Prepare your home to be photographed

Luxury Real Estate PhotographyLet's face it, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. So you want your home looking amazing for your real estate photo shoot. As a homeowner and someone who's sold a few houses I understand how overwhelming it can be to get your home ready for real estate photography  Please also understand your real estate photographer was hired to take photos not rearrange your furniture or move excess boxes room to room. Here's a list of things you can do to help make your home look amazing to buyers in home photos

Outside the house-

  1. Hide Your Garbage Cans & Lawn Equipment    Garbage cans and lawn equipment can be very distracting in real estate photos. Put all of the trash cans in the garage, along with garden hoses, lawnmowers, and other yard maintenance tools. Clear out any small toys and pet items as well. You don't want the photographer to have to do this step. It will distract them. 

  2. Real estate photographyClear All Cars from Road & Driveway    You want the potential buyer to imagine their cars in the driveway not yours. It's never good to have cars in the driveway during real estate photos. Always remove all cars, trucks, RVs, and trailers from the house's driveway and front.  It can be edited out if necessary but its not cheap.

  3. Clean Up the Yard & Landscaping  Ever hear the phrase "Curb Appeal"?  That first impression is critical, so make sure that the front yard is cleaned up. The landscaping needs to be trimmed back. The first picture that people will see of your home will be the outside front yard shot. This photo needs to be presented in its very best condition to grab the buyer's attention immediately.

  4. Clean Your Windows  This really goes for inside and outside. You dont want people to see cobwebs and dirt around or on your windows. 

Inside the house-

  1. Replace Burned Out Light Bulbs    Home sellers miss this all the time. As a real estate photographer, I cant tell you how many times I've been in million dollar homes with burnt out chandelier lights. Be sure to check all of the ceiling lights, as well as extra lamps and exterior lights.

  2. Declutter & Clean Kitchen Counters  Kitchen counters that are cleared off make it look like there's more counter space. Coffee makers, mixers, and decorations are distractions and make the space seem smaller.  Remove everything you can from the countertops and clean all surface areas, including the appliances, kitchen sink, and backsplash. Hide your kitchen towels and rugs, again it makes the space look bigger and depersonalized.  Hide your trash can too.

  3. Clean Up and Clear Out Bathrooms   Put shampoo bottles, soap, razors, and other items out of sight. This makes your bathroom look bigger. Make sure you take everything off the bathroom counter too. Clean, neatly folded towels on towel racks are acceptable.
  4. Open All Your Blinds and Curtains   Natural light is always best for real estate photos. So open those blinds and let in as much light as possible. If it's too bright outside, your photographer will alter your shades and curtains to balance the shot. Don't forget to clean the windows!
  5. Turn Ceiling Fans, TVs, and Computer Screens Off   For most of my real estate shoots I use HDR photography, which takes multiple light exposures for each photo and combines them into one final shot. Any moving items like ceiling fans or active TV/Computer screens look very strange in HDR. For this reason, I recommend turning off anything that moves or causes motion blur. 
  6. Clear All Night Stands and Dressers  Remove everything but a lamp and one decorative thing to make the space look clean and presentable. 
  7. Make the Beds   Seems super obvious but it gets missed all the time. Use bedding that covers the entire bed and fits the mattress correctly. Use decorative pillows for pops of color, if possible. If a room is clean, and the bed isn't made, it makes the whole room seem off. 
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