Selling your home? If you are, there are many things to take into consideration when selling. It is imperative to address any deferred maintenance, ensure that the home has inviting curb appeal and that the home makes an excellent first impression. It is very important to take your time, in the beginning, to ensure that repairs have been made and do not stand out to someone who may be walking through your home. Photography is so important in today’s times as a buyer will view how the home presents online, and if it does not give a buyer the “wow” factor then they might just move on to the next home! Don’t fall into this trap! Take the time to ensure your home invites the buyers to come and view the home in person! Your home has one chance to make a first impression, and that will most likely be online!
Any outstanding repairs may stand out to a potential buyer. Be sure the home has fresh paint, and new carpet if needed. New paint will make a difference with photography. If there is deferred maintenance with baseboards or other trim, then consider replacing those as well as it may show in photographs. Any deferred maintenance items may be seen in photos. Exterior paint may stand out in exterior photos, and if the paint is peeling it will show up in the pictures.
Professional photographers can adjust photographs to ensure the defects are not obvious, however, if a buyer wants into a home that does not look at all like the photographs, the buyer may feel deceived.
Does the Curb Appeal Stand Out?
Boost the curb appeal of your home when you are getting ready to sell it. If your property is not presented well online, then that will improve the possibilities that a buyer will want to see it in person. Ensure that all exterior landscaping is updated, and add fresh annual plants in the flower beds. Replace plants which need to be replaced, add color and ensure that the flower beds have been weeded.
Address the entry of your home. Look at the light fixture and make sure it is up to date and not falling apart. It is inexpensive to replace an exterior light fixture at places such as Home Depot. Make sure they are clean and the light bulbs work too. Power spray the exterior of the home and ensure there are no cobwebs or leaves that are cluttering the area.
As you are preparing your home to sell, these efforts will ensure that the photography of your home will be ideal and show that you have cared for your home.
Should You Utilize a Professional Photographer?
This a decision between a homeowner and a Realtor. Most luxury homes have professional photography home, but not all. There are some Realtors who are amazing photographers, and that may be their selling point! I personally know some Realtors who are also professional photographers and take amazing photos of homes and are able to retouch where needed and also showcase local photography as well which highlights the community and features.
Decide if you plan on having aerial photography or drone shots. There is generally an additional fee for these shots, but they can highlight the lot, location and more. I do like utilizing aerial photography as it demonstrates the proximity of a property in a specific location.
Check the Weather on the Day of the Photo Shoot
Ideally, you will be able to select a day and coordinate with your photographer when the weather is cooperative. If possible, pick a sunny and clear day. This will ensure that the exterior photos are light and bright and also allows natural light to come into the home. Of course, this is not always possible, but if there is a torrential rainstorm, I would recommend postponing the photoshoot for a day when the weather cooperates.
Photography with Tenants in Place
This can be a delicate situation. Provide the tenants with the list provided in this article and ask them to remove personal items that they do not want to have photographed. Ask them to remove personal photos. Takedown children’s artwork and projects to allow the property to look neutral. Also, let the tenants know that the photographer may be moving things around during each shot in order to take the best shot!
Many professional photographers do retouch photos. They are able to remove items such as lamp cords. Often times they will add an image to a flatscreen TV, add a fire in the fireplace, and more. It is not recommended to remove items such as power lines as this can be deceptive. If your photographer does retouch the photos, then this should be disclosed in the MLS.
Consider taking twilight photography as well as that can really make the home stand out. Ask the owners or tenants to turn on exterior landscape lighting, porch lights and turn on some lights in the home to allow the property to photograph well. If the home’s features will be showcased better during twilight photos, consider having photos taken at dusk. Hire a photographer with experience taking these types of shots. Twilight photo courtesy of Brett Hillyard @Hillycollective.
Picture Day Checklist!
- Notify the photographer of all the areas that you want to be photographed
- Select a day with clear weather for natural light!
- If you reside in an area with street sweeping and there may be cars in front of the house during the week. Pick a day when autos are not allowed to park in front of the home to ensure the home can be photographed without any automobiles in front.
- Have all windows professionally cleaned in advance
- Ensure that screens in need of repairs are either repaired or replaced
- Make sure all blinds are open adding natural light
- Remove ALL personal photographs throughout the home (remember these pictures will be online)
- Any personal items which you do not want to be photographed, be sure to take out of the property
- Replace any burnt out light bulbs exterior or interior
- Be sure to have all lights on during the photoshoot
- Touch up exterior paint where needed
- Paint interior a neutral shade which is appealing to the majority of buyers
- Paint baseboards and crown molding
- Remove children’s artwork and put away
- Clean out the fireplace if needed and have the fireplace on during a photoshoot
- Light a fire or turn on the fireplace. Otherwise, most photographers can photoshop in a fire
- Ensure all kitchen appliances are completely cleaned and remove clutter in the kitchen
- Take off all magnets, stickers, recipes, etc off the refrigerator, doors or walls
- Clean off all kitchen counters of any clutter and remove kitchen towels
- Remove all throw rugs in the home as they can make a room look smaller
- Make sure all bathrooms are clutter-free, remove all shampoo, conditioner, etc from the shower for photographs
- All toilet seats need to be closed
- Ensure all beds are made neatly with accent pillows
- Remove pets during showings!
- Declutter the home
- Ensure home is clean and sparkling
- Add centerpiece or accents for the dining room table and patio table as well
- Stage the exterior and ensure it is tidy and clean
Having an organized, decluttered and clean home will definitely is beneficial and the photos will be inviting. Professional photographers know how to utilize lighting to ensure a room is presented in the best light. Being prepared before a photographer comes to the home is beneficial, so the photographer is not moving things around. And keep in mind adding aerial and twilight photography will make the home stand out from others when buyers are looking at homes online.
Find Other Valuable Resources for “Say Cheese! It’s a Photo Shoot! Eight Ways to be Prepared” from Real Estate Professionals Across the Country. Please check out the articles below, and please share across Social Media if you liked the articles.
Guide for Selling Luxury Homes via Kyle Hiscock, Rochester Real Estate
Home Staging and Home Sale Preparation via Bill Gassett, Maximum Real Estate Exposure
How Lighting Can Increase a Homes Value via Eric Jeanette, Dream Home Financing
Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home via Danny Margagliano, Destin Property Expert
Home Selling Tips for Picture Day via Michelle Gibson, Wellington Home Team
Boost Curb Appeal When Selling via Anita Clark, Selling Warner Robbins
About the Author
The above real estate article “Say Cheese! It’s a Photo Shoot! Eight Ways to be Prepared” was written by Sharon Paxson of Newport Beach Real Estate. With experience since 2005 representing sellers, buyers, and landlords with their real estate transactions, we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise and guide you through the home buying or selling process.
We service the following Orange County CA areas: Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Santa Ana, Sunset Beach, Tustin, and more! If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.