home presentation

How to Present Your Home for a Photo Shoot

If you hire a real estate photographer in the Baltimore area to take professional photos of your home, it’s important to make sure the home is presented perfectly for the day of the shoot.

How to stage your home like a pro in the Baltimore area:

Brett Caviness, a  realtor in California created this short video, and offers some great tips to help you prepare your home the right way so that you make the most of your photo shoot:

Why does home presentation matter?

These days almost everyone who is searching for a home to buy begins their search online.  The first thing they see are the photos, so first impressions are important.  If the photos aren’t good enough, chances are that potential buyers won’t request a showing of the property.  Instead, they’ll move on to the next house that grabs their attention.  Sometimes you may be left wondering if the price was set too high – the price may not be the problem, but rather the photos that are being used to justify the price.

As a real estate agent in Virginia said:

“A great photographer is critical to our marketing plan. They can make every property, no matter what the price range, stand out…and this makes our phones ring!”

What do you need to do to attract a crowd of buyers to a real estate listing in the Baltimore area?  Here are a few simple ideas to ensure your real estate photos work for you:

Make it light and bright:

Make sure all of your interior lights work, and open all of the blinds and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible for the photo shoot.  A professional real estate photographer will be able to balance the interior and exterior light while keeping a natural feel in the photos.  It’s also much better to show some of the exterior view rather than make it look like you’re hiding something.

Remove all the clutter:

I’ve photographed thousands of properties across the Baltimore area since 2006, and nothing is more frustrating than seeing a great home that looks smaller inside than it really is because of toys being scattered around the floor, cluttered kitchen counters, and too much furniture or accessories in the living room.

I don’t think the owners or listing agent would attend an important event with unruly hair, dirty hands, or anything less than their best suit or dress, and it would be very helpful if those same standards were applied in the marketing of a property.  Throw out or remove non-essential items, leave the  things that need to be there, and make everything tidy and immaculate.

One space in a home that is almost always cluttered is bathrooms.  Towels, shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, etc. can quickly cover vanities.  However, it’s important that the bathrooms look absolutely amazing.  Having a bathroom that sparkles and shines like a luxurious spa is a dream for most people, so you need to pay particular attention to this area.  Take a look at this video by Kristina Smallhorn to see how you can style a bathroom when selling a home:

Arrange the furniture:

There’s definitely a balance between having too little or too much furniture. Having too little furniture often results open spaces that don’t look inviting, while too much furniture appears cluttered and smaller.  It may also be necessary to arrange the furniture so that it looks inviting and like an area where buyers might want to sit and spend time with friends.  As Realtor Magazine suggests:

“Spotlight the flow of your space by creating a focal point on the furthest wall from the doorway and arranging the other pieces of furniture to make a triangle shape. The focal point may be a bed in a bedroom or a china cabinet in a dining room.”
Clean the home:

Showing a home in a photo is different than having potential buyers walk through a home, but it’s still important to present a clean and tidy space.  Some suggestions are to:

  • Pick everything up off the floor that shouldn’t be there and clean all floors.
  • Remove all signs of pets living in the home as some buyers may be turned off by the sight of a dog bed or cat pole.
  • Show off counter space in the kitchen by putting any small appliances away.
  • Store away items in the bathroom, leaving out just a few decorative pieces.
  • Meticulously clean all windows and mirrors, making sure there aren’t any streaks as they will show up in the photos (especially in the bathroom).
Prepare the outside:

Pay attention to the exterior of the home as well so that the property looks appealing and welcoming to buyers.  Make sure that the trees and bushes are trimmed, the grass is cut, and the edges are trimmed.  Plant grass in any patchy areas by working on those areas about a month or two before the property goes on the market.  A beautiful lawn makes a strong first impression, so make it look as amazing as possible!

Also make sure to remove any items around the yard such as garden tools, toys, empty plant pots, hoses, and anything else that doesn’t belong there.

Don't show seasonal items:

The holidays are upon us, but you don’t want to show that in your photos.  The reason for this is that holiday decor “dates” the photos, and if the property doesn’t sell quickly your photos will show a Christmas tree in spring which will indicate how long the property has been on the market.  As Zillow.com put it:

“Instead, consider ways to decorate for the season as a whole and take photos of rooms without themed decor.”

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