Updated: May 21, 2019
For many sellers, having their home photographed is a first time experience and most don't know what to expect, or what to do in order to get their home ready for their photoshoot. However, it's easier than one would think, and the saying "less is more" has never rang more true. In this post I will go through some of the steps that sellers and agents can take in order to get the best possible photos from their home and listing.
1. Trash Cans
There's no faster way than to ruin curb appeal than by having trash cans sitting in front of the house. It's best to either move the cans into the back yard, or into the garage(if there is room for them). They can even be moved to the sidewalk away from the house for the duration of the photoshoot. The same rule applies to interior trash cans as well, such as kitchen and bathroom cans. Again the best place for these would be the garage, or even a closet that has enough room works just as well.
Counters, whether they be in the restrooms or the kitchen, should be free and clear of any and all clutter. In the restrooms this includes items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs and hairbrushes, blow dryers, hair straighteners, soaps, perfumes and all other types of toiletries. In the kitchen we want to avoid sponges, soaps(again), eating utensils, dishes, foods, drinks, etc.. Small appliances like coffee makers and toasters are ok to leave out as they can actually be used for staging, however it's up to the agents discretion whether to show those items or not.
Beds should be well made and only have matching pillows on them. Pillows that are a type of licensed product (i.e. emoji pillows, Disney pillows, etc..) should be moved into a closet out of sight. Bedroom fans and humidifiers should also be moved out of sight as they draw too much attention away from the actual room itself. Dressers and end tables should be free and clear of clutter, and if there are bedroom lamps they should be on.
4. Windows and Blinds
Showing the view outside of a window or sliding glass door adds much more character presentation to the room that's being photographed. Luckily, the outside light will actually "erase" most of the windows imperfections, such as dust and smudges. However, that doesn't mean that no smudges or marks will show up in the final photo, so it's best to do a quick clean of each window before the photoshoot. Blinds should also be quickly wiped down as well and left open during the shoot, not up, just open as shown in the image below.
Every homeowner has their own unique way of setting up their furniture to accommodate their living conditions, and that's perfectly fine. When thinking about furniture setup in regards to photography however, real estate photographers often find themselves moving or re-arranging furniture in order to make it all work for the shot we have in mind. The best rule of thumb to use in this instance is to basically evenly "weight" your furniture aesthetically in accordance with the size of the room. I will go into further detail on this matter in another blog post and explain exactly what this all means from an artistic standpoint. Also, another rule of thumb is to not jam furniture or other items into the corners of each room, as these areas are more often than not the key shooting points that most (if not all) real estate photographers are going to want to shoot from because they provide the best angles or each room and help tie different rooms together.
6. Cars, Trailers, Boats, Etc...
When showing the front of the house, it is best to not have anything in front as to not draw attention away from what we actually WANT to see, the house. As was previously mentioned above regarding the outside trash cans, having cars and other vehicles or trailers in front can also damage the curb appeal of the home. If cars can be moved into the garage, great. If not, then moving to car down the street or across the street works just as well. Same applies to any trailers, boats, etc.. In the event that there's a car that is no longer running and literally cannot be moved from the driveway or front sidewalk, then unfortunately the saying "it is what it is" applies and more often then not a way to shoot around the car will be devised or it will simply just have to show up in the final product, not the end of the world. And yes, there are some things that even photoshop cannot easily fix.
These are just some of the steps agents and sellers can take in order to help in the process of getting your home and listing photo ready. I will also provide a list that you can print and use to further help in the process and guarantee that you will get the best possible real estate photos that will help your home draw attention online and sell faster! Follow the link below to download the list.