – especially if it’s a walk-in.
4. De-wrinkle the Sheets
The smallest details can sometimes get the most attention in a photo. The everyday wrinkles on your sheets are somehow magnified by the camera and look worse from the lens than it does to the naked eye. Get a steamer that can de-wrinkle your sheets. The hot steam will smooth out the appearance right away. Don’t make an exception to other linens around the house! Sixty-seven percent of staged homes have sold for more money, so doing up your entire home is crucial if you want the most bang for your buck. Use the steamer on quilts, pillowcases, curtains and shower curtains to straighten out the rest of your home.
5. Open Up!
Bright, well-lit rooms and open floor plans are some of the most in-demand requests buyers look for when shopping for a new home. Staging your room to allow the most amount of light in will go a long way. Not all homes offer that opportunity so turn on all the interior lights in your home to even out shadows or dark corners that the sun misses. This will help buyers feel the room is bigger than it may actually be and also provides a more welcome gesture. If you have a fireplace, light it up to make the room look cozier. Make use of any open space your room may have. If you have to rearrange furniture to achieve that effect, open it all up! Tuck away personalized items and knickknacks that end up being a distraction in photos. Don’t hide tables under tablecloths and think minimalism as you set the scene.
6. Bathroom Details
Details go into the bathroom too. Staging photos of your bathroom should take into consideration not just the cleanliness overall, but what will draw attention the most. In this case – the toilet. Closing the lid on the toilet shows a little more class than leaving it up and exposed. Most bathrooms are on the smaller side and don’t typically have a lot of natural light or many corners. Wipe those streaks off the mirror or residue from the sink or tub fixtures – these will quickly appear in the photographs. Lighting is essential here. Swap out incandescent bulbs for LED or daylight wattage bulbs that can help create a brighter appearance in the bathroom. Of course, tidiness will speak wonders and although toiletries or shampoo bottles are more than common, clear off the countertops of these items to declutter even further. If you want to add a little character, use jars or products with minimal to no label in plain colors or transparent bottles. Seasonal flowers are also a nice touch too!
7. Hire a Professional
With all of these details to keep in mind, it might be easier to just hire a professional real estate photographer to take care of your home staging photos. A professional can see from the perspective of the camera, therefore seeing what prospective buyers may ultimately see. Photographers can pick up the smallest details from wrinkles in your linens, to the counter space in your kitchen. Luckily, you can find a photographer without too much of a hassle near your area! PhotoBooker offers a number of photographers specializing in real estate and home staging photography that will even blow you away and wonder if that was even your home they captured. A professional will make your job easier, and possibly increase the value of your home once prospects start trickling in.